In a letter titled "COVID-19 Measures at Workplaces" dated 17 September 2021 ("Letter") sent by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security ("Ministry") to the Presidency of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, the Ministry elaborates on the actions that employers may take against employees who do not comply with COVID-19 safety measures at the workplace.
What does the Letter say?
The Ministry, with its announcement published on 3 September 2021, stipulated that employees who have not been vaccinated must be separately informed by their employers and can be required to undergo PCR tests. In the Letter, the Ministry stated that it believes action can be taken against employees who did not get vaccinated or do not submit PCR tests despite being informed in writing, in accordance with the provisions of Labor Law No. 4857 regulating the termination of employment, payment of temporary incapacity allowance, compensatory work and remote working. That said, the Ministry emphasized that employers must consider the principle of using termination as a last resort and take utmost care to protect the jobs of the employees.
Employers will need to evaluate the actions to be taken against employees who do not comply with the COVID-19 safety measures at their workplaces on a case-by-case basis, and use termination only as a last resort.
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