Business in Turkey

What is Union Compensation?

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sendikaltazminatUnion compensation is a compensation paid to an employee whose employment contract is terminated due to union membership or participation in union activities. The amount of such payment must be determined by labor court, and cannot be less than the employee’s annual wage.

Union compensation is arranged in article 25 of Trade Unions and Collective Labor Agreements Law No. 6356, dated 18 December 2012.  Implementation of this provision undergone some changes in the past and took its final shape after the Supreme Court ruling in 2014. 

Calculation of Gross Wage in Severance Payment

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As is known qualified employees are paid a severance pay equal to last 30 days’ gross wage for each full year of employment.

An employee receives various types of payments and in kind benefits in addition to his base salary, so the term "gross wage" can be interpreted differently.

When it comes to the wage that will be a base for severance pay, all "vested employee benefits" should be taken into consideration.  Following payments must be included in the calculation of gross wage;

  • Gross base salary,
  • Contractual and statutory benefits in kind provided by employer such as meal allowance, transportation fee,
  • Periodical (annually, quarterly etc.) payments such as premium and bonuses ( that will be added in monthly basis),
  • In case the wage is determined as net in the employment contract, the net amount should be grossed up.

Can You Combine Annual Leave With National Holidays?

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In principle yes! But it is your employer who says the last word. This question became a FAQ in these days because of approaching national holidays.

First of all, national holidays, weekly rest days and public holidays which coincide with the duration of annual leave cannot be included in the annual leave period.  As an example, an employee starting his/her 7 days vacation on Monday should get back to work on next Tuesday (instead of next Monday), as the Sunday, being a weekly rest day, is not considered within the paid annual leave period and one day is added to vacation. Practice is likewise for the other official public holidays.

Obligation of Employing Victims on the Way

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In Turkey private sector establishments employing fifty or more employees are required to employ disabled persons not less than 3 % of their number of personnel. For employers who have more than one establishment within the boundaries of a province, the number that the employer must employ shall be computed according to the total number of employees.

Now, the Victim Rights Law Draft prepared by Ministry of Justice proposes that workplaces with fifty or more employees are to employ victims of certain crimes up to 2% of their total number of personnel, in addition to above mentioned 3% disabled persons.

How Many off Days Can You Take Due to Illness?

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Every employee have the right to take the days off during an illness or injury provided that temporary disability to work is documented by a medical report. 

Employer cannot ask or force you to work during this period, and your being ill doesn't give employer a valid reason for termination of employment contract. However, there is a limit to take days off because of illness even it is based on medical report. Employer may terminate a long-term sick employee's contract by paying his/her severance pay.

Annual Vacation of Seamen in Turkey

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Principles and periods related to paid annual leave of seamen are arranged in article 40 of Maritime Labor Law No.854.

Who are seamen?

Captain, officer, sailor and other persons who are working in the ships with an employment contract are considered seamen.

For application of Maritime Law the ships should be bearing Turkish flag and sailing on the seas, lakes and rivers and weighing 100 gross tons.

Entitlement to annual vacation:

Seamen who have worked under same employer or in the same ship, based on one or more employment contract, at least six months within a calendar year will be entitled to annual leave.

Calendar year means 1st January to 31st December of the year.

Period of annual vacation:

Leave periods cannot be less than;

  • 15 days for the seamen whose length of service between six months and one year,
  • One month for the seamen whose length of service is one year or over.

How to use:

  • Vacation should be taken at the date approved by the employer,
  • Annual vacation right cannot be waived,
  • And cannot be converted into wage unless in case of termination of employment contract.
  • Due but not yet used vacation periods must be paid to seamen as wage. Gross salary should be taken as a base.
  • Seamen may require to take unpaid leave for travel up to seven days,
  • Seamen cannot be forced to use their annual leave in a foreign port or in other than a place where employment contract concluded,

One month vacation can be divided into two by mutual consent, provided that both parts should be used within the same year.

How to Calculate the Unused Vacation Pay

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Hesap MakinesiIn principle annual leave right cannot be waived and cannot be converted into wage unless the employment contract is terminated. So payment for unused vacations is possible only in case of termination of the contract.

Upon the termination the unused annual leave remuneration must be paid to employee or the persons entitled on his behalf at the wage rate valid on the date of termination.

Due but not yet used annual leave days are multiplied by the daily gross wage valid in termination date.

What is the result of absenteeism in Turkish Labor Law?

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You can be dismissed without receiving severance pay due to unexcused absence from work for certain periods.  

Employees may miss some work days for various reasons that may be excused or unexcused. As absenteeism affects the productivity of a company, employer has the right to terminate the employment contract with just cause.

As per Labor Law 4857, Article 25/II, the employer may break the contract, whether for a definite or indefinite period, before its expiry or without having to comply with the prescribed notice periods

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