Legal News

Time in Lieu in Turkish Labor Law

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An employee may choose to take off (time in lieu) instead of receiving overcharged wages for the over-time or extra works he/she has performed.

As per article 63 of Labor Law No. 4857, standard weekly working time is maximum 45 hours. Working time for miners working underground is maximum 7.5 hours daily and 37.5 hours weekly.

Weekly working hours can be determined as less than 45 hours in the employment contracts or by the collective agreement.


Overtime is the work, which exceeds 45 hours a week, and remunerated in hourly basis with higher rates.

As per the Labor Law, No. 4587, Article 41, overtime work may be performed for purposes such as the country’s interest, the nature of the operation or the need to increase output.


  • The wage for each hour of overtime work is paid by raising the hourly rate of the regular working wage by fifty percent. In other words, wages for each hour of overtime should be remunerated at one and a half times the regular hourly rate.
  • Alternatively, employee may use, as time in lieu, one-hour and thirty minutes for each hour worked overtime.  


In cases where the weekly working time has been set by contract at less than forty-five hours, work hours up to forty-five hours weekly considered as works at extra hours. 


  • The wage for each extra hour is paid by raising the hourly rate of the regular working wage by twenty-five percent; in other words each extra hour shall be remunerated at one and a quarter times the regular hourly rate.
  • Alternatively employee may use one hour and fifteen minutes for each extra hour worked.


  • Employee should apply in writing before any overtime or extra worked hours are remunerated. If these hours were already paid as wage, employee cannot use time in lieu.
  • Employer is bound to accept the employee’s request of time in lieu.
  • On the other hand, employer cannot choose to allow for time in lieu instead of paying, if this is against employee’s wish.
  • In case the employment contract is terminated before the employee uses the gained time in lieu, he/she must be paid his/her overcharged wage.  

Reminder about Daylight Saving Time

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We would like to remind you that Turkey has already switched to permanent summer time last year, and the Daylight Saving Time (DTS) is the country’s non-changing standard time fixed on GMT +3.

However, many European countries, as well as some other countries of the world will set their clocks 1 hour forward on Sunday, March 31, 2019, and an extra 1 hour time difference will occur between Turkeys and these countries.

During European summer Turkey will be;

  • +2 hours ahead of England and Portugal,
  • +1 hours ahead of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland.
  • At the same time zone with Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, and Romania.

Departure and arrival times of foreign flights will also be affected. Passenger should check their flight times in websites of the related airlines long before they go to airport.


  • Turkey's time is Eastern European Time (EET).
  • Standard (and stable) Time zone will be UTC/GMT +3 hours.

FAQ about Notice Period

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Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive on notice period.


A notice is a written notification informing that employment contract will be terminated within the period determined by the Labor Law No. 4857.  

In the case of terminating an open-ended employment contract, a notice should be given by the terminating party (employer or employee) allowing the other party to make necessary arrangements; for employer to fill in the vacancy, for employee to start seeking new employment.


The minimum notice periods depend on the length of service as shown below:

  • Less than 6 months: 2 weeks
  • 6 month to 1.5 years: 4 weeks
  • 1,5 years to 3 years: 6 weeks
  • More than 3 years: 8 weeks


  • Notice periods can be substituted by payment in lieu. The employer may terminate the employment contract by paying in advance the wages corresponding to the term of notice. Employee may as well pay the notice payment for terminating the contract (by resignation).
  • In the presence of just cause, termination parties don’t have to observe notice periods.


Notice period is determined as weekly in the Law. It is calculated as calendar day, i.e. weekends and public/national holidays are included.  

In practice, notice is given at the end of the work days. In these cases the period starts in the following day.


Notice periods stated in the Law are the minimum periods. These periods can be extended by the employment contracts or collective bargaining but they cannot be reduced.


Employee, whose contract is terminated, must be allowed at least two hours job seeking leave within working hours during the notice period. Employee may use these hours combined, provided that he/she informs the employer before the termination date.

Job seeking permission is arranged in article 27 of Labor Law;

“During the term of notice the employer must grant the employee the permission to seek new employment within working hours without any deduction from his wage. The time devoted to this purpose should not be less than two hours daily and if the employee so requests such hours may be added together and taken at one time. But if the employee wishes to take these hours at one time, he must do so on the days immediately preceding the day on which his employment ceases and must inform the employer in advance.

