Legal News

Is Half Day Paid Leave Possible?

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Yes it is possible to take half day paid leave; there is no arrangement in laws and regulations against it.

According to latest amendment the leave periods may be divided by mutual consent, provided that one of the parts shall not be less than ten days. That means there will be no limitation as to the number of segments by which the leave can be used; employees will be allowed for more flexible use of their annual leave i.e. 10+1+2+1+1. That’s very handy to fill in the gaps between weekends and national holidays as seen in the above example.

Half day paid leave is usually needed before some general holidays.

Turkey has two long national/religious holidays, Ramadan Feast (3 and a half days) and Sacrifice Feast (4 and a half days). In most cases public sector employees are given administrative leaves in the half days between the weekends and mentioned Feasts and extend their off days. However, private sector employees haven't got this chance; and only way to combine the weekends and national holidays is to take their half annual leave in the days between the weekends and mentioned Feasts. It is also valid for 29 October Republic Day, which is 1 and a half day.

It should not be forgotten that employer’s consent is necessary for taking half day paid leave

Work during Feast of Sacrifice and Holiday Benefits

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Working on national days and public holidays is arranged in article 44 of Law No. 4857. Working on such days is determined by employment contracts and collective agreements. In case there are no provisions in the contracts or/and collective agreements, employees’ consent is necessary for working on national days and public holidays.


It should be bear in mind that the child workers and young employees cannot be worked on national days and public holidays.

  • Child workers are the ones who have completed the age of 14 but below age of 15.
  • Young employees are the ones who have not completed the full age of 18.


Holiday pay is arranged in article 47 of Labor Law No. 857.

  • In case the employees don’t work on national days and public holidays they will be paid a full day’s wage.
  • In case the employees work on national days and public holidays they will be paid an additional full day’s wage for each day worked.
  • In summary: double the full daily wage for employees working on holidays; and only the normal daily wage for employees not working.


In Turkey many companies provide some benefits in feast of Ramadan and Feast of Sacrifice; and tax and SSI premium treatment of these benefits depend on whether provided as cash or in kind.

  • The benefits that are provided in cash will be subject to tax and SSI premiums,
  • The benefits that are provided as in kind benefits (foodstuff, feast package, feast chocolate) are subject to tax bur not subjected to SSI premium.

FAQs about Paid Military Service Exemption

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As we informed you before, employees who were born on or before 1st January 1994, and pay 15.000,00 TRY will complete their military service in 21 days of basic military training.

Law No. 7146 that contains the provisions for paid military service exemption is issued in Official Journal; and uncertainties have arisen regarding termination and severance pay of employees benefiting from the provisions of the Law.

  • 1-Question: Can employees request severance pay due to resignation for paid military service?
  • 1-Answer: No! In normal conditions, according to article 14 of the Former Labor Law No. 1475 (still in effect), an employee who joins to army due to compulsory military service may end his employment contract and require severance pay. However, it is clearly stated in the above said law that employees benefiting from paid military service exemption will be granted unpaid leave during the service, and cannot require severance payment.
  • 2-Question: Can employer terminate the employment t contract of such employees?
  • 2-Answer: No! Employer cannot terminate the employer contract of the employees, who joining the army for shortened service. Otherwise employer will have to pay severance.
  • 3-Question: Will SSI premiums be paid for such employees?
  • 3-Answer: No! For employees in unpaid leave no SSSI premium is paid by employee or employer.
  • 4-Question: Is paid military service period added to the seniority of such employees?
  • 4-Answer: No! As no premium is paid for this period, 21 days of military service period is not included in the seniority of the employee.
  • 5-Question: Can employee serve his military service during his paid annual vacation?
  • 5-Answer: No! Paid annual vacation right of an employee cannot be waived.

Change in Condition of Unemployment Benefit

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One of the conditions for being eligible “dole” is “120 days’ premium prior to unemployment must be paid uninterruptedly”.

According to news in media this obligation will be removed, and unemployed persons can apply for unemployment benefit (dole) even if they didn’t work uninterruptedly 120 days prior to unemployment.  


Unemployment benefit, also called "Jobseekers Allowance" or "Dole," is an allowance granted to insured employees who lost their jobs against their will. In Turkey, it is simply referred as “unemployment salary” and paid to eligible workers in the scope of mandatory unemployment insurance in line with the Law on Unemployment Insurance No. 4447.


Legally employed foreigners are also subject to unemployment insurance premium in case they are working against wage under an employment contract, and are entitled to unemployment salary.


First of all, reason of leaving employment is very important. Employment contract should be terminated out of employee’s fault. Employees must lost their job against their own wish (not resigned without unjust cause) and without any fault on behalf of them.

Also the following conditions must be satisfied.

  • 120 days’ premium prior to unemployment must be paid uninterruptedly Non-paid days coincides the situations such as sickness, unpaid leave, disciplinary penalty, economic crises, natural disasters etc. are not considered as interruption.
  • 600 days of contributions must be paid in the preceding 3 years of employment.
  • Worker should apply within 30 days as of termination of employment contract to the nearest İŞKUR (Turkish Employment Agency) unit personally or online.


Unemployment salary is 40% of an employee’s daily average gross wage calculated on the basis of last 4 months’ salary prior to unemployment.

Amount of unemployment salary cannot be over 80% of monthly gross minimum wage


Benefiting periods depend on the worker’s number of contributions; and are as follows.

