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Source and scope of regulations - 2019    

References
  • Labour Act [LA], No. 4857 of 22 May 2003.
    [Note that this Act was amended by several acts (No. 5838 2009, Act No. 5763 of 2008, Act No. 5754 of 2008, Act No. 5538 of 2006, Act No. 5378 of 2005, Act No. 4884 of 2003, see NATLEX).
    Date: 18 Feb 2009 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Law on Trade Unions and Collective Labour Agreements No.6356 (replacing Laws No. 2821 and No.2822)
    Date: 18 Oct 2012; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Code of Obligations of 19 December 2012
    Date: 20 Dec 2012 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Law on Labor Courts No. 7036
    Date: 25 Oct 2017
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): 30
Remarks:
  • The main size-based exclusion regarding termination of employment concerns establishments with less than 30 employees. In those establishments, employees are not covered by the job security provision, which means the employer's obligation to depend on a valid reason to terminate an employment contract does not apply (see Art. 18 LA)

    In addition, Art. 4 LA provides for specific exclusions from the scope of application of the LA related to the size of the undertakings. Are excluded:
    - establishments and enterprises employing a minimum of 50 employees (50 included) where agricultural and forestry work is carried out;
    - establishments employing three or fewer employees and falling within the definition given in Art. 2 of the Tradesmen and Small Handicrafts Act.

    Although the Labour Act stipulates that employers and employees are entitled to enter into any type of employment contract within the remits of the law, based on the requirements of their employment relationship, it does not stipulate all types of employment contract.

    The new Code of Obligations of 19 December 2012 regulates the contract of workers not covered by the Labour Act and therefore provides for two types of employment contract that are not set out under the Labour Law - namely, "home working agreements" and "marketing agreements". In addition, even if the employees of the establishments with less than 30 employees are not covered by the job security provision, the 2012 Code of Obligations provides that, in the case of marketing facilities agreements, if there is no written contract to determine the terms and termination of the contract, the authority of the marketing employee, the payment of salary and expenses and the applicable law and the competent courts, the provisions of law and customary employment conditions will apply to the employment relationship between the parties.

Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; agricultural workers; domestic workers; managerial / executive positions; seafarers; sportsmen; employer's family members; apprentices; flying personnel
Remarks:
  • *Art. 4 LA: The provisions of this Act shall not apply to the activities and employment relationships mentioned below:
    1. Sea and air transport activities,
    2. In establishments and enterprises employing a minimum of 50 employees (50 included) where agricultural and forestry work is carried out.
    3. Any construction work related to agriculture which falls within the scope of family economy,
    4. In works and handicrafts performed in the home without any outside help by members of the family or close relatives up to 3 rd degree (3 rd degree included),
    5. Domestic services,
    6. Apprentices, without prejudice to the provisions on occupational health and safety,
    7. Sportsmen,
    8. Those undergoing rehabilitation,
    9. Establishments employing three or fewer employees and falling within the definition given in Article 2 of the Tradesmen and Small Handicrafts Act,

    However, the following shall be subject to this Act;
    1. Loading and unloading operations to and from ships at ports and landing stages,
    2. All ground activities related to air transport,
    3. Agricultural crafts and activities in workshops and factories manufacturing implements, machinery and spare parts for use in agricultural operations,
    4. Construction work in agricultural establishments,
    5. Work performed in parks and gardens open to the public or subsidiary to any establishment,
    6. Work by seafood producers whose activities are not covered by the Maritime Labour Act and not deemed to be agricultural work.
    Most of these groups are covered by the Obligations Act, which does not provide job security.

    * In addition, are specifically excluded from the job security provisions (termination justified by a valid reason) the employer's representatives and his assistants authorized to managed the entire enterprise as well as the employers' representatives managing the entire establishment who are also authorized to recruit and terminate employees (art. 18 LA).

    *Civil servants and employees with an administrative employment contract are subject to specific rules of administrative law.

Types of employment contracts - 2019    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 2 month(s)

Remarks:
  • Art. 15 LA: The parties can agree on a probationary clause in the employment contract which shall not exceed 2 months. It can however be extended by collective agreement. During the probationary period, the parties are free to terminate the contract without observing the notice requirements.
    Note: Employees with less than 6 months' service are excluded from the job security provision which provides for protection against unjustified termination (Art. 18 LA - see below valid grounds).

