One of the most affected groups during the epidemic is wage workers. On one hand, workplaces halted their functions, on the other hand, no one knows when the market will return to normal. It is only natural that workers fear being laid off. Although the ban on employer termination by the Law No. 7244 might be a solution to layoffs, unilateral unpaid leave (at employers’ discretion) has increased workers’ worries about loss of income. At this point, government wage support has been introduced, with ongoing debates on its insufficient amount.
During the period in which work termination is banned due to the pandemic, principles for the implementation of the wage support to be paid to the workers who are granted unpaid leave and those who are not entitled to unemployment benefits have been published.
Who Can Benefit From Unpaid Leave Support?
The unpaid leave support is arranged to cover many unemployed or unpaid people who cannot benefit from short work, have not received unemployment benefits, and have no other income.
People who will benefit from this government support:
- Those working in the company where the application for short work is applied and cannot benefit from the short term work allowance because they do not meet the conditions,
- Those who were laid off after 15 March and could not benefit from unemployment benefits despite submitting an application,
- Those who were laid off after 15 March but did not apply for unemployment benefits,
- Those who were put on unpaid leave by their employer after 17 April.
People who cannot benefit from this government support:
- Those who get old age pension from any social security institution,
- Those who continue to receive unemployment benefits,
- Those who benefit from short term work allowance,
- Those who left the job voluntarily,
- Those who are granted unpaid leave for reasons other than the pandemic and reported to the Authority accordingly.
Which Period Will the Support Cover? How Will the Amount be Calculated?
Wage support will be paid to workers for 3 months during the prohibition of work termination by employer. The start date for the support is 17 April 2020, the effective date of the omnibus Law No. 7244, and the end date is 17 July 2020. There is no support for unpaid leave granted to the worker before 17 April. In other words, the unpaid leave support will only be valid for 17 April to 17 July. If the termination prohibition period is extended with the authority of the President, the unpaid leave support period will also be extended. The President has the power to extend the termination prohibition up to 6 months.
The amount of support is 39.24 TL per day and will be paid to workers over 30 days. The 30-day gross amount of the wage support is 1,177.20 TL. Only stamp duty will be deducted from this amount. After the stamp duty has been deducted, the net amount to be deposited in the worker’s account will be 1,168.27 for one month.
For workers who will benefit from wage support due to their unpaid leave, if they work on some days and have been granted unpaid leave on some other days, they’ll only receive support for the days shown on the unpaid leave.
Will Employers also Notify the Institution for Workers Submitted for Unpaid Leave?
If the employer has workers on unpaid leave due to the epidemic, he must first report the unpaid leave days to the Authority as missing days during the month. Missing days of workers on unpaid leave will be reported through APHB and MuhSGK by selecting the reasons for “28-Pandemic Unpaid Leave (4857 Late. Article 10)” or “29-Pandemic Unpaid Leave (4857 Late. Article 10) and Other”).
Notifications on unpaid leave within the scope of wage support will be done online by the employer via https://uyg.sgk.gov.tr/IsverenSistemi until the 3rd day of the month following the unpaid leave. In the notification, the number of unpaid leave days, worker’s identification number (TC), IBAN number and mobile phone information will need to be reported.
For the workers who were not entitled to short-term work allowance that had been notified to the institution in APHB / MuhSGK with the code “18-Short Work Allowance”, it will be possible to update their notification with the reasons for the missing days until the end of the month with corresponding codes ( “28-Pandemic Unpaid Leave (4857 Late. Article 10) or 29-Pandemic Unpaid Leave (4857 Late. Article 10) And Other”) to be eligible for the unpaid leave.
Applications and updates regarding unpaid leave must be notified to the Authority by the end of the month following the date of the unpaid leave.
How will the Unemployed Benefit from Wage Support?
ISKUR grants wage support for the workers whose employment contract has been terminated after 15 March, and who have not been entitled to unemployment benefits without filing any submission.
Unemployed persons whose employment contracts have been terminated after 15 March, but have not applied for unemployment benefits, must apply for unemployment benefits on https://esube.iskur.gov.tr or via e-government.
Click here for more information in Turkish on ISKUR’s “Unemployment Act of 4447 to be made within the scope of Article 24 Temporary Cash Charges Related to Support Application of Principles and Procedures” effective as of 22 April 2020.