Last updated on: February 28th, 2022
The Labour Law in Turkey is regulated mainly by the Labour Act No. 4857 of 22 May 2003. The Act governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, rest periods, wages, etc. The other acts that govern employment relationships are Trade Union Law and the Constitution.
Hours & Pay Regulations
Employees who have completed 1 year of service with the same employer, including the probation period, shall be allowed to take annual leave with pay.
In the computation of the length of service required to qualify for annual leave with pay, the total period during which the employee has been employed in one or more establishments belonging to the same employer shall be taken into consideration. Also, any length of time spent by an employee in an establishment plus any length of time previously spent by the same employee in an establishment belonging to the same employer but not covered by this Act shall also be considered.
Accordingly, the minimum holiday entitlement must not be any shorter than:
- 14 days for employees with a term of service between 1 – 5 years (including the 5th year of service;
- 20 days for employees with a term of service between 5 – 15 years; and
- 26 days for employees with 15 or more years of service (15th year included)
In case of employees below the age of 18 and above the age of 50, the length of annual leave with pay must not be less than 20 days. Also, the length of annual leave with pay may be increased by employment contracts and collective agreements.
Such entitled holidays are extended by 4 days if the employee performs underground work. The employer must keep a roster showing the paid annual leaves of the employees working in his workplace.
The employee shall use his annual leave with pay computed for each year of service within the following year of employment. Unworked periods are treated as part of the one-year requirement to qualify for annual leave with pay. National holidays, weekly rest days, and public holidays which coincide with the duration of annual leave may not be included in the annual leave period.
In determining the right to annual leave with pay the periods shown below shall be treated as having been worked –
- Days on which the employee fails to report to work owing to an accident or illness
- Days on which the female employee is not permitted to work before and after her delivery.
- Days on which the employee is unable to report to work through having been called up for military exercises or for the performance of a statutory obligation, other than compulsory military service, (up to a maximum of 90 days in a year);
- 15 days of any period during which the employee has not worked because of the temporary but interrupted suspension of operations for longer than one week owing to force majeure, on condition that he has subsequently resumed work;
- Periods reckoned as having been worked, for instance, travel time, standby time, the time required for employees employed in mines, stone quarries, or any other underground, the time necessary for the normal and regular transportation, maintenance, repair, and alteration of railways, roads, and bridges to and from a workplace at a distance from their place of residence.
- Weekly rest days and national and public holidays;
- Half-days of leave granted in addition to Sundays to employees working in radiological clinics
- Days on which the employee is unable to report for work because of having to attend meetings of mediation and arbitration boards or dealing with labor matters;
- Up to 3 days’ leave on the occasion of the employee’s marriage
- Up to 2 days’ leave on the occasion of his parent’s, spouse’s, sister’s or brother’s or child’s death;
- Other leave granted by the employer;
- Annual leave with pay granted to the employee.
Annual leave may be divided, by mutual consent, into three parts at the maximum, provided that one of the parts shall not be less than 10 days. Other kinds of leave, with or without pay, granted by the employer during the year or taken by the employee or sick leave must not be deducted from annual leave.
If the employee requests, the employer must grant him up to 4 days’ leave without pay in order to make good his round-trip travel time, on condition that he provides documentary evidence that he is spending his annual leave at a place other than that where the workplace is located.
Pay – An employee is entitled to full wage in the course of annual leave. Wages for weekly rest days, national and public holidays which coincide with annual leave shall be paid in addition to the annual leave pay.
Annual Leave Upon Termination
Any annual leave remuneration due to but not yet drawn by an employee must be paid to him or to other persons entitled on his behalf, upon the termination of his employment contract for any reason, at the wage rate prevailing on the date of termination. Article 53-55, 57-59 of the Turkish Labour Code.
Effective January 1, 2022, the national minimum wage in Turkey is 4,253.40 Turkish Lira per month.
The minimum wage stated above may not be up to date and is subject to change. Kindly see this link for the current rates.
All employees are entitled to a maximum of 1 week of paid sick leave. Sick leave might be extended. Extended sick leave is granted on an unpaid basis. In the case of sick leave that extends more than 6 weeks beyond the notice periods, an employment contract may be terminated without notice. Article 46(c) of the Turkish Labour Code.