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
    Remarks:
    • Art. 11 LA: A fixed-term contract shall be based on objective conditions like the completion of a certain work or the materialization of a certain event.
      An employment contract for a definite period must not be concluded more than once, except when there is an essential reason which may necessitate repeated (chain) contracts. Otherwise, the employment contract is deemed to have been made for an indefinite period from the very beginning. Chain contracts based on essential reasons shall maintain their status as contracts made for a definite period.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • No limitation provided that there is an essential reason for each renewal (art. 11 LA).
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • No limitation provided that there is an essential reason for each renewal (art. 11 LA).
  • % of workforce under FTC: 8.7 %
    Remarks:
    • Data for the first trimester 2010: Employees with a contract of limited duration (% of total number of employees)
      Source: Eurostat
      Those statistics are based on the following definition:
      "A job may be considered temporary if employer and employee agree that its end is determined by objective conditions such as a specific date, the completion of a task or the return of another employee who has been temporarily replaced (usually stated in a work contract of limited duration). Typical cases are: (a) persons with seasonal employment; (b) persons engaged by an agency or employment exchange and hired to a third party to perform a specific task (unless there is a written work contract of unlimited duration); (c) persons with specific training contracts".

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 19 LA.
    This requirement only applies if the following criteria are fulfilled:
    - the employee is engaged for an indefinite period, and
    - the employee has worked for at least 6 months, and
    - the employee works in an establishment with at least 30 employees.
    In addition, are also excluded from this requirement: the employer's representatives and his assistants authorized to manage the entire enterprise as well as the employer's representatives managing the entire establishment who are also authorized to recruit and terminate employees.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • * Art 18 LA (termination with a valid reason/ job security provision): There must be a valid reason for dismissal connected with the capacity or conduct of the employee or based on the operational requirements of the undertaking.

    This requirement only applies if the 3 following criteria are fulfilled:
    - the employee is engaged for an indefinite period, and
    - the employee has worked for at least 6 months, and
    - the employee works in an establishment with at least 30 employees.

    In addition, are also excluded from this protection: the employer's representatives and his assistants authorized to managed the entire enterprise as well as the employer' representatives managing the entire establishment who are also authorized to recruit and terminate employees.

    In case of such dismissal with just cause, the notice requirements shall be complied with.

    * Therefore, employers can dismiss employees falling outside the scope of application of article 18 LA (job security provision) without having to present a valid reason provided that the notice requirements are observed in accordance with art. 17 LA.
    However, the employer is not entirely free in dismissing those employees since in the event of abusive termination of his or her right to terminate, he or she shall be liable to pay compensation amounting to 3 times the wages for period of notice (= max. 24 weeks).

    * In addition, the LA allows the employer or the employee to immediately terminate an employment contract for a just cause whether for a defi­nite or indefinite period, before its expiry or without the prescribed notice periods. This is referred to in the law as the "the breaking of the employment contract".
    The law provides a list of reasons for breaking the contract for a just cause which are divided in three groups for the employee and four groups for the employer (Art. 24 and 25 LA), namely, reasons of health; immoral or dishonourable conduct or other similar behaviour and force majeure. There is also a fourth group for the employer which is the employee being under arrest or under custody.
    The employer is entitled to break the employment contract, whether for a defi­nite or indefinite period, before its expiry or without the prescribed notice periods in the above cases.


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; religion; political opinion; trade union membership and activities; language; birth
Remarks:
  • *According to Art. 18 LA (job security provision) the following, inter alia, shall not constitute a valid reason for termination:
    a) union membership or participation in union activities outside working hours or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours;
    b) acting or having acted in the capacity of, or seeking office as, a union representative;
    c) the filing of a complaint or participation in proceedings against an employer involving alleged violations of laws or regulations or recourse to competent administrative or judicial authorities;
    d) race, colour, sex, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, birth, religion, political opinion and similar reasons;
    e) absence from work during maternity leave when female workers must not be engaged in work, as foreseen in Article 74;
    f) temporary absence from work during the waiting period due to illness or accident foreseen in Article 25 of the Labor Act, subsection I (b).

    This provision only applies if the 3 following criteria are fulfilled:
    - the employee is engaged for an indefinite period, and
    - the employee has worked for at least 6 months, and
    - the employee works in an establishment with at least 30 employees.

    * The general provision on non discrimination (art. 5 LA) covers all the employees in the scope of the EA and prohibits discrimination in employment (including termination) based on language, race, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sex or similar reasons. Unless there are essential reasons for different treatment, the employer must not discriminate between a full-time and a part-time employee or an employee working under a contract concluded for a definite period and one working under a contract concluded for an indefinite period. In addition, except for biological reasons or reasons related to the nature of the job, the employer must not make any discrimination, either directly or indirectly, against an employee in the conclusion, conditions, execution and termination of his employment contract due to the employee's sex or maternity.

