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Hire and pay remote employees and independent contractors in Tunisia


Hire and pay remote employees and independent contractors in Tunisia

June 21, 2022
8 min read

Hire and pay remote employees and independent contractors in Tunisia

Tunisia is an African country strategically located in the Northern part of the continent with a nice coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. It has a population of approximately 11.9 million, with a high percentage speaking Arabic. In 2021, Tunisia’s GDP grew by 2.9%, but its labour market remained limited at an 18.4% unemployment rate. 

According to the UNESCO Institute of statistics, Tunisia has the highest number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates.  This gives international employers access to a highly skilled workforce.  However, they have to follow the set employment and tax laws in Tunisia. 

The following is a guide on hiring and paying remote employees and independent contractors in Tunisia. 

Hiring Remote Employees and Independent Contractors in Tunisia 

Building or expanding remote teams can be a challenge for employers intending to hire in different countries without an understanding of legal and compliance matters. Understanding the laws governing remote work and the tax laws in Tunisia is important for employers seeking to hire remote workers. Additionally, employers should define how they  hire remote workers, their relationship with the employees and how long they intend to work with them.

There are several ways you can hire remote workers in Tunisia: 

1. Direct client-contractor engagement 

Employers who have a previous relationship with potential remote workers in Tunisia, might opt to engage them directly. They agree on all terms of the contract, including deliverables and payment. However, this method is only effective when they don’t want to work with remote employees but with independent contractors. 

Like other ways of hiring remote workers, this option also poses some disadvantages, such as the risk of misclassification, which could attract huge penalties. 

2. Establish a local entity 

Another way to hire remote workers or access technical skills is by establishing a local entity, subsidiary, or branch in Tunisia. This enables employers to build an international presence and access new markets, especially when they are guided by a global expansion plan. 

However, setting up a subsidiary could take several months or over a year and the process is expensive. Employers have to meet all compliance risks for payroll, taxation, and immigration rules in Tunisia before starting operations.

So, what is the alternative to establishing a local entity? 

3. Employer of Record (EOR)

Employers who are not looking to establish a foreign entity in Tunisia should consider utilizing EOR services to hire remote workers. An EOR is an intermediary/third party between you and the remote workers and has access to expertise to ensure full compliance with all laws and regulations. Apart from an EOR having a legal entity in Tunisia, it also handles all aspects related to hiring, paying and managing employees. This is a cost-effective, quick, solution for employers. It carries no risk of misclassification of workers as the employee management solution is comprehensive and covers this.

Paying Remote Employees and Independent Contractors in Tunisia

Payroll and tax laws differ from country to country. Therefore, employers need to understand local payroll and tax laws before initiating any form of payments to their remote teams in Tunisia. 

Residents pay an income tax with a top rate of 35%, while non-residents pay a flat tax of 20% of their gross income. Employers are also required to register with the Tunisian National Social Security Fund (popularly called CNSS). 
Employers can choose to run payroll under their main company subsidiary in Tunisia while following Tunisian laws, work with a Tunisian payroll processing company, or outsource payroll. They must also know the most efficient means through which they send payments to their remote teams. 

What are the best methods for paying remote employees and independent contractors in Tunisia? 

There are various ways to transfer payments to remote teams in Tunisia. The choice of transfer methods is extensive. Check out the list below. 

1. Bank transfers 

Employers can pay remote teams in Tunisia via bank transfers. They will need the recipient’s bank account details (name and address), SWIFT code, and routing number. The payment takes about 1 to 7 business days to process. 

It’s also worth noting that fees vary and are charged per transaction. 

Among Tunisian banks that support international money transfers are Banque Nationale Agricole, Banque de L'Habitat (BH), and Societe Tunisienne de Banque (STB). 

2. Online money transfer services 

Online money transfers are a common and efficient way to send payments to remote teams in Tunisia. These kinds of services are easily accessible through apps and websites. Some providers allow employers to link and access bank accounts and cards. 

Among the top online money transfer service providers that allow sending payments in Tunisia are: 

  • Xoom 
  • Remitly
  • WorldRemit 
  • Xendpay 
  • WISE 
  • Revolut 
  • XE Money Transfer

3. Cash pick-up transfers 

If some of the remote teams from Tunisia don’t have bank accounts, a cash pick-up transfer is ideal for sending payments. After making payment through a service provider, the recipient (the employee or independent contractor) will go to the nearest pick-up location with a valid photo ID and transaction reference number. They get the money in cash. 

Among the notable and reliable transfer companies in Tunisia are: 

  • Western Union 
  • Ria Transfer Money 
  • MoneyGram 
  • WorldRemit (it also offers cash pick-ups)

The above service providers offer money transfers into a bank account and cash collection services. 

4. Outsource payroll or use EOR services

If employers feel the hassle of hiring and setting up payroll for their remote teams in Tunisia is too much, there are two alternative options: outsource payroll or work with an EOR service provider. 

Outsourcing means tasking a local payroll processing company in Tunisia to handle the payroll and tax remittance work on their behalf for a fee. 

Working with an EOR solution provider such as Workpay helps employers hire, pay, and manage remote teams in full compliance with Tunisian laws and regulations. It also eliminates the need to set up a local entity, thus making the entire onboarding process cheap, fast, and hassle-free. 

Grow your remote team in Tunisia with Workpay

Workpay is an EOR services provider focusing on the competitive African labour market. We understand and are up to date with Tunisian's employment, labour, payroll, and tax laws. 

Are you an employer/company worried about compliance while hiring and paying remote workers? Workpay is your ideal EOR partner. We help handle all the complex contracts and legal  tax preparations to ensure the smooth onboarding of remote workers. Our payroll software also ensures that remote teams get their salaries and wages on time. 

Talk to us today and find out why over 600 businesses across Africa trust us.

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