Comparative Guides

Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.

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4. Results: Answers
Labour and Employment
Legal framework
Are there statutory sources of labour and employment law?

Answer ... Yes. Employment relationships are mainly regulated under the Labour Code. Other statutes that also regulate employment relationships include:

  • the Social Security and General Health Insurance Law;
  • the Occupational Health and Safety Law;
  • the Law on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreements; and
  • secondary legislation, such as:
    • the Regulation on Part Time Employment Following Maternity Leave or Unpaid Leave;
    • the Regulation on Occupational Health and Safety Services;
    • the Regulation on Employment Conditions of Pregnant or Nursing Employees and Nursing Rooms and Child Care Centres; and
    • the Regulation on Employment of Female Employees on Night Shifts.

Additionally, court practices and resolutions also comprise a significant part of Turkish labour law.

For more information about this answer please contact: Batuhan Sahmay from Bener Law Office
Is there a contractual system that operates in parallel, or in addition to, the statutory sources?

Answer ... Parties are free to determine the terms and conditions of employment through contracts, as long as this does not negatively affect employees’ statutory rights.

For more information about this answer please contact: Batuhan Sahmay from Bener Law Office
Are employment contracts commonly used at all levels? If so, what types of contracts are used and how are they created? Must they be in writing must they include specific information? Are implied clauses allowed?

Answer ... Pursuant to the Turkish Labour Code, employment contracts are commonly used at all levels.

Fixed-term employment contracts (for a period of more than one month) and indefinite-term contracts for a period of one year or more must be executed in writing. Employment contracts must also include the following information:

  • the general and special conditions of the work;
  • daily or weekly working hours;
  • the basic salary and other benefits;
  • the schedule of salary payments;
  • the term of the contract; and
  • the provisions that the parties should comply with in case of termination.

If no written contract is executed, the employer must inform the employee in writing of the above terms within two months of the commencement of work.

In addition, the employment contract may include:

  • a job description;
  • details of any probation period; and
  • non-compete and non-disclosure clauses.

An employment contract for remote working must be executed in writing and include:

  • a definition of the work to be performed;
  • the manner in which the work is to be performed;
  • the method of communication between the employer and employee;
  • the term of the contract;
  • the place of work;
  • salary and benefits;
  • the equipment to be provided by the employer and the liabilities relating to the protection of the equipment; and
  • general and special working conditions.

Depending on the duration of the work, employment contracts may be executed as fixed-term or indefinite-term contracts.

Fixed-term employment contracts may be executed between the employer and the employee in writing only:

  • for work projects of a definite term;
  • to achieve an objective such as completion of a certain project; or
  • to ensure the occurrence of a certain event.

Fixed-term employment contracts cannot be successively renewed more than once without an essential reason, such as the continuation of a project or the occurrence of a specific event. Such contracts can be continuously renewed only if the nature of the work allows only for a fixed-term contract. If a fixed-term employment contract is executed or renewed in contrary to the above, it will be considered an indefinite-term contract as of the date of commencement of employment.

Additionally, depending on how frequently the employee is required to work, employment contracts can be either part time or full time. Part-time employees must work at least one-third fewer hours than full-time employees at the same workplace and cannot perform overtime work.

There is also a special type of part-time employment (employment on call), whereby the employee works only when called on to do so by the employer. In the case of part-time on-call employment:

  • if it is not determined in the agreement how many hours the employee will work, the employee’s weekly working hours will be deemed to be 20 hours. Even if the employee is not called to work in a specific week, he or she must be paid for the working hours stipulated in the agreement (or, if not determined, for 20 hours);
  • if the employee’s daily working hours are not determined in the agreement, the employer must make the employee work for at least four hours (per day) on each call; and
  • unless otherwise stipulated by the parties in an agreement, the employer must give the employee at least four days’ notice when calling on him or her for work.

Material benefits must be paid to part-time employees in proportion to their working hours.

An employer and employee may agree on remote working, whereby the employee works at home or outside the workplace using technological communication devices.

Temporary employment is also permitted under Turkish law. In this regard, temporary employment may be established by way of:

  • the temporary transfer of employees from one employer to another within the same group of companies as a temporary work relationship (this arrangement must be executed in writing, cannot exceed a period of six months and can be renewed only twice); or
  • private employment offices.

The situations in which temporary employment can be established through private employment offices are listed by law and include the following:

  • maternity leave;
  • military service or other temporary suspension of employment;
  • seasonal agricultural work; and
  • an unforeseen increase in workload, provided that the number of temporary employees does not exceed 25% of the workforce.

Temporary employment relationships that cover seasonal agricultural work and home services may have an indefinite duration. Temporary employment relationships for other work may have a term of up to four months, which can be renewed twice, provided that the total renewal period does not exceed eight months.

Temporary employment relationship cannot be established:

  • at workplaces in which collective redundancies have taken place in the preceding eight months;
  • in public institutions or organisations;
  • in underground mining companies; or
  • if six months has not passed since the end of a previous relationship in the same circumstances at the employer.

With regard to implied clauses, these may be applicable depending on the circumstances.

For more information about this answer please contact: Batuhan Sahmay from Bener Law Office
Labour and Employment