Update: “Measures to Reduce the Effects and Impacts of COVID-19 on Employment” Extended
In response to the spread of Covid-19 in Turkey, on April 17, 2020, the Turkish Parliament passed Omnibus Law no. 7244. Article 9 of that Law, among other things, amended relevant parts of the Turkish Labor Law (Law no. 4857) to provide employees with certain assurances.
Ban on Termination Extended
As noted in a previous article, April 17, 2020 marked the commencement of a three-month ban on termination of employment (i.e., until July 17, 2020), with the possibility that the President of the Republic of Turkey could extend the ban for an additional six months. Subsequently, the ban was extended for another month until August 17, 2020. On July 28, 2020, Omnibus Law no. 7252 went into force. Article 5 of Law no. 7252 granted the President the authority to extend until June 30, 2021, in periods of up to three months.
Most recently, Presidential Decree no. 2811 published in the Official Gazette on July 31, 2020, extended the ban on termination until September 17, 2020.
There are a limited set of exceptions to the ban on terminating an employment relationship, most notably, grounds listed in the Turkish Labor Law having to do with instances of bad-faith/unethical conduct on the part of the employee. Some of these exceptional grounds include lying to the employer, engaging in dishonorable conduct, sexual harassment, assaulting the employer, and arriving to work under the influence of intoxicating substances.
Furlough Period Extended
The Omnibus Law no. 7244 initially allowed employers to furlough their employees for a period of three months, with the possibility that the President could extend said period for up to six more months. Omnibus Law no. 7252 granted the President the authority to extend the furlough period in increments of three months or less until the end of June 2021.
As of now, Presidential Decree no. 2811 has also extended the furlough period until September 17, 2020.