    * See also Art. 25 of Law No. 6356 on Trade Unions and Collective Labour Agreements (2012) concerning the prohibition of dismissals and of discrimination on the basis of trade union membership and activities.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
Remarks:
  • * Art. 24 of the 2012 Act No. 6356 on Trade Unions and Collective agreements:
    “ (1) An employer shall not terminate the employment contract of shop stewards unless there is a just cause for termination and he indicates this clearly and precisely. The shop steward or the trade union of which he is a member shall have the right to apply to the competent court within one month of the date when the notice of termination is communicated to him (...).
    (3) If the court decides that the trade union representative is to be reinstated in his employment, the termination shall be annulled and the employer shall pay his full wages and all other benefits between the termination and final decision date. On the condition that the trade union representative applies within six working days following the final decision of reinstatement, and in the event that he is not reinstated within six working days, his wage and other benefits shall continue to be paid by taking into account that his employment relation is still continuing. This provision shall likewise apply in the case of a new appointment as shop steward.
    (4) Unless there is a written consent of the shop steward, the employer shall not change the workplace of the shop steward or shall not make a drastic change in his work. Otherwise, the change shall be considered as void."

    * Prohibition to dismiss a women on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave (Art. 18 LA) and general prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of maternity (Art. 5 LA).


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2019    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Art. 19 LA provides that the notice of termination for employees, who are covered by the job security provision, shall be given by the employer in written form. Besides, the employer is obliged to specify the ground of termination clearly and definitely.
    [Art. 19 LA also requires the employer to allow an employee under a contract with an indefinite duration to defend himself against the allegations made against him or her in the event of dismissal for reasons related to the worker's conduct or performance].

    The notice form for the termination of employees excluded from the job security provisions is not specified.

    The 2012 Code of Obligations -that regulates the contract of workers not covered by the Labour Act- provides that, in relation to termination of employment related to the marketing facilities agreements, if the commission paid to the employee comprises at least one-fifth of the salary and the commission is influenced by seasonal fluctuations, the employer is entitled to terminate the employment contract as of the expiration of the former season with two months' notice prior to the start of the new season. At the same time, the employee is also entitled to terminate the contract with two months' notice before the start of the new season if he or she has worked until the end of the former season and also continued to work after the season. Nevertheless, the new Code of obligations doesn't provide any specific form of notification to the worker to be dismissed.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • Art. 17 LA:
    The notice period to be observed by the employer before terminating a contract of indefinite duration varies according to the employee's length of service, as follows:
    - 2 weeks if the employee has been employed for less than 6 months;
    - 4 weeks if the employee has been employed for at least 6 months but less that one-and-a-half years;
    - 6 weeks if the employee has been employed for at least one-and-a-half years but less than 3 years;
    - 8 weeks if the employee has been employed for more than 3 years.
    These are minimum periods and may be increased by contracts between the parties.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 2 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 4 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 6 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 8 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 8 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 8 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 8 week(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 11 LA.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • According Art. 9 of the Code of Social Insurance and Universal Health, the Presidency of the Social Security Institution shall be notified by the employer within maximum ten days after termination of the employment contract.
      Note: This notification obligation also applies to any recruitment.

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Notes / Remarks
    The notice requirements apply to both employees covered by the job security provisions (termination with a valid reason) and those not covered by such provisions (no justification required).
    As mentioned above, the job security provision applies to employees who fulfil all the following criteria:the employee is engaged for an indefinite period, and; the employee has worked for at least 6 months, and; the employee works in an establishment with at least 30 employees.
    When terminating a contract for a just cause ("breaking of the contract) for reasons related to health, misconduct, force majeure, arrest and custody, as listed in Art. 25, the employer does not have to observe any notice requirements.

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2019    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    Art. 29 LA: Within 1 month, terminations for reasons of an economic, technological or similar nature necessitated by the requirements of the enterprise affecting at least:
    - 10 employees in establishments with 20 to 100 employees;
    - 10% of employees in establishments with 101 to 300 employees;
    - 30 employees in establishments with 301 and more employees

    Remarks:
    • Art. 29 LA.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 29 LA.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 29 LA: written notification to the relevant regional directorate of labour and the Turkish Employment Organization at least 30 days prior to the intended collective dismissals. Information to be communicated include the reason for the contemplated lay-off, the number and groups to be affected as well as the length of time the procedure is likely to take.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 29 LA: written notification to the union representatives at least 30 days prior to the intended collective dismissals. Information to be communicated include the reason for the contemplated lay-off, as well as the length of time the procedure is likely to take.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): No

    Remarks:
    • No statutory selection criteria.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 29 LA: The union representatives shall be consulted on the measures to be taken to avert or to reduce the terminations as well as the measures to mitigate their adverse effects on the workers concerned.

