Employee and Employer Reflections on Ban of Work Termination

Ban of work termination is one of the government measures taken in order to fight against the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Another measure, the short work allowance, has also been re-evaluated and the criteria to qualify for the short work allowance have been eased. 

For workplaces where work has been completely or partially ceased but short term work has not been applied, employees could benefit from cash wage support during the mandatory unpaid leave period.

Ban of Work Termination from an Employee’s Perspective and Notification and Severance Pay

While the ban of work termination prohibits the employer to end the employment contract, it is possible for employees to end their contracts on certain conditions.

Whether the insured workers are covered by the prohibition of termination will vary depending on the conditions of termination and the corresponding dismissal codes.

Example 1:

“(-2) Termination of probationary contract by the employee” and “(-3) Termination of indefinite term employment contract by the worker” are outside the scope of the termination ban. The reasons for these two layoffs do not allow workers to benefit from rights such as notice and severance pays.

On the other hand, there are reasons for dismissal for which workers are given certain rights such as notice and/or severance pay, according to the Labor Law, and such termination cases are excluded from the scope of termination prohibition.

Example 2:

“(-8) Termination due to retirement (old age) or lump sum payment” and “(-12) Military service” and “(-13) Marriage of a female worker” and “(-14) Completion of other conditions for retirement other than age” (partial retirement), terminations made by workers are excluded from the scope of the termination prohibition. In such termination cases, workers will be granted rights borne from the Turkish Labor Law. 

Ban of Work Termination from an Employer’s Perspective

Before evaluating the termination ban from an employer’s perspective, it is important to note that all provisional practices to fight the socio-economic effects of the pandemic tend to be in favor of both the employees and the employers.  

During the pandemic, putting an employee on unpaid leave without the employee’s written consent is a right granted to the employers who in return will continue employing the same employees without laying them off due to insufficient work or cash flows.

The most dissuasive penalty imposed on the employers in the termination prohibition was the imposition of an administrative fine (2 thousand 943 TL) in the amount of the current gross minimum wage for each employee whose contract was terminated by the employer or employer’s representative who did not comply with the prohibition.

In the 5-month period under the termination ban, there have been two situations where the employers requested to be excluded from the ban. 

These are the termination cases stated as “(01-) termination of probation term employment contract by the employer” and “(-22) Other reasons”. Specifically for all the dismissals that do not arise from the labor law (Obligations Law for the rescission), the Social Security Institution is notified with the code “(-22) Other reasons” after reaching a rescission between the employee and the employer. 

The two exit codes listed above must be exempted from the termination prohibition by the authorized institutions.  The most common practice in the business world  is terminating by rescission, which nowadays necessitates a new exit code. 

In case of the following reasons of dismissal, a minimum wage administrative fine will be imposed on employers for each employee dismissed. 

4- Termination of indefinite term employment contract by the employer without stating a just cause
15- Collective dismissal
26- Termination by the decision of the disciplinary board
27- Termination by the employer due to mandatory reasons and detention
28- Termination by the employer for health reasons
31- Termination outside of its own will and fault within the scope of the Law of Obligations, Law with Trade Union, Strike and Lockout Law
34- Transfer of the workplace, termination due to the change of the job or the nature of the workplace etc. All the above mentioned terminations are considered within the scope of termination prohibition.

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