Comparative Guides

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

Our Comparative Guides provide an overview of some of the key points of law and practice and allow you to compare regulatory environments and laws across multiple jurisdictions.

Start by selecting your Topic of interest below. Then choose your Regions and finally refine the exact Subjects you are seeking clarity on to view detailed analysis provided by our carefully selected internationally recognised experts.

4. Results: Answers
Labour and Employment
5.
Dismissals and terminations
5.1
Must a valid reason be given to lawfully terminate an employment contract?
Turkey

Answer ... Prior to termination, it should be determined whether the employee is covered by job security protection under the Labour Code. An employee will enjoy job security protection under the code if:

  • he or she:
    • has been employed by the employer for at least six months;
    • has an indefinite-term employment contract;
    • is not an employer representative who is authorised to manage the entire company (eg, general manager) or the assistant thereof; and
    • is not an employer representative who is authorised to manage the entire workplace and to recruit/terminate employees, or the assistant thereof; and
  • the employer (and its group companies to which it is organically linked) has at least 30 employees globally.

If the employee is not covered by job security protection and has an indefinite-term employment contract, the employer can terminate the employee without providing a reason for termination and the employee cannot claim unfair dismissal.

If the employee is covered by job security protection, the employer needs a valid or just reason for termination and, following termination, the employee may claim for unfair dismissal.

Valid reasons for termination relate to:

  • the employee’s capacity/performance;
  • the employee’s conduct; or
  • the operational requirements of the business, establishment or work.

Just reasons for termination by the employer or the employee are listed under the Labour Code. In relation to termination by the employer, just reasons relate, among other things, to:

  • the employee’s immoral, dishonourable or malicious conduct, or other similar behaviour;
  • the employee being arrested or in custody; or
  • the employee’s health.

In relation to termination by the employee, just reasons relate, among other things, to:

  • the employee’s health; and
  • the employer’s immoral, dishonourable or malicious conduct, or other similar behaviour.

For more information about this answer please contact: Batuhan Sahmay from Bener Law Office
5.2
Is a minimum notice period required?
Turkey

Answer ... Before terminating an indefinite-term employment contract, the terminating party must serve notice on the counterparty. The notice periods set out in the following table are the statutory minimum and may be increased by the employment agreement or a collective bargaining agreement.

Duration of employment Notice period
Less than 6 months 2 weeks
Between 6 months and 1.5 years 4 weeks
1.5 to 3 years 6 weeks
More than 3 years 8 weeks

The terminating party may immediately terminate the employment contract by paying in advance the salary corresponding to the notice period (payment in lieu of notice). In such case all monetary benefits plus other benefits which can be measured in monetary terms emanating from the employment contract and under the Labour Code must be taken into consideration in addition to the salary.

Employees who are on notice of dismissal are entitled to paid time off work to look for new employment for at least two hours per working day.

During the probationary period, the employer or employee may terminate the employment contract without notice.

Notice periods will not apply in case of termination for just cause.

For more information about this answer please contact: Batuhan Sahmay from Bener Law Office
5.3
What rights do employees have when arguing unfair dismissal?
Turkey

Answer ... If the employer terminates the employee based on valid reasons, but the employee claims that no reasons were given for his or her dismissal or that the reasons given were not valid as per the Labour Code, he or she may file suit against the dismissal.

In cases of a dismissal with notice (provided that the employee is covered by job security protection), the burden of proving that the dismissal was based on valid reasons rests on the employer.

Since 1 January 2018, the parties to employment-related disputes have been obliged to attempt mediation before bringing an employment claim to the court (except for claims arising from workplace accidents and occupational diseases).

A dismissed employee who seeks reinstatement must commence mediation within one month of the date of the termination letter, stating that no reasons - or no valid reasons - were given for the termination. If the parties fail to reach an agreement at the end of the mediation, a claim may be brought in the courts within two weeks of preparation of the final written minute.

If a mediator or a labour court concludes that the dismissal with notice is invalid because the employer gave no reasons - or no valid reasons - for the dismissal, the employer must, in principle, reinstate the employee within one month. In such cases the employee must apply to the employer for reinstatement within 10 working days of the decision being communicated to him or her (if the employee does not apply within this period, the dismissal is deemed valid). If the employer does not reinstate the employee on application, it must pay him or her financial compensation. In such cases the compensation is set by the court at between four and eight months’ salary.

Irrespective of whether the employee is reinstated or receives financial compensation for the dismissal, the employer must pay his or her salary and other benefits for the period between termination and the decision, up to a maximum of four months. In practice, invalid dismissal cases may last for up to two and a half years, including appeals.

Valid grounds are not required for the dismissal with notice of an employee employed under an indefinite-term employment contract who is not covered by job security protection. Therefore, such employees cannot file suit seeking reinstatement or compensation for invalid dismissal. However, in certain circumstances such employees may claim that they were dismissed in bad faith and file suit seeking compensation of three times the salary payable for the statutory notice period that would have otherwise been applicable.

The above provisions are also applicable in the event of termination for just reason.

Employees employed under fixed-term employment contracts may not be dismissed with notice during the term of the contract (except where this is for more than 10 years, in which case the contract may be terminated after 10 years with six months’ notice). Where such employee is terminated for just reason, he or she may claim that there were no just reasons for the dismissal and file suit seeking compensation from the employer in the form of the salary and benefits to which he or she would have been entitled until the end of the contract’s term, subject to any deductions made by the court.

For more information about this answer please contact: Batuhan Sahmay from Bener Law Office
5.4
What rights, if any, are there to statutory severance pay?
Turkey

Answer ... The employer must pay the employee a statutory severance payment where the employment terminates for various reasons, provided that the employee has completed at least one year’s service with the employer.

An eligible employee is entitled to a severance payment if the employment contract is terminated by the employer for any reason, except in case of termination by the employer for just reasons relating to the employee’s immoral, dishonourable or malicious conduct or other similar behaviour.

A statutory severance payment is not generally required where the employee terminates the employment contract, except where:

  • the employee terminates the contract without notice for just reasons relating to the employee’s health, the employer’s immoral, dishonourable or malicious conduct or other similar behaviour, or force majeure;
  • the employee resigns in order to receive a monthly old-age, retirement or invalidity pension, or to receive a lump-sum payment from a retirement fund or similar body;
  • the employee resigns voluntarily after meeting the age and contribution requirements for receipt of an old-age pension; or
  • in the case of a female employee, the employee resigns voluntarily within one year after getting married.

A statutory severance payment is also due:

  • where the employment contract is terminated because an eligible employee has been called up for compulsory military service; and
  • to an eligible employee’s heirs if the employee dies while in the employer’s service.

No statutory severance payment is due when a fixed-term employment contract expires at the end of its term.

The statutory severance payment is calculated at 30 days’ pay (at the time of termination of employment) per completed year of service with the employer. For periods of service in excess of full years, the severance payment is calculated pro rata.

There is a semi-annually determined statutory cap on the annual statutory severance payment. Therefore, even if the employee’s 30-day salary exceeds the severance payment cap, the severance payment cap will be taken into consideration instead of the actual salary in calculating the severance payment. The cap is determined as TRY 6.379,86 per month until 30 June 2020.

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