Understanding the Dismissal Procedure in Turkey: A Comprehensive Overview

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Dismissal from employment is a complex and sensitive issue that affects both employers and employees.

In Turkey, the dismissal procedure is governed by various legal regulations and labor laws designed to protect the rights of workers and ensure fair treatment. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the dismissal procedure in Turkey, exploring the grounds for dismissal, legal requirements, and the rights and obligations of both employers and employees.

Grounds for Dismissal in Turkey

The Turkish labor law recognizes both valid and invalid grounds for dismissal. Valid grounds for dismissal include:

a) Inadequate job performance: An employer may dismiss an employee if their performance consistently falls below the required standards despite warnings and opportunities for improvement.

b) Misconduct: Dismissal can be justified if an employee engages in serious misconduct, such as theft, fraud, violence, or gross violation of workplace rules.

c) Disciplinary issues: Repeated violation of company policies, insubordination, or failure to comply with lawful instructions may warrant dismissal.

d) Economic reasons: In case of economic hardship, an employer may resort to downsizing, which could result in the termination of employment contracts.

Invalid grounds for dismissal, on the other hand, include discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, or membership in a trade union.

Notice Period and Severance Pay

According to Turkish labor laws, both employers and employees must adhere to specific notice periods when terminating an employment contract. The length of the notice period varies depending on the duration of the employment. For example, if the employment has lasted up to six months, the notice period is two weeks. For employments ranging from six months to one and a half years, the notice period extends to four weeks. The notice period gradually increases with the duration of employment, reaching up to eight weeks for employments lasting over 10 years.

In addition to the notice period, employers are generally obligated to provide severance pay to employees who have completed at least one year of service. The amount of severance pay is calculated based on the employee’s length of service and their last salary.

Dismissal in Turkey : Procedures and Documentation

When dismissing an employee, it is crucial for employers to follow specific procedures to ensure compliance with the law and avoid potential legal disputes. Employers are generally required to provide written notification to the employee, clearly stating the grounds for dismissal. This notification should also include information about the notice period and severance pay.

In cases of dismissal due to inadequate job performance or misconduct, employers are encouraged to maintain proper documentation and evidence to substantiate their decision. This documentation can include warning letters, performance evaluations, and records of disciplinary actions taken against the employee. Clear documentation can strengthen an employer’s position in case of legal challenges.

Employee’s Rights and Remedies

Employees who believe they have been unfairly dismissed have the right to challenge the decision and seek legal remedies. In Turkey, employees can file a lawsuit against their employer within one month from the date of their dismissal. The employee must provide evidence to support their claim of unfair dismissal, such as demonstrating that the grounds stated by the employer were unjust or discriminatory.

If the court determines that the dismissal was unfair, it may order the reinstatement of the employee or grant them compensation. The amount of compensation can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, including the length of the employment and the financial loss suffered by the employee.

Collective Dismissals

In cases of collective dismissals, where a significant number of employees are terminated simultaneously, additional legal requirements apply. Turkish labor laws define collective dismissals as the termination of employment contracts of at least 30 employees within a period of 30 days in workplaces with 30 or more employees.

When conducting collective dismissals, employers are required to notify the relevant labor authority in advance and consult with the relevant trade union or employee representatives. They must also provide a detailed explanation of the reasons for the dismissals, explore alternatives to termination, and implement measures to mitigate the negative impact on affected employees.

The dismissal procedure in Turkey is governed by legal regulations aimed at protecting the rights of both employers and employees. It is essential for employers to adhere to these regulations, including valid grounds for dismissal, proper notice periods, and severance pay obligations. Employees, on the other hand, have the right to challenge unfair dismissals and seek legal remedies. By understanding and respecting the dismissal procedure, employers can maintain a fair and harmonious work environment while safeguarding the rights of their employees.

Azkan Group can support you in your Employer of Record (EOR) and payroll requests (also called Umbrella Company) in Turkey. We can manage your HR requests even if you don’t have a legal entity in Turkey.