The Labour Courts Law numbered 7036 has been published in the Official Gazette dated 25 October 2017 and numbered 30221 (the "Law").

The Law primarily sets out the obligation to refer to mediation with respect to certain labour law related disputes and also introduces certain amendments and rules with respect to labour law.

The Law also amends the time period for the right to appeal in relation to labour court decisions and introduces statute of limitations for specific indemnities arising from employment contracts.

  1. Mandatory Mediation

Pursuant to the Law, as from 1 January 2018, disputes relating to: (i) claims of employees and employers regarding income and damages arising from the law or the employment contracts (whether personal or collective); and (ii) reemployment claims will be referred to mediation. Mandatory mediation will not apply to claims for damages arising from occupational accidents and diseases.

If any court proceedings are initiated without first having applied to mediation, then those proceedings will be dismissed by the court. Thus, the claimant party will need to submit the final minutes of prior mediation to its court petition, demonstrating that parties have failed to reach an agreement.

  1. Mediation Procedures

Applications for mediation should be made to the mediation bureau at the place of residency of the other party (or any one of them) or at the place of the transaction/work relating to such mediation. This rule corresponds with the jurisdiction rule of Turkish labour courts.

Once an application is made, all applicable statutes of limitation will be suspended until the mediation procedure is completed. Mediations need to be completed within three weeks from the date of the application. This time period may be extended to a maximum of four weeks if necessary.

Parties may attend mediations personally, by proxy or by an employee representative (if such party is an employer).

  1. Right to Appeal

Along with the mediation provisions, the Law sets out that the eight day period for the right to appeal in relation to labour court decisions has been extended to two weeks in line with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure numbered 6100.

  1. Statute of limitations

The Law also introduces a five year time statute for annual leave payments, severance payments, notice payments, indemnities for acts in bad faith and indemnities on termination for a breach of the principle of equal treatment of employees.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.