Article 13 of the Turkish Labour Law generally defines a part-time work (employment contract) in Turkey, and it is accepted that a part-time employment contract will arise if the part-time employment contract is determined significantly less than the equivalent employee working with a full-time employment contract, but there is no regulation on the duration. The regulation on the duration was introduced by Article 6 of the Regulation on Working Hours Regarding the Labour Law and it is stipulated that the work performed up to two-thirds of the equivalent work performed with a full-time employment contract in the workplace shall be accepted as part-time work in Turkey.
Accordingly, if the workplace is established on a full-time basis, 6 days a week and 7.5 hours of working time per day, part-time work in Turkey can be at most 5 hours. If the workplace works 5 days for 9 hours each day, then the partial work will be determined as 6 hours at most. If the workplace works for 5 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on weekdays, part-time work cannot exceed 5 hours and 20 minutes on weekdays and 3 hours and 20 minutes on Saturday.
In Article 13 of the Law, a special type of part-time employment contract is defined and part-time work is included in the period after the birth in case of maternity. The Regulation on Part-Time Work After Maternity Leave or Unpaid Leave entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated 08.11.2016 and numbered 29882.
If one of the parents is not working, it is not possible for the working spouse to request part-time work in Turkey. Again, it is not possible for those who adopt a child under the age of three together with their spouse or individually to benefit from this right from the date the child is actually delivered. In case of such a request, this request must be met by the employer. The request in this direction will not be considered as a valid reason. However, within the framework of these regulations, it is also possible for the employee who started part-time work to return to full-time work for the same child, provided that he/she does not benefit from this right again. In this case, the employee must notify the employer of this request in writing at least one month in advance. In such a case, the employment contract of the employee hired instead of this employee will automatically terminate.
In the aforementioned regulation, the legal regulations regarding the right to maternity leave, the right to unpaid leave for half of the working period and the right to unpaid leave for up to six months are repeated and the regulations under the third section are devoted to part-time work after maternity leave and subsequent unpaid leave.
According to Article 8 of the Regulation, it is possible for the employee to request part-time work in Turkey at any time from the end of the analysis leave, unpaid leave up to half of the working period or unpaid leave up to six months until the beginning of the month following the date of the child’s compulsory primary education. It is seen that the employee is granted an optional right. The employee can benefit from this right after the expiry of any of the consecutive leaves regulated in Article 74 of the Law or after the expiry of all of them. In accordance with the second paragraph of the article, it is even possible to make this request by interrupting the unpaid leave period up to six months.
The third paragraph regulates how and when the request for part-time work shall be submitted. According to the regulation, the request shall be notified to the employer in writing by the employee at least one month prior to the utilisation of this right. The time and written form requirement here shall not be understood as a condition of validity. If this is not fulfilled, the employer cannot be expected to implement the request.
The elements of the partial work request are subject to Article 9 of the regulation. According to the first paragraph, the worker’s request for part-time work must include the date on which the worker will start part-time work, the starting and ending times of the work in case of working on all working days, and the preferred working days in case of working on certain days of the week. The employee must also attach a document stating that his/her spouse is employed to this request. The employee’s part-time work request petition will be kept by the employer in the employee’s personnel file.
The conditions of the part-time work request are regulated in Article 10.
If one of the spouses is not working, the working spouse will not be able to request part-time work. However, some exceptions have been introduced to this general regulation;
- One of the parents has a disease that requires continuous care and treatment and this disease is documented by a doctor’s report from a full-fledged hospital or university hospital,
- If the custody is granted by the court to one of the spouses, the parent who has custody of the child makes a request,
- It has been ruled that this condition will not be sought in cases of individual adoption of a child under the age of three.
Additionally, it is stipulated that these conditions will be sought only at the time of application, and if these conditions are lost during part-time work in Turkey, the right in question will continue.
According to Article 11, the duly made part-time work request must be met by the employer within one month at the latest from the date of notification, and the employer must notify the employee in writing.
In the event that the employer does not respond to the worker’s request within the prescribed period, the request will become valid on the date specified in the worker’s request or on the first working day following this date.
Additionally, as specially regulated, the request for part-time work will not be considered as a valid reason for termination, provided that the employee starts to perform the work on the specified date.
Article 12 of the Regulation restricts the jobs where part-time work can be performed. Accordingly, part-time work in Turkey can be performed
- In private health institutions, in accordance with the relevant legislation, in the works performed by the responsible manager, responsible physician, labouratory supervisor and those who are foreseen to work full-time in the works deemed as health services (in this context, the works deemed as health services in accordance with Article 13ç of the regulation refers to the works performed by physicians and specialists according to the medical speciality legislation, nurses, midwives and opticians and other professionals defined in the additional Article 13 of the Law No. 1219 on the Practice of Medicine and Medical Sciences),
- In works considered to be industrial, which are carried out by employing workers in shifts one after the other without stopping because they are continuous due to their nature,
- Seasonal, campaign or contracting work lasting less than one year due to their qualifications,
- Part-time work may be carried out in jobs that are not suitable in terms of their qualifications to be carried out by dividing the working time into working days of the week, if the employer finds it appropriate, and in jobs other than these, part-time work may be carried out without the employer’s approval.
In this regard, with the authorisation granted by Article 13 of the regulation, it has also been made possible for the parties to determine the jobs that can be performed as part-time work in collective labour agreements concluded in accordance with the provisions of the Law No. 6356 on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreements, regardless of the aforementioned regulation. However, based on this regulation, it should not be considered that it is possible for the parties to determine a scope that will result in the complete elimination of this right.
The issue of transition to full-time work is included in Article 14 of the regulation. Accordingly, in general, the employee who has started part-time work can return to full-time work for the same child in order not to benefit from this right again. In this case, the worker must notify the employer of this request in writing at least one month in advance. In such a case, the employment contract of the employee hired instead of this employee will automatically terminate. In the event that the employee who has switched to part-time employment terminates his/her employment contract, the employment contract of the replacement employee will be converted into an indefinite and full-term contract as of the date of termination, provided that he/she has written consent.
According to the regulation in Article 15 of the Regulation, the time interval within the specified daily and weekly working period of the part-time employee will be determined by the employer by taking into account the customs of that place, the nature of the work performed by the employee and the request of the employee, and the wage and divisible benefits related to money of the part-time employee will be paid in proportion to the time worked.