The short-term working allowance period that applied to workplaces until 31 January 2021 has now been extended, under the same conditions, until 30 June 2021 with Presidential Decree No. 3910 published in the Official Gazette dated 23 April 2020 (see here available in Turkish).

Previously, the Turkish Employment Agency ("İŞKUR") Board of Directors declared COVID-19 "a force majeure arising from periodic situations caused by external effects" in order to reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on business life.

In this context, the regulations accepted in Unemployment Insurance Law until 30 June 2020, were subsequently extended to 31 July 2020, 31 August 2020, 31 October 2020, 31 December 2020, and 31 March 2021, respectively.

In line with previous decrees, the short-term working allowance, which ended on 31 March 2021, can be applied continuously for April, May, and June, as the new decree states that it will be valid from 01 April 2021. Workplaces that benefitted from the short-term working allowance until 31 March 2021 should contact the İŞKUR unit they are affiliated with to discuss extension procedures.

The wage support provided by the government to employees who are unilaterally on unpaid leave from their employer was increased from TRY 14.70 to TRY 39.24 on 13 January 2021. With Law No. 7316 published in the Official Gazette dated 22 April 2021 (see here available in Turkish), wage support has been increased to TRY 50.00 per day. Additionally, the payment of wage support is considered exempt from stamp tax and no deduction will be applied. TRY 50.00 will be paid for each day on wage support in and after April, and no deduction will be made for these payments.

Another innovation introduced to wage support is the expansion of its scope. In order for employees to benefit from wage support, they were required to have started work before 17 April 2020, but for those working in some sectors, this requirement has been changed to include those who started in March 2021 and before.

The termination ban imposed on employers and the right to unilateral unpaid leave for employees is extended until 30 June 2021 with Presidential Decree No. 3930 dated 29 April 2021.

In the event that there is no change to the legislation, the short-term working application, the termination ban, the right to unilateral unpaid leave and wage support will end on 30 June 2021.

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.