The objective of the labour law is to institute a fair relationship between employee and employer and to regulate rights and obligations. The framework and fundamentals of this relationship are specified in the Turkish Labour Code No.4857. In this paper, the development of labour law that regulates relations between employer and employees in Turkey, some of the basic principles and practices related to labour law will be discussed. This article aims for the reader to get an impression of Turkish Labour Law.
• Progress of the Turkish Labour Law
The development of labour law in Turkey has been mainly after the proclamation of the Republic. The first and the most important regulation, which includes provisions regarding the employment contract, is the Turkish Code of Obligations adopted in 1926. The first basic code on labour law is the labour Law dated 1936 and numbered 3008. In 2003, labour Law No. 4857 came into force and it is still in effect.
• Fundamentals of Labour Law
I. Protection of Employee: While labour Law aims to protect the employee on the one hand, it also aims at ensuring social justice and in this way social balance too. The financial protection of the employee could not be enough. The main purpose of labour Law to protect employees is not unlimited. Employees’ interests are protected to the extent that they do not conflict with the public interest. Also, the economic protection of the employee depends on the economic power of the country.
II. Interpretation for the Benefit of the Employee: Interpretation is to clarify and enforce unclear provisions. In the field of labour Law, there may be unclear issues and gaps in the current provisions. In such a case, the real and common goals of the parties are determined through interpretation. The main purpose of the labour law is to protect the worker, it requires the benefit of the worker to be brought to the fore in the interpretation to be made in these provisions.
• Job Security
Job security is the prevention of the employer from arbitrarily terminating/dismissing the employment contract without a justified and valid reason. Accordingly, workplaces employing 30 or more employees are covered by job security; and the employer is not obliged to rely on a valid reason in the termination of the employment contract of employees with a seniority of less than six months in the workplace. In the event of these conditions, the employer terminating the employee’s indefinite term employment contract must rely on a valid reason arising from the incompetence or behavior of the employee or the requirements of the enterprise, workplace, or job. In the text of the law, three groups of reasons are shown as valid reasons: Reasons arising from the inadequacy of the worker, reasons arising from the behavior of the worker, reasons arising from the requirements of the enterprise, workplace or work.
Severance pay is the money that paid by the employer to the employee whose employment contract ends with one of the conditions stipulated in the law and who worked more than the minimum period stipulated in the law or to his legal heirs in case of death, and the amount of which is determined according to the working time and wage of the employee. The employee cannot claim severance pay in every situation the employment contract is terminated.
Conditions for Receiving Severance Pay
The first condition for the employee to be entitled to severance pay is the employment contract has been terminated due to one of the conditions stipulated in the Law. For the employee, whose employment contract is terminated for one of the conditions stipulated in the law to be entitled to severance pay, the employment contract must have lasted for at least one year. The employee who is entitled to receive severance pay is paid severance pay in the amount of thirty days’ wage for each full year from the date of starting work, during the continuation of the employment contract.
The employee is paid at the same rate for periods remaining from one year (such as six months, eight months). Severance pay is calculated over the last wage of the employee. This fee is the wage before deductions such as gross wages, taxes and insurance premiums are made.