Unpaid Leave in Turkey: Balancing Work and Personal Needs

unpaid leave turkey

Unpaid leave serves as a valuable option for employees to take time off work for various personal reasons without receiving regular compensation. In Turkey, unpaid leave is a provision that allows individuals to strike a balance between their professional responsibilities and personal needs.

This article delves into the concept of unpaid leave in Turkey, its legal framework, employee rights, and the implications it has for both individuals and employers.

Unpaid Leave Regulations in Turkey

Unpaid leave in Turkey is governed by the Turkish Labor Law and related legislation. According to Article 53 of the Labor Law, employees have the right to request unpaid leave for specific reasons such as personal health issues, family matters, or educational purposes. However, the employer has the discretion to grant or deny the request based on the organization’s needs and the employee’s performance and eligibility.

Types of Unpaid Leave

Unpaid leave in Turkey can take different forms depending on the circumstances. Some common types include medical leave, parental leave, educational leave, and personal leave. Medical leave allows employees to take time off for health-related issues, while parental leave allows for maternity, paternity, or childcare-related absences. Educational leave permits employees to pursue educational or training opportunities, and personal leave caters to unforeseen personal matters.

Rights and Obligations

Employees in Turkey have certain rights and obligations when taking unpaid leave. They must provide reasonable notice to their employer, explaining the reason for their request and the expected duration of their absence. The employer has the right to inquire and request supporting documents for verification purposes. During unpaid leave, employees are not entitled to receive regular salary or benefits, and their absence may affect their seniority, annual leave accrual, and social security contributions.

Impact on Employees and Employers (Word Count: 250) Unpaid leave offers several benefits to employees. It provides an opportunity to attend to personal matters or deal with unexpected situations without risking their job security. Employees can use unpaid leave to focus on their health, spend time with family, pursue further education, or explore personal interests. Moreover, it promotes work-life balance and contributes to employee well-being and job satisfaction.

For employers, unpaid leave presents both challenges and advantages. Granting unpaid leave can temporarily disrupt business operations and require adjustments in work schedules or redistributing workload among other employees. However, offering unpaid leave options can enhance employee loyalty, engagement, and retention. It also demonstrates a supportive work environment that values employee needs beyond work responsibilities, fostering a positive organizational culture.

Potential Reforms and Considerations

To further promote work-life balance and accommodate employees’ diverse needs, there is room for potential reforms regarding unpaid leave in Turkey. Employers could adopt more flexible policies that allow employees to utilize unpaid leave without fear of negative consequences or career setbacks. Creating a clear framework for unpaid leave, establishing guidelines for leave duration, and ensuring fair treatment and non-discrimination are important considerations for a balanced and inclusive workplace.


Unpaid leave in Turkey offers employees the flexibility to address personal matters while maintaining their employment. It allows individuals to prioritize their well-being, personal development, and family responsibilities. While employers must carefully manage the impact of unpaid leave on their operations, embracing this option can foster employee satisfaction, loyalty, and work-life balance. Striking a harmonious balance between work and personal needs is crucial for individuals and organizations alike, and unpaid leave serves as a valuable tool in achieving that equilibrium.

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.