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Employment Laws In Turkey

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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Turkey’s (now Türkiye) location at the Eurasian crossroad translates into significant economic and geopolitical influence. The country boasts a vibrant market with a young and skilled workforce, while tourism, manufacturing, and technology exhibit exciting opportunities.  

However, navigating a new market on your own can be overwhelming. To begin with, you must comply with the employment laws in Turkey, drawing from various sources with different levels of importance. 

Other labor laws of Turkey, like union regulations and safety standards, play important roles, too. Judicial rulings and international agreements add further layers. Finally, employment contracts, company policies, and even unwritten workplace practices contribute to the intricate picture.

To help you navigate the employment laws in Turkey, here’s a thorough outlook on them and how an EOR can assist.

Contractual Agreements

All contractual agreements for employment in Turkey must maintain a fair balance between employer obligations and employee rights. Let’s discuss it further. 

Types of Employment Contracts in Turkey

  • You may draft an employment agreement in Turkey for a fixed or indefinite term. However, you can renew a fixed-term contract only once with a valid reason justifying the extension.
  • Contract employment law in Turkey allows you to draft
    • Part-time contract: Stipulates reduced working hours compared to full-time.
    • Telework contract: Allows remote work and outsourcing to independent contractors or freelancers. You may have to pass on the same employment benefits as a full-time employee.
  • Alternatively, you may put new employees under probation for two months, extendable up to four months. During this period, the employment laws of Turkey allow you to hire and fire without any obligation.

Obligations and rights for both parties

  • The labor law in Turkey explicitly mandates you to extend timely salary payments in cash and not in kind. 
  • You must have obtained prior written consent for overtime in the agreement. Moreover, you shall not deny the employees’ right to claim overtime compensation.  
  • You must honor the employees’ right to parental leave. 
  • Also, the employment laws in Turkey mandate that you not terminate whistleblowers without a valid cause. 

You may sign a Data Processing Agreement to comply with the privacy regulations involving employee data throughout employment.

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Working Hours and Overtime

The employment law in Turkey regulates working hours and overtime as follows: 

Regular working hours

  • On average, you may ask employees to work up to 45 hours, preferably from Monday to Friday.  
  • You can calculate the average weekly working hours over two months. It is extendable up to four months by collective bargaining agreements.
  • The daily working hours can not exceed 11 hours, including overtime. 

Overtime regulations and compensation

  • The labor law in Turkey allows work beyond regular hours but not exceeding a maximum of 270 hours per year.
  • You may compensate employees for overtime as follows:
    • It is 1.5 times the regular hourly wage for each extra hour on normal work days.
    • Two times the regular hourly wage on weekends.
  • Turkey labor law also allows you to extend free time instead of overtime compensation.
  • You may offer free time at a rate of 1.5 hours for each overtime hour worked. Further, you may ensure employees avail of this free time within the regular working hours in the following six months.
  • For manager or supervisor positions, you can mutually agree to include up to 270 hours of overtime per year in their overall salary.

Minimum Wage and Compensation

The labor laws of Turkey prescribe a minimum wage for full-time or remote employees

The minimum wage rate in 2024

  • The updated net minimum wage rate for 2024 is 11,402 Turkish Lira monthly.  
  • Typically, the minimum wage in Turkey is revised once a year. 

Factors affecting wage determination

  • You may negotiate a net salary, but it must be above the statutory minimum wage.
  • The labor law in Turkey also requires you to consider bonuses, social benefits, paid leaves, equal pay principles, or other perks (more on these later) while determining employee salaries. 
  • You may calculate salaries in Turkish Lira yet pay in any foreign currency, typically on the third of every month.   

Here are some more effective ways to pay your remote employees in Turkey.

Employee Benefits and Social Security

You shall not weaken the following basic protection and benefits under the employment laws in Turkey through any negotiated agreements. 

Statutory benefits

  • You must ensure
    • Net Salary (meeting minimum wage)
    • Social security contributions (healthcare, unemployment, retirement)
    • Paid leave (annual, sick, public holidays)
    • Health insurance coverage
    • Weekends off
    • Overtime pay for extra hours
    • Paid maternity leave
    • Paternity leave (specific conditions apply)

Additional perks and benefits

  • You may provide additional voluntary benefits like private health insurance, child adoption leave, and other incentives to boost employee morale.
  • Turkey labor law encourages you to carry forward unused leaves to the following year.  

Social security contributions and requirements

  • You must officially register employees with the Social Security Institution (SGK) from the first day of employment. 
  • Further, you must automatically deduct employee shares from their net salary and pay additional contributions on top of it as follows: 
Social Scheme Employer Contribution (%) of Net Salary Employee Contribution (%) of Net Salary
Short-term risk N/A 2
Disability, penalty, and death risk 9 11
General health insurance 5 7.5
Unemployment insurance 1 2
Total liability 15 22.5

Vacations and Paid Time Off

Here are the mandatory paid and unpaid leave provisions under the Turkey labor law:

Annual leave entitlement

  • You may vary annual paid vacations based on the duration of employment:
    • One to five years: 14 days
    • Five to 14 years: 20 days
    • 15 years and more: 26 days
  • You may extend 20 days of paid annual leave to employees below 18 and above 50, regardless of employment duration.