If the employer makes the employee work during job seeking period, he must compensate the employee twice the amount of the wage.

Another important point is that taking the job seeking leave added together and at once doesn’t change the actual the leaving date in SSI.

For exampleend of notice pay is 20 April 2018 and employee used 3 days leave as total. He/she can cease to work on 17 April, however, the actual leaving date will be 20 May 2018 from the point of SSI.


No. In case of sickness report is provided during notice period, duration of the report is added to notice period.


In case an employee takes his/her annual leave during notice period, duration of annual leave will be added to notice period.

3 Months Additional Employment Support for Employers

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A new employment support for employers has been introduced by the Law No. 7662 "Amendment on the Social Services Law," issued in The Official Gazette dated 22 February 2019.


  • Support will be applied as an additional employment incentive like the former employment incentives.

  • Minimum number of employees notified between January – December 2018 will be taken as base,

  • and the support will be applied for the personnel, who are employed in addition to this minimum number between 1 February and 30 April 2019.

  • Employers, who want to benefit from the support must employ them at least for 9 months as of the date of employment.

  • In case of terminating the employment contracts for a valid reason, employer will continue to benefit from the support.


Premium paid days of the personnel employed in the scope of above said support will be multiplied by  67,36 TRY and the total amount will be set-off from employer’s premium debts, to be covered by the Unemployment Fund.


Between 1 February and 30 April 2019, 1 person is employed as an addition to last year’s minimum number of employees.

Employee’s salary is 2.558,40 TRY (minimum gross wage) and worked 30 days in the month.

Support amount will be: 30*67,36 = 2020,80 TRY.

As a result, total net amount to be paid to employee will be covered by the Unemployment Fund.

Employer will also continue to benefit from the incentive provided by Law No. 4447, Article 19, which means no SSI premium and withholding tax will be paid within between 1 February and 30 April 2019.

You can get access to detailed explanation of Law No. 4447, Article 19 through the below link:

A regulation is expected for further application details.

Occupational Health and Safety Administrative Fines 2019

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Administrative fines to be applied according to Occupational Health and Safety Law N. 6331 are increased by 23.73% in 2019, in accordance with the revaluation rate determined for the new-year. Amounts of the fines for the violations specified article 26 of said law are as follows.

Type of Violation Hazard Class Explanation
Less than 10 personnel. 10-49

50 and over


Not taking the necessary measures for the safety and health protection of employees, not providing information, instruction and training. Less hazardous 3.825 3.825 5.737 TRY/ For each violation
Hazardous 4.781 5.737 7.650
Very hazardous 5.737 7.650 11.475
Not overseeing and supervising whether the health and safety precautions in workplace are properly abided by Less hazardous. 3.825 3.825 5.737 TRY/ For each violation
Hazardous 4.781 5.737 7.650
Very hazardous 5.737 7.650 11.475
Not employing an occupational safety specialist Less hazardous 9.574 9.574 14.361 TRY
/For each specialist not employed (In case the violation continues same amount for each month)
Hazardous 11.967 14.361 19.148
Very hazardous 14.361 19.148 28.722
Not employing workplace doctor Less hazardous 9.574 9.574 14.361 TRY
/For each doctor not employed (In case the violation continues same amount for each month) )
Hazardous 11.967 14.361 19.148
Very hazardous 14.361 19.148 28.722
Not employing other health personnel. Less hazardous TRY
/For each personnel not employed (In case the violation continues same amount for each month)
Very hazardous 9.568 14.352
Not providing the means, space and time for the employed OHAS specialist and contracted firms Les hazardous 2.869 2.869 4.303 TRY / For each violation
Hazardous 3.586 4.303 5.738
Very hazardous 4.303 5.738 8.607
Not ensuring the coordination between OHAS personnel Less hazardous 2.869 2.869 4.303 TRY / For each violation
Hazardous 3.586 4.303 5.738
Very hazardous 4.303 5.738 8.607
Not implementing measures related to occupational health and safety and that are notified in writing by the OHAS persons or organizations providing services Less hazardous 1.911 1.911 2.866 TL / For each measures that are not implemented
Hazardous 2.388 2.866 3.822
Very hazardous 2.866 3.822 5.733

