Understanding the Working Time in Turkey

working time turkey

The concept and conditions of normal working time in Turkey are regulated in Article 63 of the Labour Law and in the “Regulation on Working Hours Regarding the Labour Law” published in the Official Gazette dated 06.04.2004 and numbered 25424.

Additionally, the principle of equalization has been introduced as a new regulation.

According to Article 3 of the Regulation, working time in Turkey is the time spent by the worker in the work in which he/she is employed. While this period includes the periods listed in Article 66 of the Labour Law, it does not include the breaks specified in Article 68.

According to Article 63 of the Law and Article 4 of the Regulation, in general terms, the weekly working time is maximum 45 hours. The daily working time in Turkey is calculated by dividing this period equally to the working days of the week. If less time is worked on one day of the week (usually Saturday), this time should be subtracted from 45 hours and the remaining time should be divided by five to determine the daily working time.

The only exception to the rule that the weekly working time in Turkey must be at least 45 hours is the only exception for underground mine workers. Accordingly, the working hours of underground mine workers can be maximum seven and a half hours per day and maximum thirty-seven and a half hours per week.

According to these expressions, if the workplace works full-time 6 days a week, the daily working time will be 7.5 hours, and if the workplace works full-time 5 days a week, the daily working time will be 9 hours. If 5 hours of work is performed on Saturday, in this case, 5 hours will be subtracted from 45 hours, and the daily working time will be calculated as 8 hours by dividing the remainder by five.

Since the daily working time in Turkey is limited to 7.5 hours and the maximum weekly working time is limited to 37.5 hours in underground mining works, it will be possible to work 6 days 6 hours and 15 minutes, one day 7.5 hours and five days 6 hours each, and similar practices after subtracting the week holiday.

According to Article 11 of the Regulation, these limitations are not related to the workplace or the work, but to the individuals of the workers.

According to this regulation, for example, even if the working hours in a workplace exceed 45 hours in total, it is important how many hours the workers have worked within this total working time in Turkey. For example, if a worker worked 4 days of the week for a total of 36 hours and another worker worked 3 days of the week for a total of 27 hours, the legal limits are not exceeded for the workers even though the total working hours at the workplace is 63 hours. For these workers, it will be necessary to evaluate a period longer than one week to determine whether the daily and weekly working hours have been exceeded.

In the event that these limits are exceeded, depending on the reason for exceeding the limit, according to Articles 41, 42 and 43 of the Labour Law, overtime work for normal, compulsory or extraordinary reasons can be mentioned and action will be taken accordingly. Additionally, the Regulation refers to Article 6 of the Law No. 79 on the Amnesty of National Protection Offences, Liquidation of the National Protection Organisation, Capital and Fund Accounts and Enactment of Certain Provisions, and regulates that this article can also be applied in case of exceeding the limit. However, the aforementioned Law was repealed by the Law dated 26.04.2007 and numbered 5637 published in the Official Gazette dated 02.05.2007 and numbered 26510 on the grounds that it was not possible to apply it.

After the determination of the daily working hours in this way, the determined working and resting hours must be announced to the workers. According to Article 67 of the Turkish Labour Law and Article 8 of the Regulation, the starting and ending times of daily work and rest hours must be announced to the workers in the workplaces by appropriate means. As it is frequently seen in practice, the announcement in question is made by hanging a notice containing the announced information in a place where the workers can easily see it.

Depending on the nature of the work performed, the starting and ending times of the work may be arranged differently for the workers. In this case, if different groups will be given different working and resting hours, these differences must be shown in detail.

According to Article 9 of the Regulation, employers are required to document the working hours of workers by appropriate means. This documentation can be done by keeping a tally sheet or by printing a card on a machine to be placed at the entrance of the workplace and showing the entry and exit times of the workers.