The Labour Code numbered 4857 has been amended with the Amending
Law numbered 6663 adopted on 29.01.2016, which was published in the
official gazette dated 10.02.2016 and numbered 29620. The changes
brought as to the parental rights of the employees are attention
grabbing as they expand the scope of the entitlements of the new
parents. In simple terms, the reform relating Labour Code numbered
4857 relates to (i) the right of the father to use the maternity
leave in case of death of his wife while giving birth or
afterwards, (ii) right of the mother to work part-time after
maternity leave, (iii) right of one of the parents to work part-
time after maternity leave until compulsory elementary education of
the child, and (iv) right to use leave after adoption.
I. Father's Right to Leave
An additional right has been granted to the father under Article
74 of the Labour Law, which regulates maternity leave and
breast-feeding periods. It provides that, in case the female
employee dies while giving birth or after the birth, the maternal
leaves that could not be used by the female employee will be used
by the father.
II. Mother's Right to Work Part-time after Maternity
Article 74 of the Labour Code now provides that after the expiry
of the legal maternity leave, upon request, the mother shall be
entitled to use unpaid leave for half of the weekly working period
for a term of 60 days for the first child, 120 days for the second
child, 180 days for the following children provided that the child
is alive. These periods shall increase in case of multiple births
or the child is born disabled.
It is noteworthy that supplementary Article 5 added to the
Unemployment Insurance Law numbered 4447 by the Amending Law
provides that during this term, the employee shall be entitled to
part-time allowance from the unemployment insurance fund upon
her/his request subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.
III. Right to Work for Part-time until Compulsory
Another right granted by the revisions under the Amending Law is
that following the expiry of the maternity leaves indicated under
Article 74 of the Labour Law, one of the parents may request to
work part-time until the first day of the month following the date
the child starts compulsory elementary education provided that the
other parent is not unemployed. Requests by the employee to use
this right or to return the full-time working schedule shall be
made one month in advance to the employer. A regulation on this
will be issued by Ministry of Labour and Social Security in due
IV. Right to Use Leave after Adoption
A significant reform in terms of parental leave in the Labour
Code is that employees who adopt children shall have similar rights
to those who give birth to their biological children. Accordingly,
one of the parents or the employee who adopts a child shall have
the abovementioned rights as well as the legal maternity leave of 8
weeks after the child is delivered to the family or the employee.
However, only the employees who adopt children under 3 years old
shall be eligible for the said rights.
Originally published 22 June 2016
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