Its high-performing labor market and economy may entice your business to consider growth and employment in Turkey. According to Rebekka Grun, lead author of a Turkey jobs study, policies that lowered labor costs have been a huge factor in the fast creation of good jobs in the region. These improvements led to an increasingly competitive and flexible labor market for current and prospective employers.
For example, after the financial crisis in 2008, Turkey managed to create more than 3.5 million jobs, while employment fell in regions located in the European Union. If Turkey’s unique demographics and growing labor market entice you, it may be a great arena for your company’s global growth.
Let’s explore employment in Turkey and Turkish employment law. These are knowledge base – only. You should always consult with your company’s legal team before making any decisions.
Statutory Rights for Employment in Turkey
The work week in Turkey is a 45-hour standard. Any hours worked above and beyond that allotment require overtime pay for employees. In addition to work hour limits, employers are required to provide employees with a weekend break. Each employee who has worked for 45 hours per week is entitled to a continuous 24-hour weekend break.
Also, like most foreign countries, employers are required to withhold funds for their employees’ benefits including social security and health insurance.
As for vacation time, more Turkish companies offer full-time employees two weeks of paid time off each year. If you’re expanding operations from the US into Turkey, note that Western holidays like Christmas and Easter are not recognized. You can choose to recognize these as an employer, but these are not automatic public holidays.
Employer and employee relationships have minimum notification periods, listed below, that need to be accounted for before termination. Employed for:
- Less than six months – two weeks’ notice.
- Between six months up to 18 months – four weeks’ notice.
- Between 18 months up to three years, six weeks’ notice.
- More than three years, eight weeks’ notice.
As a result, you will need to plan an employee’s termination in advance and have just cause, which can be difficult to determine in foreign markets. An employer of record (EOR) service such as International PEO (Professional Employer Organization) or Foreign Subsidiary as a Service (FSaaS) can help employers navigate difficult compliance requirements like termination. In addition to managing compliance, these services help employers like yourself navigate the entire hiring process overseas.
Outside of termination, employees in Turkey are entitled to a severance payment on the condition that the employee has completed at least one year of continuous employment. This payment is calculated by multiplying the number of years of employment with the employee’s monthly salary at termination.
Information for Employment Contracts
Turkish labor law does not have strict requirements surrounding employment agreements. The one requirement for the form is if your company hires an employee for more than a year, you’ll need a written agreement. We suggest working with a local expert to form a solid contract that covers all of the necessary areas and protects your company’s assets.
Specific requirements that need to be included in an employment contract in Turkey are:
- Working Hours
- Term of Employment
Protecting Your Intellectual Property (IP)
Turkish IP laws state that if the asset was created within the scope of the employee’s work, which should be identified in the contract, using resources during working office hours, it’s owned by the employer. IP protection is not always clear in overseas markets, so make sure to work with your legal team to protect your company with clear language about your intangible assets in agreements.
Navigating employment in Turkey may sound complicated, and you’re right. It is a daunting task to handle on your own. That’s why we offer services like FSaaS and International PEO to help you hire talent in international markets. To learn more about these EOR services, get in touch with us!