Turkish Labor Law: A Guide to Employment and Minimum Wage in Turkey

If you’re planning to work in Turkey, understanding the Turkish Labor Law is crucial. The Turkish Labor Law governs the employment agreement and regulates the rights and obligations of employers and employees. It is also referred to as the Labour Code.

The Labor Law determines the notice period required for terminating an employment contract, along with the procedures for dispute resolution. Therefore, before signing an employment agreement, it’s important to read and understand the provisions of the law.

The law guarantees a minimum wage to employees, which is updated annually according to inflation rates and is set by the government. It is important to agree upon the terms and conditions of the employment contract, including normal working hours, overtime, and other benefits.

Some important points to note regarding Turkish labor law:

  • The minimum legal age for employment in Turkey is 15 years old.
  • The Labor Law requires employers to provide a work contract that states the terms and conditions of employment.
  • The notice period for terminating an employment contract is generally two weeks.
  • An employee is entitled to severance pay if the employer terminates their contract without just cause.
  • The Labor Law sets a maximum of 45 normal working hours per week.
  • Overtime work must be compensated at a rate higher than normal working hours.
  • The Labor Law provides paid annual leave, sick leave, and maternity leave to employees.
  • The minimum wage in Turkey is set by the government and is updated annually.
  • Discrimination based on gender, religion, and race is prohibited.
  • Dispute resolution procedures are available through the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Understanding the Turkish Labor Law is essential for a successful and fair employment experience in Turkey.

Want to run your business as smooth as possible? Use software:

The Historical Context of Labor Laws in Turkey

The constitution of Turkey forms the basis of labor laws in the country, governing the term of employment and other aspects. Under Turkish law, employers and employees can enter into an employment agreement that outlines their rights and obligations.

The concept of employment law in Turkey was first introduced during the Ottoman Empire, but significant changes occurred during the formation of the Republic in the 1920s.

The first comprehensive labor law in Turkey, known as the Turkish Labor Code, was enacted in 1945. Moreover, this code aimed to protect the rights of both employees and employers and establish a fair and balanced relationship between them.

The Turkish Labor Code reflects the principles of collective labor and emphasizes the importance of unions in protecting workers’ rights. Moreover, Turkish labor laws are designed to ensure the well-being of Turkish citizens in the workforce.

The Structure of Turkey’s Labor Laws

The constitution of Turkey forms the basis of labor laws in the country, governing the term of employment and other aspects. Under Turkish law, employers and employees can enter into an employment agreement that outlines their rights and obligations.

These laws are built upon the principle of freedom of contract, allowing employers and employees to enter into an agreement, called an employment agreement, which may be written or even oral. However, having a written agreement is recommended to avoid misunderstandings.

According to the Turkish law, certain provisions, like the duration of employment, working hours, and wages, must be included in the employment agreement. It’s noteworthy that employers and employees can terminate the agreement, but specific notice periods must be followed.

It is important for employers and employees to understand the structure of these laws to ensure compliance and protect their rights.

The Role of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security is responsible for formulating and implementing labor policies in Turkey. It works tirelessly to enforce labor laws, promote decent work opportunities, and safeguard social security benefits for workers.

With its dedicated team of experts, the ministry plays a key role in ensuring compliance with labor regulations and resolving labor disputes through its labor courts.

The ministry’s primary objective is to create an environment where workers can thrive and feel protected. Therefore, it constantly monitors the labor market, identifies potential issues, and takes proactive measures to address them. 

By collaborating with various stakeholders, such as employers’ associations and trade unions, the ministry strives to strike a balance between the interests of workers and employers, fostering a harmonious and productive work environment.

Key Labor Law Legislation

Several significant labor laws govern Turkey’s employment practices. The Labor Law, Trade Union Law, and Occupational Health and Safety Law are essential labor laws of Turkey.

The Labor Law is at the heart of Turkish labor law. The themes include job contracts, hours worked, annual leave, being fired, and getting paid for leaving a job. This extensive law protects workers’ rights and ensures fair and honest work practices.

