Turkey: Overview Of Turkish Labour Code And Employment In Turkey

Last Updated: 7 January 2016
Article by Bereket & Baltaci

Employment laws in Turkey apply to Turkish nationals and foreign nationals alike. In addition, special provisions exist which regulate the employment and residence permits of foreign nationals who intend to work in Turkey.

Prior to the commencement of the work, the newly established companies in Turkey must be registered with the local labour office as an employer. Moreover, the employer must inform the Social Security Institution (SSI) about each employee that works in his workplace for whom the employer will be paying social security premiums. Under the social security laws, each employee becomes insured from the first day of work. Employees must ensure that employers' and employees' contributions to the Social Security are paid in monthly basis.

Employers have to pay the social security premium (approximately 34.5 percent) and unemployment social security fund payment (2 percent) on the gross wage. Moreover, under the provisions of the Income Tax Law, employment income is taxed through withholding. Employers are obliged to withhold the income tax before disbursing employee salaries.

The yearly income tax rates for the year of 2015 are as follows:

  • TRY 0 to 12,000 : 15%
  • TRY 12,001 to 29,000 : 20%
  • TRY 29,001 to 106,000 : 27%
  • More than TRY 106,000 : 35%

Overtime work is defined as the working hours exceeding 45 hours in a week. Wages to be paid for the overtime work are calculated by increasing the hourly normal working wage by 50 percent for each hour. Days on which overtime work is done cannot exceed 270 hours a year.

A working week in Turkey consists of a maximum of 45 hours. A weekly normal working period may be distributed unevenly for the working days in a month with the mutual agreement of the parties, provided that the daily working period shall not exceed 11 hours. It is obligatory to hold a holiday, one day in a week.

The Turkish Labor Law sets a minimum wage, which is checked against inflation once or twice a year. As of 01.01.2015, the gross monthly minimum wage is TL 1201,00 (approximately, $461). After deducting a worker's share of the social security premium, income and stamp tax, unemployment security fund payment, the net wage stands at TL 949.07 (approximately, $365).

High skilled workers' pay depends on sector and also personal skills and experience, which is often at comparable levels with EU countries depending on the position. However, the wages of less-skilled workers and fresh university graduates are relatively low.

Employers with more than 50 or more employees are required to employ disabled and ex-convict employees in workplaces.

There is no regulation mandating or allowing the establishment of a work council in the workplace in Turkey. Nevertheless, collective labour regulations stipulate the formation of industry-wide based labour unions.

Employment Contracts and Annual Leaves

In principle, employment contracts are not subject to a certain form requirement. However, employment contracts with a period of one or more years are required to be executed in writing.

Employment contracts are considered as contracts with indefinite periods unless the employment relationship is bound with a definite period. The employment contract renewed more than once shall be accepted as an employment contract with indefinite period from the beginning.

The maximum probationary period may be two months. Such term may be extended to four months only in the collective bargaining agreements.

Employees who have worked for at least one year, including the probationary period, can be granted the right to annual leave. The period of annual leave shall be 14 days for employees working for a period of one to five years; 20 days for employees working for a period of five to 15 years.

Certain benefits such as lunch, transportation and private health insurance may be granted to the employee through the employment contract.

The parties' choice of law in an employment agreement bearing a foreign element is valid and enforceable on the condition that the minimum standard of protection ensured by the laws of the country where the work is being performed is reserved. Where the parties have not explicitly chosen an applicable law, the laws of the country where the work is performed is applicable.

Termination of Employment

Both the employees and employers are entitled to terminate employment contracts by following certain minimum notification periods, depending upon the length of the service of employees, without indicating any reason. Any party that fails to fulfill the notification obligation should pay compensation (ie, notification payment or lieu of notice, equivalent to the wages corresponding to the notification period).

Notification Periods

Length of the Service of Employees

Two weeks

Less than six months

Four weeks

Six to 18 months

Six weeks

18 months to three years

Eight weeks

More than three years

As per the Labour Law, in cases where an employee contract is terminated with notification by the employer (other than cases an employee contract is terminated after at least one year for reasons which are incompatible with morals and goodwill and similar circumstances) the employer pays the employee a severance payment at the rate of 30 days' wages for each full year as of the date of the employment.

The employer's right to terminate the employment contract for just cause such as serious misconduct or malicious or immoral behavior of the employee is reserved by the law. Either employees or employers can terminate the employment relationship without having to comply with the legal notice periods. A just cause gives the parties the right to effect immediate termination without a severance payment.

The notice of the termination should be given by employers in written form, including the reason for the termination which must be specified in clear and precise terms. The employment of an employee engaged under a contract with indefinite term should not be terminated for reasons related to the employee's conduct or performance before he is provided with the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations.

Where the length of the service of an employee is at least six months and there are at least 30 employees working at the workplace, then an employer is obligated to provide a valid reason either relating to the efficiency, behavior of the employee or the requirements of the enterprise, workplace or the work in order to terminate the contract. Otherwise, under the Turkish Labour Code, employees have the right to sue the employer for the reinstatement to work. 

In case of collective payoff the employer must inform the names and qualifications of employees to the relevant Labour Office along with a reason for their dismissal at least one month following the date of dismissal.

Employment of Foreigners

Foreign capital entities can employ foreign personnel in Turkey, provided that the work permits are obtained from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Individuals who want to work in Turkey must first apply for a visa at Turkish embassies in their home countries, unless employer-specific "facilitations" apply. To obtain a work permit from the local authorities, a prospective employee must present a valid residence permit and a completed work permit application signed by the future employer.

A real person will be considered as fully tax liable if they are a Turkish citizen or a resident of Turkey. In this regard, foreign nationals who have been living in Turkey for a period of more than six months will be considered to be a resident in Turkey. These people are fully liable for the income tax and obliged to pay it on all sources of income.

Double taxation agreements may exist between Turkey and the country of which the employee is a resident. In that case, the provisions of any relevant treaties will be applied.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Bereket & Baltaci
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Bereket & Baltaci
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions