Things to Know About Severance Pay in Turkey

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Severance pay is a compensation that should be paid by the employer in case of termination of employment contract under certain condition.

Severance payment is arranged in article 14 (still in effect) of Former Labor Law no. 1475.  

An employee who has worked at least one year is entitled to severance pay under the following conditions;

  • Where employee terminates the contract for  just cause, such as for reasons of health, immoral or dishonorable conduct by the employer and force majeure
  • Where Employer terminates the contract without a valid reason (the reasons other than for malicious, immoral or dishonorable conduct or other similar behavior specified in Labor Act)
  • Leaving the workplace due to the compulsory military service (for males)
  • Leaving in order to receive an old age pension, pension fund or disability insurance pension or to receive a lump-sum payment from the statutory institutions or retirement funds
  • Leaving voluntarily in order to receive partial pension (after completing 3,600 premium days and 15 years of insurance period - a document must be submitted to employer from the social security agency stating that he has worked for the period).
  • Where the female employee terminates the contract voluntarily within one year following the date of marriage
  • In  case of death of the employee

Withholding Tax and SSI Premiums will be Declared a Single Form

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Executive Summary

Starting from January 2018 withholding tax returns and SSI e-declarations will be combined in a single form under the name of "Withholding Tax and Monthly Premium Service Document;” and SSI premiums and taxes withheld from employees declared only to the tax offices until the 23rd of the following month.

Regulation on Deletion, Destruction or Anonymization of Personal Data in Force

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“Regulation on Deletion, Destruction or Anonymization of Personal Data” has been published in Official Journal No. 30224, dated 28 October 2017, and will get into force at 1st January 2018.

As is known “Law on Protection of Personal Data No. 6698,” intending to protect fundamental rights and freedoms of persons, and in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data, and to set forth principles and procedures which bind natural or legal persons who process personal data had been issued in Official Journal No. 29677, dated 7 April 2016.

The provisions apply to natural persons whose personal data are processed as well as to natural or legal persons who process such data fully or partially through automatic or non-automatic means, which form part of a filing system or are intended to form part of a filing system.

Arbitration Becomes Compulsory in Labor Disputes

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Employees and employers shall resort to arbitrator in the first place instead of litigation process for their labor disputes and conflicts, as per the “Law on Labor Courts No. 7036” issued in Official Gazette numbered 30221, dated 25 October 2017.

The also called “mandatory mediation” aims at lessening  the heavy burden of labor courts  by directing the parties to reach out-of- court settlements which are time saving and less costly in comparison with litigation.

ARBITRATION AS CAUSE OF ACTION

The new law introduces the “arbitration as a cause of action,” a new concept in Turkish legislation, meaning that no lawsuit before resorting arbitrator.

Retirement After Completion of 3600 Work Days - Legal Disputes Over Severance Pay

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Executive summary

As per article 14 -still in force- of former Labor Law 1475, an employee is entitled to severance pay in case of resignation after completing 3,600 work days and 15 years insurance period, provided that he/she presents a document from the Social Security Institution showing the entitlement of  retirement except age limit. 

For years it has been a highly controversial topic whether the employee, who received his severance pay entitled in line with above mentioned provision, may work in another workplace during his waiting period for age limit. In other words, whether an employer who paid the severance may claim the payment back in case the employee starts working another employee’s establishment, instead of waiting for the legal retirement age.

Work Permit Application of Free Trade Zone Personnel

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International Workforce Law No: 6735 aims at attracting qualified foreign professionals such as engineers and architects, medical personnel, academicians, research and development personnel, free trade zone personnel and partners of companies, cross-border service providers and the investors.

Work permit application of foreign free trade zone personnel legally staying in Turkey will be made to relevant free zone management by the free trade zone firm. Applications are evaluated by Ministry of Economy and granted by Ministry of Labor and Social Security. It should be noted that “relevant free zone management means” regional directorates of free zones at which the workplace is established, not the General Directorate of Free Zones of Economy Ministry.

Implementation Regulation, determining the application and issuance of work permits related to foreigners who wish to work in the scope of Free Trade Zone Law, No. 3218, has been issued in Official Gazette No. 30078, dated 27th May 2017.

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