Employees who paid 600 days unemployment premium within 3 years prior to unemployment will benefit for 180 days (6 months),

Employees who paid 900 days unemployment premium within 3 years prior to unemployment will benefit for 240 days (8 months),

Employees who paid 1080 or more days unemployment premium within 3 years prior to unemployment will benefit for 300 days (10 months).


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shut-down.pngCollective vacation or annual shutdown, though not common in Turkey, is applied usually by manufacturing companies during certain seasons preferably in summer.

Employer may chose a total or partial shutdown, meaning some employees are sent to vacation while some others carrying on working for reasons of security, repair of and maintenance of machinery and equipment and so on.


Principals of Collective vacation are arranged in the “Regulation on Paid Annual Leave,” article 10-11.

  • Employer may schedule collective vacation for all or some of employees between starting of April and end of October every year. The schedule that contains the employees taking vacation, and the start and end dates should be announced beforehand.
  • In collective vacation or shutdown periods even the employees, who aren’t entitled for paid annual leave, may take their vacation.


Some of the employees continue to work in the establishment for the following purposes;

  • Security
  • Cleaning
  • Repair or maintenance of machinery and equipment.
  • These employees may take their vacations whenever they chose out of collective vacation period. ANNUAL VACATATION ENTITLEMET

All employees who have worked for at least one year including the trail period are entitled to annual vacation. Vacation periods are as follows:

Length of Service                     Minimum Vacation Period

1 to 5 years (included)              14 working days

5 to 15 years                            20 working days

15 years (included) or longer    26 working days

  • Paid annual leave may not be less than 20 days for employees under the age of 18 or over the age of 50.
  • Employees are also allowed to take up to 4 (four) days' leave without pay, on the condition that the employee provides documentary evidence that s/he is spending his/her annual leave at a place other than where the work place is located.
  • Employees engaged in seasonal or other occupations which, owing to their nature, last less than one year are not entitled to paid annual leave.
  • Periods during which the employee has been employed in one or more workplaces of the same employer shall be considered jointly.
  • An employee neither can waive his right of vacation nor can s/he engage in gainful employment during this period. Otherwise they may be asked by their employer to reimburse the annual leave remuneration paid in advance.


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Cash compensation or cash indemnity is a kind of additional payment made to employees dealing with or responsible for cash flow in pay-desk, cashier's office and so on. This payment is intended to compensate the cash deficit that may occur during such employees' transactions.

Paying cash compensation is not obligatory for the employers; however it is very common in practice, as a kind of insurance for above said employees.


It Is a controversial issue whether cash deposits can be deducted from employee's salary or not. In the light of Labor Law and ruling of Supreme Court's rulings this kind of deduction doesn't' seem possible.

Article 62 of Labor Law 4857 reads as follows "no deductions of any kind may be made from an employee’s wages on the grounds that the daily or weekly working hours applicable to any type of work have been reduced by law, or by reason of the fulfillment by the employer of any legal obligation or because of any mandatory obligation imposed on the employer by the provisions of this Act.


As per article 80 of Social Security and General Health Insurance Law No 5510, cash compensation is not subjected to SSI premium contribution.


Cash compensation is considered as wage and subject to income tax.

As per article 61 of Income Tax Law No. 193; “Wage is a benefit provided by cash in kind and cash, represented by cash, in return of services performed by employees registered and subject to an employer.

It does not change the true nature of wage by paying it under the names of indemnity, allowance, cash compensation (Financial Liability Indemnity), allocation, increment, advance, remuneration, attendance fee, premium, bonus, in return of an expense or determined by a particular percent of revenue provided not to have the attribute of a partnership.


As a rule qualified employee shall be paid a severance pay equal to last 30 days’ gross wages for each full year of employment.

In calculation of the last 30 days’ wage, the wage paid and the some contractual and statutory benefits in kind provided by employer shall be taken into account. Also periodical (annually, quarterly etc.) payments such as bonuses, cash compensation etc. will be added in monthly basis.


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Employees who benefit from paid military service exemption will be given unpaid leave.

Bag Law that contains provisions for paid military service passed through the Parliament on 25 July 2018. Turkish citizens who were born on or before 1 January 1994 are given the chance of completing their military service in 21 days by paying 15.000,00 TRY.


In Turkish Labor Law unpaid leave, apart from under some specific conditions, can only be taken by the consent of employer. Now the new Law makes it obligatory for the employers to grant this shortened military service period as an unpaid leave.

During the unpaid leave, no wage and SSI premium is paid for the non-worked day.


In normal conditions, according to article 14 of the Former Labor Law No. 1475 (still in effect),  an employee who joins to army due to compulsory military service may end his employment contract and require severance pay.

However, the above article will not be applied for shortened military service, and employee cannot require severance payment.


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Set-off process from the due debts of employer, regarding the retrospective benefiting from the incentives, will start as of July 2018 without waiting until 1st of 2019.

As we informed you before, the Bag Law No. 7103, issued in Official Gazette No. 30373, dated 27 March 2018, gives the opportunity to benefit from missed incentives retrospectively. We also informed you that calculated amount will be refunded within 3 years starting from 1st January 2019 (for the applications completed until 1st June 2018). Legal interest will be calculated for the refund amount as of above dates.

Now as per the new announcement from SSI, refunding process (by setting off from their current term SSI premium debts) will be started as of July 2017 term for the employers who completed their application until 1st June 2018), and prepared the additional-cancellation declaration.

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