Public holidays and special leaves

  • You must grant public holidays for the following 15.5 days in addition to annual leave entitlements:
    • January: New Year
    • April: Feast Of Ramadan (3 days)
    • May: Labor And Solidarity Day, Commemoration of ATATÜRK, Youth and Sports Day
    • June: Feast of Sacrifice or Eid al-Adha (4.5 days)
    • July: Democracy And National Unity Day
    • August: Victory Day
    • October: Republic Day
  • Further, you must grant the following Monday of any public holiday falling on Sunday as non-working.
  • The employment laws in Turkey call for special leave entitlements, including:
    • Maternity leave: You must provide 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, at least three weeks before and the remaining weeks after birth. You may extend maternity leave to 18 weeks in case of multiple/complicated pregnancies.
    • Paternity leave: You may grant five days of paid leave to eligible male employees regarding childbirth.
    • Parental leave: You may entertain employee requests for part-time work until their child enters primary school.
    • Disabled Child Leave: You may allow 10 days per year of paid time off for one parent to care for a child with documented 70% disability or chronic illness.
    • Sick leave: You must allow employees to take paid time off for documented illnesses or injuries based on a doctor's recommendation. You may offer a regular salary for the first two days of sick leave.
    • Military leave: You must grant 90 days of paid leave per year for military exercises or statutory obligations.
    • Other leaves: You must allow three days of paid leave for marriage or bereavement.

Termination and Severance

The employment laws in Turkey prioritize employee rights when it comes to terminations. Let’s discuss your available legal options for employee terminations in Turkey. 

Grounds for termination

  • You can terminate the contract as follows:
    • Without cause: Termination without a specific reason, but you must provide severance pay.
    • For just cause: Serious reasons like theft, violence, fraud, or violating the employment contract.
    • Collective dismissal: For terminating multiple employees due to economic reasons or company restructuring.
  • You require a proven valid cause like performance issues or employee misconduct to terminate employees under a permanent contract.
  • The labor law in Turkey explicitly allows employers to terminate the employment contract with severance pay if the illness/injury lasts longer than six weeks beyond the doctor's recommendation.
  • Further, you may terminate the contract after three consecutive or five workdays within a month of absence due to disability.

Notice period and severance pay

  • For terminations with a valid cause, you must give a written termination notice stating the reason and respecting notice periods per the tenure of employment:
    • Less than six months: two weeks' notice period
    • Six months to one and a half years: four weeks' notice period
    • One and half years to three years: six weeks' notice period
    • More than three years: eight weeks' notice period
  • You must provide severance pay for employees who have served you for over one year and are not dismissed due to misconduct or self-resignation.
  • The employment laws in Turkey prescribe the calculation for severance based on the last monthly salary and the number of years of employee service.
  • However, the statutory limit on severance payment is 35.058.58 Turkish Lira (gross) until 30 June 2024. The next revision will be on 1 July 2024.

Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

The Constitution and multiple employment laws in Turkey mandate equal treatment for all employees. 

Prohibitions against workplace discrimination

  • The labor laws of Turkey mandate zero tolerance for workplace discrimination based on sex, race, disability, and religion.
  • You are legally obligated to protect employees from any discrimination or harassment. 
  • Human Rights and Equality Institution Law further prohibits discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, marital status, health, and age, with some exceptions.
  • Employers must ensure same or equal-value work is not subject to lower wages solely based on gender.

The list of protected characteristics may not be exhaustive, so you should partner with a reputed Employer-Of-Record (EOR) in Turkey.

Health and Safety Regulations

Turkey labor law categorizes workplaces as high, medium, or low-risk based on potential hazards and employee count. 

This determines the required safety measures to be implemented by employers, such as dedicated safety experts, workplace doctors, and on-site medical personnel. Regular training, documentation, and reporting may vary with the hazard category of the workplace.

Stay Compliant with Skuad

Compliance with employment laws in Turkey can be challenging, especially when aiming to build a global team. 

Here's where Skuad comes in with global EOR solutions so that you may save the additional cost of setting up a local entity to hire employees in Turkey.

You can partner with Skuad and simplify global hiring in over 160+ countries, including Turkey. We can help you onboard new employees without worrying about legal intricacies. We handle payroll taxes, local salary payments, and social security contributions per local laws and regulations. 

Book your demo today and experience the difference in global HR & payroll compliance with Skuad.

FAQs

Q1. Which law regulates working life in Turkey?

A1. While employment laws in Turkey play a central role, working life isn't controlled by a single law. Instead, it's a complex system with several sources like the constitution, the Turkish Code of Obligations, unions, safety, court systems, individual contracts, company rules, and more.

Q2. What are the working conditions in Turkey?

A2. Working conditions in Turkey may vary depending on the company size and type of employment contract. However, Turkey labor law prescribes a minimum of 14 days of annual leave, observes 15.5 days of public holidays, and regulates overtime work at a total of 11 hours a day and more. 

Q3. Does Turkey have labor laws?

A3. Yes, Turkey has a multi-layered labor law system. It regulates working conditions, minimum wage, paid leave, social security contributions, and other employer obligations at the workplace. 

Q4. What are the maximum working hours in Turkey?

A4. The laws prescribe an average working time of 45 hours, calculated over a reference period of two months. 

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EOR in 
Turkey
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
269
/month
(billed annually)
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Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

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limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Turkey
Monthly
$
299
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
269
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

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