Within the scope of combating the negative effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on business life, new measures have been enacted into law in Turkey.
The Law on the Amendment of the Law on the Reduction of the Effects of the New Coronary Infection (Covid-19) on Economic and Social Life ”, which has been discussed in the Turkish parliament for days, was published in the Official Gazette on 17.04.2020.
This omnibus law includes very important regulations such as prohibition of termination, unpaid leave, and government support, concerning workers and employers.
Change in Application of Short Term Work Allowance
Short term work allowance is a current government support that workplaces can benefit every time they meet the conditions. The workplaces applying for short-term work allowance to İŞKUR would get approved after the institution’s verification of eligibility. However, with this new law that has come into force, the statement of the employer will be sufficient for short term work allowance under Covid-19, and it will be approved without ISKUR’s verification of eligibility.
Prohibition of Work Termination by Employers
In order to significantly reduce the impact of the epidemic on employment, and to ensure workers’ job security, this omnibus law imposed a ban on work termination. The ban will apply to the work termination authority of employers.
As of April 17, employers will not be able to fire their workers for 3 months. The only exceptions to this are the causes regulated under the title of “II- Cases that do not comply with the rules of morality and good faith” in Article 25 of Article 25 of the Labor Law No. 4857, which regulates the causes for immediate termination. However, there is no obstacle for the worker to terminate the employment contract.
Change in Application of Unpaid Leave Changed
Based on the regulations introduced during the prohibition of termination period, unpaid leave will be under the authority of the employer. In other words, the employer can decide to give unpaid leave to the workers in his employ, at his own discretion, without even waiting for the worker’s consent.
Throughout this process, the worker will not be able to terminate his employment contract for the just cause, by showing the employer to put him on unpaid leave. Fines will be imposed on workers who are on unpaid leave and at the same time work elsewhere, and for employers who make their workers work although on unpaid leave.
- In case employees who benefit from cash support of unpaid leave are actually working, each worker is fined over minimum wage for each month they have received the support and have worked.
- Amounts paid to the employee who have unpaid leave during which he actually worked will be taken back from the employer with interest.
One of the frequently asked questions on unpaid leave are: Will the general health insurance premium debt be accrued to the workers during this time? How will workers benefit from hospital services?
During the wage support, the government will pay the general health insurance premiums of these workers. In other words, these employees will continue to benefit from health services, and no general health insurance debt will be accrued after the process.
New Wage Support for Workers
The most important support during the epidemic period has been the short-term work allowance, which is valid for workplaces that require short-time work.
Workplaces with the suitable conditions for the short-term work allowance had already made their applications.
Workers who have been insured for the last 60 days, with at least 450 days unemployment insurance premium within the last 3 years will receive short-term work allowance.
The verdict for workers who do not meet these conditions has been clarified with this law. The government will provide workers with daily wage support of 39.24 TL.
Workers who will receive wage support by law:
- Workers that employers put on unpaid leave,
- Workers who cannot benefit from the allowance because they do not meet the short-term work conditions,
- Workers who were laid off after 03.2020 and could not benefit from unemployment insurance
Workers with the above-mentioned criteria will receive 39.24 TL, daily fee support from the government. This amount is 1,177.20 TL per month.
The retirees who continue to work are exempted from wage support. Retired employees will not be able to benefit from neither short-term work allowance and unemployment benefit, nor daily 39.24 TL wage support.
Click here to access the original text of the law numbered 7244.