Tunisia complaint Bierbaum Proenen Feb. 2017

Final report of a complaint at a factory in Tunisia supplying Bierbaum Proenen

On 28 February 2017, FWF received a complaint from a worker that is currently employed by the factory.  The complainant claimed that the factory does not pay income taxes in accordance with the tax law. Three workers were asked by the Tunisian Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance to pay an additional 400 dinars over 2016. According to the complainant, factory management refused to discuss this with the workers at first.

FWF informed Bierbaum Proenen about the case who then contacted the supplier. Factory management claimed that they were receptive of the question and tried to resolve it to the best of their abilities. After Bierbaum Proenen had contacted factory management, a meeting was held between management and the Workers Council to discuss this issue. The FWF complaints handler and the FWF documents inspector contacted factory management to inform them about current obligations under Tunisian tax law. They also advised them to organise a meeting with the tax department of the Ministry of Finance, the chartered accountant, management and worker representatives, which management subsequently did.

After discussions between factory management, worker representation, the tax department of the Ministry of Finance and the accountant, it was concluded that taxes were not correctly calculated and paid between April and July 2016. The fact that the factory had not paid the correct amount of tax to the Tunisian Tax department was due to the fact that the Tunisian tax department had not yet updated the tax form for the workers who earned less than 5000 TND in 2015 and more than 5000 TND in 2016.

A training session with the accountant and the workers was organised. Factory management agreed to ensure that taxes were correctly paid.

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