Article 68 of the Labour Law No. 4857 regulates rest breaks in Turkey. Accordingly, rest breaks cannot be less than 15 minutes for works of four hours or less, half an hour for works of more than four hours and up to seven and a half hours (including seven and a half hours), and one hour for works of more than half an hour.
Apart from this, some other regulations regarding rest breaks should also be taken into consideration. Rest breaks should be taken at an average time. In principle, rest periods shall be minimum and shall be given without interruption. In addition to this, they can also be used intermittently with contracts, taking into account the climate, season, traditions in that place and the nature of the work. According to Article 3 of the Regulation on Working Hours under the Labour Law, intermediate rest periods shall be arranged by taking into account the uninterrupted rest period of twelve hours within twenty-four hours, except for the exceptional case of shift work as described in Article 69.
Rest periods may be given to workers at the same or different times. A rotational system can be established by giving rest breaks to some workers at a certain time and to others at another time.
Rest breaks in Turkey are not counted as working hours. Therefore, no wage payment is required.
Rest breaks in Turkey are accepted as the free time of the worker. Therefore, he/she may spend this period inside or outside the workplace and use it for eating, sleeping and other needs.
Is the rest break at work compulsory?
The break time at work is included in the Labor Code. An employee who believes that the employer does not respect the mandatory break times can alert the labor inspectorate and seize the industrial tribunal. A tolerance exists regarding break times at work if the employee takes breaks in a reasonable manner. An employer can sanction abuses by a simple reprimand, a disciplinary suspension or even a dismissal for misconduct.
What are the rules to be respected according to the Labor Code?
The employer must ensure compliance with the application of the terms of labor law and grant his employees their daily break, whether or not they are authorized to leave their place of work during this period of time.