In fact, it is beneficial to examine the concept of night work in Turkey, which is closely related to shift work and therefore can be evaluated within the section where shift work will be examined, under a separate heading since the labour law has introduced a separate definition and made some special regulations.
The provisions of the article that are more relevant to shift work are explained in the section on shift work.
Before night work, it is necessary to define the concept of night in business life. According to Article 69 of the Labour Law, night in business life is the period starting at 20:00 at the latest and lasting until 06:00 at the earliest and lasting 11 hours in any case. Accordingly, night work varies between 19:00 – 06:00 or 20:00 – 07:00.
In a work that starts during the daytime and ends at night, in order for this work to be qualified as night work in Turkey, it will be based on how much of the work lasts at night. If the part of the work that lasts at night is longer, the work will be night work and its provisions will arise accordingly. For example, a work that lasts between 16:00 – 01:00 should be considered as night work since the 5-hour part of the work lasts at night according to 20:00.
Some issues should be considered in night work in Turkey. Accordingly, the duration of night work cannot exceed 7.5 hours. However, in tourism, private security and health services, night work can be performed upon the written consent of the employee. The tourism service mentioned here is the work carried out in the facilities that have been granted a tourism management certificate or tourism investment certificate by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in accordance with the relevant legislation or in the facilities that have been granted a business certificate by the municipality to operate as a tourism enterprise, the work carried out in private security services, the work carried out in private security companies or in any workplace as a private security officer, which are permitted to operate by the Ministry of Labour Affairs within the scope of the Law No. 5188 on private security services, and the work carried out in health services, The workplaces where health care services are carried out shall include workers employed in the workplaces of real persons, public and private legal entities and their branches without legal personality, social service institutions defined in the social services law numbered 2828, and workers employed by subcontractors in these workplaces.
In this case, firstly, a work plan should be created by the employer within the legal limitations. In this context, the total weekly working time should not exceed 45 hours and the daily working time should not exceed 11 hours in any case, except for the cases permitted by the Overtime and Working for Excessive Periods provisions regulated in Articles 41, 42 and 43 of the law. This work plan must then be approved by the employee. The employee is not obliged to approve this work plan in accordance with the article regulation. In this context, it is not possible to force the employee to work in this way if the employee does not approve it, and failure to fulfill the instructions given in this direction will not be considered as failure to fulfill the employer’s instructions. On the contrary, the worker will be required to fulfill the instructions given in this direction.
Additionally, overtime work will not be performed during night work. However, in any case, if the daily working time exceeds 7.5 hours during the night period, since the working time is limited on a daily basis, every working time exceeding 7.5 hours should be considered as overtime work regardless of the weekly total and the wage should be accrued and paid as overtime wage. In the case of an employee whose night working time is determined above seven and a half hours with his/her approval in a job where tourism, private security and health services are carried out, it will be necessary to act according to the weekly working hour total.
Reports shall be taken to ensure that the health conditions of the workers who will work at night are suitable for night work in Turkey, examinations shall be carried out in this direction at least every two years and the related costs shall be covered by the employer. The worker whose health deteriorates due to night work and who documents this situation will be given work in the day shift if possible. The employer shall send a list of the names of the workers to be employed in night shifts and a copy of the health reports obtained about them to the provincial directorate. Periodic health examination results will also need to be sent as they are carried out.