Female employees shall be entitled to a total period of 16 weeks of paid leave, 8 weeks before delivery, and 8 weeks after delivery. In case of multiple pregnancies, an extra 2 week period shall be added to the 8 weeks before delivery during which female employees must not work. A female employee whose health condition is suitable as approved by a physician’s certificate may work at the workplace if she so wishes up until the 3 weeks before delivery. In this case, the time during which she has worked shall be added to the time period allowed to her after delivery.
In the case the female employee dies during or after childbirth, the unused maternity leave will now be granted to the father. A female employee may, following the end of the paid maternity leave, take unpaid leave for up to half of her weekly working hours at the following terms upon their request –
- 60 days for the first birth
- 120 days for the second birth
- 180 days for the third or more births
30 days will be added to the above-mentioned periods in case of multiple births and the period will be 360 days in case the child is disabled. Provisions as to breastfeeding leave cannot be applied within such periods. If a female employee wants to use her unpaid leave right within the above mentioned periods, a part-time working monthly allowance will be granted to such female employee by the Unemployment Fund provided that the following conditions are fulfilled –
- the female employee shall apply to the Turkish Employment Organization within 30 days after the end of her maternity leave
- 600 days Unemployment Insurance premium shall have been paid before childbirth in the name of the female employee,
- the female employee shall be working for at least half of the weekly working hours.
The Part-Time Working allowance term will be half of the weekly working hours (22.5 hours) regulated by-laws; the daily wage will be gross daily minimum wage.
The female employee shall be granted leave with pay for periodic examinations during her pregnancy. If deemed necessary in the physician’s report, the pregnant employee may be assigned to lighter duties. In this case, no reduction shall be made in her wage. At the request of the female employee, she shall be granted an unpaid leave of up to 6 months after the expiry of the 16 weeks, or in the case of multiple pregnancies, after the expiry of the 18 weeks. This period shall not be considered in determining the employee’s one year of service for entitlement to annual leave with pay.
Female employees shall be entitled to a total of 1.5 hours of paid nursing leave in order to enable them to feed their children below the age of one. The employee shall decide herself at what times and in how many installments she will use this leave. Article 74 of the Turkish Labour Code, Amendment Law- Official Gazette number 29620.
Employees who are adoptive parents, adopting a child under 3 years of age may use the paid maternity leave for 8 months as of the date on which the child has been adopted. The person adopting a child who is under 3 years of age, individually or together with its spouse, may request to work part-time as of the date on which the child has been adopted.
Female or male employees adopting a child under 3 years of age- may use unpaid leave right which amounts to half of the weekly working hours upon their request. They may also take part-time working allowance within this period as provided under maternity leave.
Also, an employee adopting a child under 3 years of age individually or together with its spouse may benefit from unpaid leave up to 6 months as of the date on which the child has been adopted. Amendment Law- Official Gazette number 29620.
An employee whose wife has given birth will be granted 5 days paid paternity leave and, in the case of adoption, employees will be granted 3 days paid leave. Additional Article 2 of the Turkish Labour Code.
The employee who has been employed for a minimum of 1 year will be entitled to unpaid military leave. If an employee is recalled to military services or to perform statutory labor service, his employment contract shall be deemed to have terminated after 2 months have ended from the date of his departure.
Employees who have been employed for more than 1 year are allowed 2 additional days for each year of service, provided that the total period of absence must not exceed 90 days. Article 31 of the Turkish Labour Code.
An employee shall be entitled to 3 days of paid leave for marriage. Article 46 of the Turkish Labour Code.
Employees shall be entitled to 3 days of paid leave in the event of the death of the employee’s mother, father, spouse, brother or sister, and child. Article 46 of the Turkish Labour Code.
All employees are entitled to use no less than 2 hours of paid time off within working hours to seek a new job during their notice period. Job-seeking hours may be merged and can be used at one go. If the employee works during the job-seeking hours, the employer should compensate the job-seeking hours with twice the amount of salary in addition to the employee’s normal salary.
Article 27 of the Turkish Labour Code.