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 29 LA: If the employer intends to employ employees for a work with the same qualifications within six months from the finalization of mass dismissal, he/she has to call back the laid-off workers whose qualifications are suitable, giving them priority over other applicants.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2019    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • The Labour Act of 2003 No. 4857 did not establish new rules on severance pay, except that transitional Article 6 foresees the creation of a Severance pay fund. This article also provides that Article 14 of the repealed Labour Act No 1475 will remain in force and the employees' entitlements to severance pay shall be protected until a new law is enacted. However, no law on the creation of a Severance pay fund has since been enacted.

      Under Art. 14 LA No. 1475, in the event of termination by the employer of the contract of employment of an employee with at least one year of service for reasons other than for malicious, immoral or dishonourable conduct or other similar behaviour; the employer must pay seniority severance pay equal to 30 days' wages for each complete year of service or in proportion for any fraction thereof, effective from the date of employment and for the entire duration of the contract.

      This means that an employee is entitled to severance pay if the employer terminates the employment contract with notice of both employees covered by and excluded from the job security provisions (Art. 17 LA), or without notice on account of the employee's health (Art. 25/I LA) or for force majeure.

      Severance pay is also due in the following circumstances:
      - if the event the contract is terminated by either party on account of compulsory military service; or for the purpose of qualifying for an old-age or disability insurance pension or a lump-sum payment from the legally established social security fund; or voluntary termination of the contract by a woman employee within one year from the date of her marriage
      - if the employee immediately terminate the contract for a just cause (for reasons of health, immoral or dishonourable conduct by the employer and force majeure).
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 60 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 120 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 150 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 300 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 600 day(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • No specific redundancy payment. The employee whose contract is terminated with notice for economic reasons will be entitled to severance pay.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 30 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 60 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 120 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 150 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 300 day(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 600 day(s)

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2019    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    - Termination not justified by a valid reason (employee falling within the scope of the job security provision (Art. 18 LA): reinstatement is the remedy, compensation shall be not less than 4 month's wages and not more than 8 month's wages if the employer does not respect the re-employment order and do not re-employ the dismissed employee (+ additional indemnity of up to 4 months for the period of time between notice of termination and the court ruling + severance pay);
    - Abusive termination (abuse of the right to terminate with notice employees not covered by the job security provision): 3 times the wages of the notice period(max. 24 weeks for workers with more than 3 years' seniority);
    - Discriminatory dismissal (violation of the general principle of equal treatment in terminating the employment relationship): compensation shall be up to 4 month's wages;
    - Termination due to trade union membership or participation in trade union's activities: see Art. 25 Law No. 6356 on Trade Unions and Collective Agreements.

    Remarks:
    • - Termination not justified by a valid reason: Art. 21 LA
      - Abusive termination: Art. 17 LA
      - Discriminatory dismissal: Art. 5 LA
      - Termination due to trade union membership or participation in trade union's activities: Art. 25 of Law No. 6356 on Trade Unions and Collective Agreements (2012).

      In addition in the event of illegal breaking of the contract (summary dismissal), employees covered by the job security provision are entitled to the same compensation as for termination not justified by a valid reasons (art. 25 LA) while employees excluded from the job security provision will not be entitled to reinstatement but only to compensation for the notice period not observed.

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 21 LA: If the court or the arbitrator concludes that termination is not justified by a valid reasons, the employer shall reinstate the employee. Reinstatement is only available (and mandatory) for employees covered by the job security provision. In practice, the employer has the right to choose between reinstatement and compensation. Accordingly, after the court’s decision on the invalidity of the termination, if the employer does not re-employ the worker within one month, the employer becomes liable to pay a compensation equal to minimum four and maximum eight months of wage to worker.

      Discriminatory dismissal can give right to reinstatement for employees covered by the job security provision. Art 18 LA clearly provides that the following issues shall not constitute a valid reason for termination namely: "race, color, sex, marital status,…and similar reasons”. Besides, according to the Law No 6356, dismissal based on trade union membership or activities do give right to reinstatement even if the worker is not covered by the job security provision of the LA. (Art 25 (5)).

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Remarks:

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Remarks:
    • Art. 20 LA: The employee who alleges that no reason was given for the termination of his employment contract or who considers that the reasons shown were not valid shall be entitled to lodge a complaint against that termination before the Labour Court within one month of receiving the notice of termination.
      See also the Labour Court Act (No. 5521 of 1950) which establishes jurisdiction of the labour courts over individual disputes arising from the individual employment contracts or any claims under the Labour Act.

    Existing arbitration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • According to Art. 20 LA which applies to employees covered by the job security provision, the parties can refer the dispute concerning unjustified termination to private arbitration if they so agree.

    Length of procedure:

    Remarks:
    • No specific period stipulated under the amended Art. 20 LA (amended by Law No. 7036 of 2017). It is just stipulated under Art 20 that the case shall be concluded promptly.

    Source of additional information - 2019    

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    Links

    ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations - Comments on the application of the Termination of Employment Convention, 1982, No. 158. »