Rights of an Employer after Military Return

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Military service is mandatory for young males in Turkey with some exceptions; and many youth people leave their civilian employment for a considerable period of time. Turkish Labor Law provides some provisions to prevent these people having lost their severance pay and the jobs they had to leave because of military service.  

Entitlement to Severance Pay Because of Leaving for Military Service

Employee will be entitled to severance pay when he left for mandatory military service, provided that the period of employment with the same employer is minimum 1 year. However no notice pay will be paid to them.

According to article 14 (still in effect) of Former Law no. 1475,

Employees are granted severance pay under certain conditions. Accordingly:
Provided that the period of employment with the same employer is minimum 1 year, and if the employment contract is terminated for the following reasons, severance pay will be granted to the employee as required by the period of employment;

  • By the Employer, for reasons outside of good faith and compliance with ethical conduct,
  • By the Employee, for reasons of health, good faith and violation of ethical conduct or cessation of business in the workplace,
  • For military service,
  • Upon qualifying for retirement or completion of the period of insurance and days covered by a premium required within the same scope,
  • When the female employee gets married,
  • Employee's death.”

Is an Employer Obliged to Reemploy his Personnel Returned From Military Service?

An employee who left his job to carry out any military or statutory duties has the right to return back to his previous employment, on condition that he applies for it within two months of the completion of such duties.

The employer must reemploy him by giving priority over other applicants, when there is a vacancy equal or similar to their previous jobs, under the prevailing conditions;

If there is no vacancy, the employer must re-hire him to the first job which will become vacant.

In case the employer does not fulfill his obligation, despite the presence of required conditions, he will pay to ex-employee returned from military service a re-employment compensation equal to three-month’ wages.

Military return rights are arranged in Labor Law No. 4857, article 31 under the title of “Employment in Relation to Military and Statutory Duty”.

ARTICLE 31. - If an employee is recalled to military services to take part in maneuvers or for any other reasons, or if he leaves his employment to perform statutory labor service, his employment contract shall be deemed to have ended after two months have elapsed from the date of his departure.
To be entitled, the employee must have been employed for a minimum of one year.

Employees who have been employed for more than one year are allowed two additional days for each year of service, provided that the total period of absence must not exceed 90 days.

The employee is not entitled to wages within the period which must elapse in order for his employment contract to be deemed terminated, without prejudice to the provisions of special legislation on this matter. Even in cases where notice has been given by either party for any other reason based on law, the notice period for termination designated by law shall begin to be operative after the lapse of the time indicated. The provisions of this Article shall not apply if the employment contract is a fixed- term one and if it expires within the period indicated above.

If employees who leave their employment to carry out any military or statutory duties apply to their employer within two months of the completion of such duties, the employer shall re-hire them by giving priority over other applicants, when there is a vacancy equal or similar to their previous jobs, under the prevailing conditions; if there is no vacancy, the employer shall re-hire them to the first job which will become vacant. If the employer does not fulfill his obligation to conclude the employment contract despite the presence of the required conditions, he shall pay the ex-employee applying for re-employment compensation equal to three-month’ wages.” 

How to apply for Unemployment Benefits after Military Return?

  • Apply to the nearest İŞKUR with discharge certificate and copy of identity card within 30 days.
  • If you applied before your military service started, you should cease the unemployment salary you are receiving, when you are going to join military service by applying the nearest İŞKUR, otherwise the unemployment salary will be collected back with legal interest.

Annual Leave Right

When the personnel reemployed, total seniority of the personnel should be taken into account in the computation of the length of service required to qualify for annual leave.

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