Restricting the authority of

occupational safety specialist and workplace doctor

Hazardous 3.586 4.303 5.738


Very hazardous 4.303 5.738 8.607
Less hazardous 2.869 2.869 4.303

Not notifying the accident within three work days as of the date of the accident, or within three work days after receiving the notification of an occupational disease from health care providers or occupational physicians


Less hazardous 3.825 3.825 5.737 TRY
Hazardous 4.781 5.737 7.650
Very hazardous 5.737 7.650 11.475
Not notifying the occupational accidents referred to health care providers to the Social Security Institution within ten days, and for authorized health care providers not notifying the Social Security Institution of the occupational diseases within ten days 3.825 TRY
In hazardous and very hazardous workplaces, not ensuring that workers receive health surveillance and medical report appropriate to the health and safety risks they incur at work 1.911 TRY / Per employee
Not providing OHAS training to the employees 774 TRY /  For each violation/per employee
Not complying with the Regulations related to occupational health and safety, stated in article 30 Less hazardous 1.911 1.911 2.866 TRY / For per violated provision.
Hazardous 2.388 2.866 3.822
Very hazardous 2.866 3.822 5.733

Durations and Deadlines of Work Permit Processes in Turkey

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Durations and deadlines in work permit process are very important for foreign workers and their employers. Missed deadlines may cause the concerned parties be liable for administrative fines and even lead to cancellation of work permit.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive on the work permit process.


  • Work permit can be granted for maximum one year on the first application provided that permit's duration is not exceeding the employment or service contract periods,
  • Foreigners serving under same employer will be given upmost two years extension on the first application and maximum three years for the ensuing applications,
  • In case the application lodged for employment under different employer (work permit transfer), only one year duration will be granted,
  • Foreigners holding long-term residence permits or minimum eight years of legal work permit may apply for permanent work permit,
  • Turquoise Card is given on condition that its first three years will be deemed as transition period. In case Turquoise Card is not canceled within transition period, the transition period reservation that put on in shall be removed upon foreigner's application and he/she shall be granted permanent Turquoise Card. This application must be lodged starting prior to hundred and eighty days of expiration date of transition period or in any case before the date of expire.


Applications for extension of work permit should be made within sixty days prior to the expiration of work permit, and in any case before the expiration of work permit. Applications for extension made after the date of expiration shall be rejected.


  • Work permit is given for a period of sixty days shorter than the validity period of the foreigner's passport or the documents that substitute passport,
  •  For the application inside Turkey a residence permit with the duration of six months and over is necessary. Work permit application can be made before the expiration date of residence


  • The employers of foreigners and holders of independent or permanent work permit are obliged to notify the Ministry; on the start and termination of work, and on the cases that requires cancellation of work permit within fifteen days.
  • The employers’ of foreigners should register and start the employee within thirty days as of the date work permit is received. Employers of foreigners, who do not fulfill their obligation of notification in due course of time, an administrative fine of 587.00 TRY will be applied for each foreigner.


Foreigner who is granted work permit upon his/her application abroad must come to Turkey within six months after the date of work permit's validity starts.


Work permit will be cancelled in case the foreigner stays uninterruptedly outside of Turkey exceeding six months of his/her temporary work permit duration, and exceeding one year of his/her permanent work permit or independent work permit duration for reasons other than force majeure such as health and compulsory public service.


Foreigners should leave the country within fifteen days after expiration date. As the newly issued work permit replaces the residance permit, foreigner who had obtained work permit by abroad application must leave the country within above stated period. Foreigners applied inside Turkey may have residence permit with longer duration than that of work permit. In this case duration of residence is taken as a base.


In case of rejection of work permit application or cancellation of the issued documents, those concerned may object to Ministry's decisions within thirty days following the notification of the decision, by filing an appeal to the Ministry. In case of refusal they may appeal to administrative court.


Duly made application will be assessed within thirty days on condition that information and documents are complete.


In case of missing information and document, assessment of application shall be postponed until such information and documents are submitted. The postponement period cannot exceed the thirty days, except the force majeure. Applications that are not completed during the postponement period shall be rejected.

