In general, in order for a regulation to be accepted as labour obligations within the legal system in Turkey, that regulation must be dealt with a mandatory expression and must be sanctioned in case of non-fulfilment.
As it exists in the Labour Law in Turkey, the employer’s obligations are related to the minimum and applicable upper limits that must be fulfilled in terms of employee employment. Generally, it is seen that the lower limits are mentioned in regulations that are to the detriment of the employee (such as the amount of wages) and the upper limits are mentioned in regulations that benefit the employee (such as working hours). Actions to the contrary, determining working conditions below the minimum limits or above the maximum limits are considered to have taken place on the initiative of the employer and are subject to a number of criminal sanctions.
In our labour law system, the obligations of the employer in Turkey, which are subject to this limitation, are mostly included as relative mandatory rules. Therefore, it is always possible to change them in favor of the employee. For example, severance pay or notice pay periods or annual leave periods, which include a payment obligation for employers, may be increased in favor of the employee. Absolute mandatory provisions other than relative mandatory rules are related to public order and cannot be changed in favor of the employee or the employer. These provisions generally appear as regulations that set maximum-minimum limits on labour obligations in Turkey, occupational health and safety, determination of working hours, leave and wage payments.
Therefore, violation of the relative mandatory rules that can be changed in favor of the employee is generally subject to payments in the form of compensation to the person or legal sanctions based on the determination of the status by law. Violation of absolute mandatory rules, on the other hand, is subject to administrative fines to be paid to the state or imprisonment or measures in the form of closure of the workplace, suspension of work and suspension of workers from working. However, this expression should not be perceived as an absolute limit. In some cases, administrative fines are also stipulated for matters that can be changed in favor of the worker. These issues are generally in violation of the maximum or minimum limits set for the benefit of the worker. In this sense, for example, payment of wages below the minimum wage is related to public order in a way. However, if there is only a payment below the minimum wage, an administrative fine is foreseen.
On the contrary, a change above the minimum wage and therefore in favor of the worker does not require a penalty.