Tonga

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Tonga. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

There is no statute regulating employment in the Kingdom of Tonga, so the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to provide guidance on employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future.

To terminate an employment relationship, parties to an employment agreement must give notice. The minimum is 1 week for employees who have worked for the employer for less than 2 years and 2 weeks if the employee has worked for 2 years or more. This notice must be in writing. If the employer initiates the termination, the employer can pay wages in lieu of the notice period.

Work Permits

Those who wish to apply for an employment visa must submit their travel documents, photographs, application fee, and employment contract along with a medical report, national police record, and two character references. A letter from the Tongan Ministry of Labor, Commerce, and Industries must also be secured. An employment visa application without this letter will not be considered. 

These visas can be renewed. The holder of an employment visa seeking renewal must furnish proof of past tax payments from Tonga's Inland Revenue Department. 

Paid Annual Leave

In the Kingdom of Tonga, because there is no statute regulating employment, the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to guide employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future.

Female employees expecting to give birth are entitled to 30 consecutive working days of maternity leave. This leave is granted when the employee furnishes a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or nurse confirming the pregnancy and specifying the delivery date. The maternity leave is not required to be paid. The maternity leave may be taken at any time but at least 15 days must be taken after the child's birth. If the employer and employee agree, the maternity leave may last longer than 30 working days.

Working Hours

Where there is no statute, the applicable law in Tonga is the English common law. The common law includes, as a primary consideration, the terms of the employment contract. Therefore, since there is no statute regulating employment in the Kingdom of Tonga, the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to guide employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future.

Working hours are set at no more than 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week. The regular working schedule cannot be more than 6 days a week. The employer and employee may agree in the employment contract for overtime pay which is calculated into the salary. In this situation, an employer can require the employee to work in excess of the abovementioned hours. An employee who refuses to accept working additional hours may not be treated less favorably by the employer.

Maternity Leave

In the Kingdom of Tonga, because there is no statute regulating employment, the terms of the employment contract will outline the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the employer and employee. However, in an attempt to guide employment practices in Tonga, below describes the legal requirements that will come into force in the future.

Female employees expecting to give birth are entitled to 30 consecutive working days of maternity leave. This leave is granted when the employee furnishes a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or nurse confirming the pregnancy and specifying the delivery date. The maternity leave is not required to be paid. The maternity leave may be taken at any time but at least 15 days must be taken after the child's birth. If the employer and employee agree, the maternity leave may last longer than 30 working days.

Minimum Wage

There is no minimum wage in Tonga. However, the king may set a minimum wage for a specified period of time if there is a need because of exceptional economic circumstances.  

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Tonga.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Tonga.