Turkey: Offsetting The Working Hours; FAQs According To Turkish Labor Law

What is Offsetting Overtime with Under Time?

The meaning of offsetting overtime with under time in labor law is that the average of the work done above and below weekly working hours within a certain time period is decided by the parties so that it does not exceed maximum working hours of 45 hours per week1 under Turkish Labor Law.

Why is it Applied, can Apply or should Apply?

The purpose of adjusting working hours is to enable the employer to use the workforce more flexibly within the limits of the law. As a rule, the employer has the authority to regulate working hours. The employer can organize the work hours in different ways according to the nature of the job within the boundaries of the Law, employment contract and collective labor contract, by announcing the start and end hours and resting hours of the workplace (Turkish Labor Law. Article. 67, Directive. Article. 8). The Employer could adjust and offset overtime with under time during an "equalization period". Equalization period can be applied to only one worker as it could be applied to all or part of the workplace (Soyer, 2003:185).

How is it Applied?

According to Turkish Labor Law (LAW), "Provided that the parties have so agreed, working time may be divided by the days of the week worked in different forms on condition that the daily working time must not exceed eleven hours. In this case, within a time period of two months, the average weekly working time of the employee shall not exceed normal (maximum) weekly working time..." (Article 63/2).

How Long can it be Applied?

First of all, according to the LAW, the equalization period that the parties can take as basis cannot exceed two months. Meaning that in order to offset overtime work employer could adjust working hours at most within 2 months of period. However, this can be increased up to four months by collective labor agreements (Article 63/2)

The specified settlement period is a fixed period and it is not possible to extend this worker for reasons such as the employee's illness or the right to annual leave (Soyer, 2003:187).

How can the Hours be Set?

According to LAW, "Overtime work may be performed for purposes such as the country's interest, the nature of the operation or the need to increase output. Overtime work is work which, under conditions specified in this Act, exceeds forty-five hours a week. In cases where the principle of balancing is applied in accordance with Article 63, work which exceeds a total of forty-five hours a week shall not be deemed overtime work, provided the average working time of the employee does not exceed the normal weekly working time"(Article 41/1). Thus, in cases where the offsetting principle is applied, it has been decided that over 45 hours of work will not be considered overtime. At the end of the equalization period, the overtime exceeding the average weekly working time is considered as overtime for over forty-five hours(Article 41/3).

The worker should be employed for a maximum of 11 hours a day. In case the weekly working time is distributed differently to the working days of the week, if a worker is working 6 days a week, that worker can work up to 66 hours a week or if a worker is working 5 days a week, that worker can work up to 55 hours a week. Thus, a 'concentrated work week' can be implemented at workplaces for various reasons.

The Turkish Labor Law No. 4857 has determined the maximum limit of the equalization period and has not provided a period in terms of the lower limit. As a consequence, the parties are also anticipating an equilibrium period under two months (Soyer, 2003: 187).

For example, in order to complete a project, an employer may stipulate two weeks of equalization period which provides; 66 hours of work in first week and 24 hours in the second. In this case, the project will be completed without violation of the weekly working time because the average weekly working hours will be within the legal boundaries. There are also academic opinions that the law does not provide any rules that prevents it (Caniklioğlu, 2005:8).

Is the Consent of the Worker Necessary?

Another limitation of the Turkish Labor Law in terms of the application of offsetting working hours is that the employer must obtain the consent of the worker in order to implement the equalization work. It has not been determined how the agreement to be made between the employer and the employee (written or oral) will be applied to the application of the offsetting working hours in the Labor Law. However, in terms of the means of proof, a written agreement2 is more beneficial for both parties. At this point there is no information on whether the consent of the workers should be taken before each and every two months of offsetting period.

Workers to whom "Equalization and Concentrated Period" cannot be Applied;

  • Workers who have not completed 18 years of age,
  • Workers who are documented by the physician report that their health is not available, especially the workplace physician,
  • Pregnant, newly born and nursing mother workers,
  • Part-time workers

Jobs Where an Equalization and Concentrated Period cannot be Applied;

  • Within the scope of Regulation on "Jobs That Must Work Seven Hours or Less a Day for Health Rules"
  • Within the scope of Regulation on "Working Times That Cannot Be Divided into Weekly Working Days", employer has no obligation to take a previous consent from the employees because  offsetting overtime with under time is the result of the nature of the work, the authority on this subject is the on the employer. In addition, the two-month equalization period can be extended up to six-month period in these jobs.
  • Regulation on "Working Times Which Cannot Be Divided into Weekly Working Days" provides that excluding working hours which start in daytime hours and hang over to the night hours, the offsetting working hours cannot be applicable.
  • Offsetting working hours is not possible at underground and underwater works such as Mining, quarrying, cable laying, sewerage, tunnel construction.

Termination of the Labor Contract during the Equalization Period

A question mark arises when employment contract for a definite period ends or employment contract is terminated during the "Equalization Period". The problem is how to calculate the worker's salary. Two possibilities come to mind in this case. According to the first possibility, the worker's previous week's work is paid on overwork basis. That is, the worker will be entitled to overtime pay for his work over a period of 45 hours per week.

For example an employee working 66 hours for 4 weeks and works total 45 hours in next 2 weeks, in case of employment contract is terminated at the end of this 2 weeks, employee shall be entitled (66-45)= 21 hours of overtime for each week. And shall be paid total (21x4)=84 hours overtime for 4 weeks of overwork.

The other possibility is that the overtime work shall be calculated limited to the overtime during the equalization period and the work exceeding the weekly average working period is evaluated as working overtime. Same above mentioned employee, working 66 hours for 4 weeks and works total 45 hours in next 2 weeks, in case of employment contract is terminated at the end of this 2 weeks, has worked 264 hours in 4 weeks and 45 hours in the last 2 weeks. This employee has total (264+45)= 309 hours of work which equals (309/6)=51,5 hours per week. Therefore the employee has (51,5 - 45)= 6,5 hours of overtime for each week. The employer is obligated to pay (6,6 x 6)= 39 hours of overtime in total.

As we discussed how the offsetting working hours could be applied in case of termination of the employment contract, we consider that second option would be more appropriate to determine the amount of overtime than the first option, although there is no certainty before the Courts as to which type of application is to be made.


1. ÇALIŞMA VE SOSYAL GÜVENLİK BAKANLIĞI; http://www.calismadunyasi.gov.tr/pdf/sayi2/05.pdf

2. ÇALIŞMA VE SOSYAL GÜVENLİK BAKANLIĞI; http://www.calismadunyasi.gov.tr/pdf/sayi2/05.pdf


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.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
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
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please 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.


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.


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