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Timor Leste Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in Timor Leste




United States Dollar


Portuguese, Tetun

Payroll Frequency


GDP per Capita


Employer Tax


Talent Overview

Timor-Leste, or East Timor, is a Southeast Asian country with a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of USD 1.9 million and a GDP growth rate of 4.4%. The country has a mixed economy, which implies that the government primarily controls the economy and offers limited private freedom. The country stands 181 in the Ease of Doing Business Index conducted by the World Bank.

Major economic hubs:

Dili, Maliana, Suai

Map 13

Local Universities

The top local universities in Timor Leste are as follows:

Uni1 36

Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e


Local: 1

World : 10996

Uni2 31

Universidade de Dili


Local: 2

World : 13052

Uni3 28

East Timor Institute of Business


Local: 3

World : 13053

Uni4 29

Institute Superior Cristal


Local: 4

World : 13103

Uni5 26

Universidade da Paz


Local: 5

World : 13379

Salary Data

Some common jobs in Timor Leste with average monthly salary are:

Job Title Average Monthly Salary (in USD)
Financial Manager 4,220 USD
Country Manager 3,930 USD
Financial Analyst 2,640 USD
Business Analyst 2,620 USD
Project Manager 2,340 USD
Talentsource 13

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards:

United Nations

Number of LinkedIn users:


Top Recruitment Agencies:

Konnekto, East Timor Development Agency

Employing in Timor-Leste

The Labour Code of 2002 regulates the employer-employee relationship in Timor-Leste. All working relationships in the country must align with the Code or face hefty penalties. The following sections cover various aspects of the Code in depth.

Employee Contract

The Labour Code in Timor-Leste mandates written employment contracts to substantiate a relationship between an employer and an employee. In the event of a dispute regarding an oral employment contract, the employer will have to prove the absence of a contract and relevant terms.

Probation Period

The probationary period in Timor-Leste lasts a maximum of one month.

Public and Provincial Holidays

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day Public Holiday
3 Mar Veteran’s Day Public Holiday
7 Apr Good Friday Public Holiday
22 Apr Eid ul Fitr (Tentative Date) Public Holiday
1 May Labor Day / May Day Public Holiday
20 May Restoration of Independence Day Public Holiday
8 Jun Corpus Christi Public Holiday
29 Jun Eid al-Adha Public Holiday
30 Aug Popular Consultation Day Public Holiday
1 Nov All Saints’ Day Public Holiday
2 Nov All Souls’ Day Public Holiday
12 Nov Youth National Day Public Holiday
28 Nov Proclamation of Independence Day Public Holiday
7 Dec Day of Remembrance Public Holiday
8 Dec Day of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Public Holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day Public Holiday
31 Dec National Heroes Day Public Holiday

Employee Leaves

Type of Leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual leaves 12 days Yes
Sick leaves 6 days Yes
Maternity leaves 12 weeks (6 weeks before birth and 6 weeks after birth) Yes



Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

Timor-Leste follows a monthly payroll cycle.

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Timor-Leste is USD 115 per month.

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

The standard working hours in Timor-Leste are 8 hours per day and 44 hours per week. If an employer requires their staff to work overtime, they must compensate the employees at 150% of their regular hourly wage.


13th Month Pay

The Labour Code of Timor-Leste does not mandate employers to pay 13th-month pay to their employees.

Employee Benefits

  • Social security
  • Paid leaves
  • Maternity leave
  • Overtime pay


Employer Payroll Tax

Contribution Tax rate
Social security 6%

Employee Payroll Tax

Contribution Tax rate
Social security 4%

Employee Income Tax

Taxable income from Tax rate
Wages (for residents) Up to USD 500 per month 0%
More than USD 500 per month 10%
Wages (for non-residents) 10%
Other than wages (for residents) Up to USD 6,000 per year 0%
More than USD 6,000 per year 10%
Other than wages (for non-residents) 10%


Timor-Leste does not have any standard Value-Added Tax policy.

Offboarding & Termination

An employer in Timor-Leste needs a valid reason to terminate an employment contract legally. In case of misconduct at the workplace, the employee can be terminated without compensation. Furthermore, termination due to unsatisfactory performance requires the employer to give at least 3 warnings (in both written and verbal forms). The employer must provide a written notice of termination to the employee.

The notice period in Timor-Leste varies as per the following table:

Length of service Notice period
3 – 6 months 10 days
6 – 12 months 15 days
1 year or more 30 days


Visa and Immigration

Any foreigner who wants to work at Timor-Leste must get a valid work permit before their first day of work. The permit is valid for a maximum of one year and employees can request multiple entries. The employee must visit an Embassy or Consulate of Timor-Leste in their home country, or ask their employer to contact the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dili, Timor-Leste.

Visa 13
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Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

The standard working hours in Timor-Leste are 8 hours per day and 44 hours per week. If an employer requires their staff to work overtime, they must compensate the employees at 150% of their regular hourly wage. Working on a public holiday or a rest day requires the employer to compensate at 200% of the employee’s regular hourly wage. In any case, the combined total of normal and overtime duration must not exceed 12 hours.

Visa & Immigration