Per the Covid-19 pandemic fact treated the whole world, Organizations started to take precautions to prevent further spread of the virus.
Based on that officials have announced many personal and social precaution methods as; personal hygiene rules, avoid from crowded environment and public transport if possible, avoid from close communications and stay at home after foreign travels for 14 days to be on the safe side. In addition to these ways, the employers consider some methods in parallel with the above to keep their work environment safe and health.
Due to the fact that huge volume of activities have stopped in some sectors due to the coronavirus pandemic and employers have started to implement flexible work or leave opportunities.
You can find the details of the legislative methods that can be chosen by the employers:
1) Short-Employment Allowance
The circumstances for short-employment opportunity have been located on Unemployment Insurance Law no: 4447, Article Add.2. These circumstances are as below:
- General economical, sectoral or regional crisis.
- Force major situations
General economic crisis represents the situations that have effects on national economy and the employers' activities. These situations can due from national or international progresses.
Force Major refers to the unpredictable situations like natural disasters, pandemics, military operation preparations that can cause stop or restriction of activities of employers temporarily or permanently.
Accordingly, coronavirus pandemic can be considered as a reason for short-employment working.
Short-employment allowance can be applicable with the below circumstances not for more than 3 months (President can extend that period to 6 months):
- If the weekly working hours are reduced temporarily in a ratio of one third
- If the activities stopped fully or partly at least for four weeks.
The below steps should be followed for short employment working application;
- The Employer should submit the Short Employment Request Form to Turkish Employment Agency(IsKur)
- That application is evaluated by the Agency in terms of its reason and form.
In order for an employee to benefit from the short employment allowance;
- Short employment request of the employer should be approved by the Agency,
- In accordance with the Article 50 of the law no. 4447, employees should be entitled to unemployment allowance in terms of their employment period and the amount of days of unemployment insurance payment by the date of the commencement of short employment (Of those who have paid premium for the last 120 days and constantly worked before the commencement of short employment, those who have paid unemployment insurance premium for at least 600 days in the last three years).
- The information of the employees should be included on the list during the review of the Agency.
With regards to the payment amount;
Amount of daily short employment allowance is 60% of daily gross average earning calculated by taking into consideration the earnings of the insurant for the last twelve months subject to premium, not exceeding 150% of the gross amount of monthly minimum wage for those older than 16 years of age in accordance with the article 39 of the Labor Law no. 4857.
2) Compensatory Work
Per the Law no 4857, Article 64, compensatory work can be applicable under below cases:
- Where the activities stop due to force major reasons
- Where time worked has been considerably lower than the normal working time or where operations are stopped entirely for reasons of suspending work due to force majeure or on the days before or after the national and public holidays
- Where the employee is granted time off upon his request,
the employer may call upon compensatory work within two months in order to compensate for the time lost due to unworked periods. Such work shall not be considered overtime work or work at extra hours.
Compensatory work shall not exceed three hours daily and must not exceed the maximum daily working time in any case.
Compensatory work shall not be carried out on holidays.
Due to the fact that coronavirus pandemic is considered as a force major reason, the above compensatory work rules can be applicable within 2 weeks (not exceeding 3 hours per day) upon elimination of this force major fact.
3) Remote Working
Per the Law No: 4857 Article 14; the employees can work outside of the office remotely, with the relevant technological equipment. This work relation should be agreed between the employer and employee in writing.
Accordingly, if the necessary technological equipment can be provided and the employees are supported, this can be an appropriate option.
On this option, there is no change on the responsibilities and rights of the employees and employers. That would be considered as a regular work process as in the workplaces.
4) Sick Leave
Employees can obtain sick leave report from the relevant doctors who have agreements with Social Security Institution. And, with that reports, they can stay at home during the relevant time suggested by the doctors.
Per the announced communique; for the individuals travels from a foreign country a health report for 14 days would be provided by the doctors and the benefits for incapacity to work would be paid by the Social Security Institution.
5) Unpaid Leave
Under that kind of pandemics, the employees can use unpaid leave in case that employers and employees are agree on that option.
Employers and employees should agree on the method of this application.
6) Collective Leave
Per the annual leave code, Article 10; the employers can choose collective leave option for their employees. This can only be applicable for the period between 01 April – 31 October.
7) Leave Of Absence With Pay
Per the Law No: 4857 Additional Article 2; Employee shall be allowed to take; three days leave of absence with pay in the event of employee's marriage or adoption of a child, or in the event of the death of the employee's mother, father, spouse, brother or sister, and child; and five days leave of absence with pay in the event of employee's spouse giving birth.
Employed parents whose child has at least seventy percent disability or chronic disease based on medical report, shall be allowed to take up to 10 days leave of absence with pay in a year for attending the treatment of the child; on condition that leave may be taken only one of the parents and without interruption or with segments.
Any leaves apart from the above like pandemic; can be given to the employees with the employer's decision.
Based on that an absence leave can be given to the employees up to 10 days. For the cases that requires more than 10 days, the other methods listed above should be chosen.
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.