Important is Turkey’s Occupational Health and Safety Law. It makes workers healthier and safer. Therefore, laws control safety at work, figuring out risks, and keeping accidents from happening. It spells out the hazardous-free workplace tasks of both employers and employees.

These government rules defend workers’ rights, maintain fair working conditions, and promote a healthy and safe workplace. Moreover, Turkey seeks a fair, transparent labor market with solid laws that boosts economic progress and social well-being.

turkey labor laws
Looking for the best EOR software? Check these out:

Key Provisions in Turkey’s Labor Laws

In Turkey’s labor laws, there are important provisions that protect the rights of workers and employers. Here are some key provisions to be aware of:

  • Employment contract may be written or oral, but a written agreement is recommended for clarity.
  • The average weekly working time is typically 45 hours, and any additional hours are considered overtime work.
  • For overtime work, the employer is obliged to pay extra compensation, usually at a higher rate than normal working hours.
  • Employees are entitled to annual paid leave, with the duration depending on their years of service.
  • Maternity leave is an important provision, providing protection and benefits to pregnant employees.
  • The law sets out specific guidelines for occupational health and safety, ensuring a safe working environment.
  • There are regulations regarding termination of employment, including notice periods and severance pay for eligible employees.

Understanding these key provisions helps employees and employers navigate the Turkish labor laws and ensure compliance with their rights and obligations.

The Enforcement of Labor Laws in Turkey

Ensuring the enforcement of labor laws is essential for the protection of Turkish nationals in the workforce. Moreover, Labor unions play a key role in advocating for workers’ rights and negotiating collective labor agreements.

These agreements help establish fair working conditions and normal working wages. Moreover, businesses operating in Turkey must comply with these laws to avoid legal consequences.

The Turkish government provides mechanisms for enforcement and dispute resolution to address any violations. Employers should be aware of their obligations and strive to create a safe and equitable working environment.

By upholding labor laws, Turkey promotes a fair and balanced employment sector.

Labor Courts and Dispute Resolution

To resolve labor issues fairly, Turkey has a system of specialist labor tribunals. Therefore, Cases involving labor-related matters, such as employment contracts, termination disputes, wage claims, and others, can be heard by these courts.

They play a crucial role in upholding workers’ rights and administering justice in the labor sphere.

Penalties for Violations of Labor Laws

To deter violations of labor laws, Turkey imposes penalties on employers who fail to comply with labor regulations. Moreover, these penalties can range from fines and monetary compensation for workers to potential criminal charges for severe violations. 

By imposing strict penalties, Turkey aims to create a deterrent effect and ensure compliance with labor laws.

Recent Changes and Future Trends in Turkey’s Labor Laws

As the Turkish Republic continues to grow, so do the developments in Turkish employment. Recent changes have been made to protect the rights and welfare of both employers and employees.

For instance, now an employer may provide an offer letter before a formal employment contract. On the other hand, an employer must provide a written contract within 2 months of starting employment.’

These changes aim to enhance the clarity and transparency of the employment relationship. Looking ahead, future trends in Turkey’s labor laws may focus on promoting more flexible work arrangements and addressing emerging challenges in the dynamic job market.

These changes and trends aim to create a balanced and more progressive labor environment in Turkey.

Labor Law Reforms in the 21st Century

To comply with international norms and improve working conditions, Therefore, Turkey has implemented many labor law amendments in the 21st century. These changes concerned minimum wage laws, temporary employment, and social security contributions.

They aim to enhance workers’ rights, improve working conditions, and promote social welfare.

The Impact of Globalization and EU Negotiations on Labor Laws

Globalization and the ongoing EU negotiations have significant implications for businesses in Turkey as well as the employees working in these companies. As Turkey becomes more integrated into the global economy, labor laws must adapt to meet new challenges and opportunities.

Workplace flexibility, outsourcing, and new skills can result from globalization. Therefore, as the country aligns its rules with EU standards to enable trade and investment, EU negotiations also shape labor laws.

These developments aim to create a more competitive and harmonized labor market, providing better protection and opportunities for the workforce in Turkey.

Want to run projects like a PRO?

Try the software below and save yourself LOTS of time!