Employment law in Turkey for Turkish nationals and foreign nationals are the same. Additionally, some special provisions applied to the employment and residence permits of foreigners who want to work in Turkey. Under labor law, an employee is a person who holds a written employment contract to work under the power of an employer. An employee gets instructions from the employer regarding the work and is completely dependent on the employer for salary.
The need for a written employment contract
Whether you are a Turkish or foreign national, fixed-term employment contracts, on-call contracts, remote working contracts and some other kind of employment contracts must be in writing. The employment contracts i.e. permanent contracts can either be in written or oral form. If the employee has been hired under a permanent contract for 1 year, it is required to formalize the contract in writing if the contract was previously in oral form.
If there is no written employment contract, then as per the employment law in Turkey, the employer is required to provide a written document to the employee representing some specified terms & conditions (they can be general or based on the conditions of work) within 2 months of the beginning of the employment.
Though these statements are not required by the employment law in Turkey, the provisions mentioned in the written statement involve the minimum terms & conditions that should be there in the employment contract. Above all, this written employment contract must be implemented in Turkish.
But, the contract can be drafted in some other language as well including Turkish. If there will be any dispute, the Turkish version of the contract is more likely to succeed. If the contract is drafted in another language such as English, the court will automatically accept that the relevant employee understands English and translation will be requested during the dispute.
Employment contract as per the employment law in Turkey does not include taxes and duties.
Employment law in Turkey – Employers can make changes to an employment contract
As per the employment law in Turkey, the employer has the freedom to change the employment contract anytime, but through a written agreement. Both employee and employer can change the agreement with mutual understanding.
Another way of changing the employment contract is to give the notification of the changes in writing by the employer. If the employee accepts the changes in writing within six working days of receiving the notification, the changes will be applicable. Employment law in Turkey says that the changes in the employment contract for the conditions of employed can be done forcefully.
To be agreed with the changes, the employee has to accept them in writing. If not writing is received by the employer, the changes will not be binding on the employee. In such a situation, the employer has the right to terminate the employment contract with notice along with providing a valid reason.
This procedure is applied only for the changes to the essential working conditions of the employee. On the other hand, the consent of the employee is not necessary in case of non-essential working conditions.
In addition to this, if an employer wants to make the changes in the employment contract regarding the employment conditions of the employee to his/her benefits such as an increment in salary, the employer can implement the changes without getting any consent of the employee. But, it is always recommended to inform the employee of any kind of change in writing.
Also, the employer has the right to change the place of work of the employee without the employee’s consent.
Employment law in Turkey applicable for both Turkish and foreign nationals
When it comes to the laws to open a company in Turkey and to hire personnel by both foreign and local entrepreneurs, the Labor Law no. 4857 and Trade Union Law are the main code of practice by them. The previous law i.e. Labor Law no. 1475 has been eliminated, some of its articles are still maintained. One such article is related to severance payments. The law specifies that no one has the right to make discriminate among employees in terms of race, gender, religion, philosophical belief, etc.
If you are new to these concepts and it would be better to take the help of experts in Turkey to get detailed information about employment law in Turkey.
As per the employment law in Turkey, the employment contract should contain some specific elements. These include the information about the employer and employee, the condition of employment, the salary of the employee and other benefits, and the working hours. As said earlier, the employment contract must be given to the employee in writing.
The probation period for employees in Turkey
As per the employment law in Turkey, it is clearly stated that if you are a new employee, you must go through a probation period of up to 2 months. It is the time when the employee has the chance to leave the job without providing any notice to the employer. During this probation period, the employer can provide a contract that includes information such as job title, tasks, working hours, payment, leave conditions, and others. This type of contract that contains information about the probation period is called a standard contract.
But at the same time, it is very important to have the legal support of a Turkish lawyer who can explain to you all the details mentioned in the employment contract.
How can an employment contract be terminated in Turkey?
The termination of an employment contract in Turkey begins with a notice in a formal way. The employee must notify the employer about his/her intentions of leaving the job before 4 weeks before the last day. It is always good that an employment contract is terminated in agreement with both the employee and an employer.
On the other hand, the employer has the right to fire the employee and close the employment contract if the employee is found to be not fulfilling his/her tasks and attributes. No matter what the case is, the employee or the employer must give the notification in all cases.
Turkey is always open to investment by foreign nationals. To get the details of the employment law in Turkey, whether employee or employer, both are advised to seek the help of a Turkish attorney.