2019 Minimum Wage Support Announced

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As is known, Turkey’s monthly gross minimum wage is increased from 2.029,50 to 2.558,40 with a monthly 26% wage hike (from net 1.603,12 to 2.020,91). The Turkish Government, as it has been the case for the last three years, decided to continue supporting employers in 2019, in an effort to reduce the increased employment cost.

The Provisional Article 78 is added to Law No 5510 by the Law No 7162/10 issued in the Official Gazette on 30 January 2019.

Minimum wage support will be applied in comparison with same month of the previous year. The support amount wil be set off from the employer’s Premium debts of the related month in SSI’s platform.

Employers will be receiving daily 3,36 TRY premium refund throughout 2019 for each worker whose wage (earnings subject to premium) was notified under daily gross 102,00 TRY (monthly gross 3.060,00 TRY) in 2018.

The daily base amount for unionized workplaces will be 203,00 TRY (monthly 6.090,00 TRY), and 271 TRY for underground mining companies.

Employers will benefit from the support for the total declared premium covered days of the insured, who are employed in the establishments registered (based on  Law No. 5510) within 2019.

You can see the daily earning basis and the daily support amount to be multiplied by Total Premium Covered Days in the table below.

Workplace   Average Number of Employees Daily Earning Base TRY Daily support Amount TRY (Amount to be multiplied by Total Premium Covered Days)
Non-Unionized Workplaces Below 500 102 5  
Non-Unionized Workplaces Over 500   102   3,36  
*Unionized Workplaces Below 500 203   5  
Unionized Workplaces Over 500 203   3,36   
Underground Mining Below 500 271 5  
Underground Mining   Over 500   271   3,36  

“A Unionized Workplace” is a workplace in which collective agreement provisions are applied.



Workplace declared 5 employees whose daily gross earnings were under 102,00 TRY in January 2018.

Monthly premium paid days: 5*30=150 days.

Daily support amount: 5 TRY (Because average number is below 500),

Total amount to be set off from the employer’s SSI premium debts in January 2019: 150*5=750 TRY.



Employers who;
do not submit their monthly premium and service documents and do not pay the premiums in time,
in the investigations and inspections performed by the officers authorized with audits and checks, are found not to have notified the employed personnel as insured or if the notified insured is not working virtually,
- did not pay the premium, administrative fine and delay penalty debts to Institution (SSI), cannot be benefiting from the above incentives
The amounts covered by Treasury will be collected back with delay fine and default interest from the establishments that are found to be dealing with fictitious transaction in order to benefit from incentives.

Latest Amendments on Private Pension System

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Private Pension System has been introduced by Law No. 6740 and entered into force as of 1st January 2017. Workplaces that are in the scope of the law, started to enter into contracts with pension companies and offer pension plans to the employees, on different dates, depending on the number of employees.

Gradual entering had been finalized as follows:

Workplace Number of Staff                              Gradual Entrance Date

1000 and over                                         1st January 2017

          250 (Inc.) to 999                                     1st April 2017

          100 to 249                                              1st July 2017

           50 to 99                                                1st January 2018

           10 to 49                                                1st July 2018

             5 to 9                                                  1st January 2019

Now with the new Amendment Regulation issued in the Official Gazette dated 27 December 2018, following provisions have come into force.


Turkish employees who are under 45 years of age and working against wage under a service contract (in the scope of Law No. 5510, articles 4/a, and 4/c) will be automatically enrolled in a pension plan.

  • New regulation stipulates that young employees under 18 years of age and child employees will be included in the private pension system.
  • New registered companies with at least 5 employees shall start deducting Private Pension contribution from the employees as of the first payment in the following year.
  • Companies, that were out of scope due to their number of employees were under 5, will start deducting Private Pension contribution from the employees as of the first payment in the following year in case their number of employees increased over 5.


As is known, participant employees may have the right of withdrawal from the system within two months.

Employees who withdrew from the system will be re-enrolled in three years. Re-enrolment will be for once only, and the procedure will be announced by the Ministry.


As it is stated above, gradual entering for companies with 5 and more employees has been finalized as of 1 January 2019.

Workplaces that missed entering private pension may join until 27 February 2019 without paying any fine.

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