In Turkey, other issues to be emphasized in relation to the fines are the enforcement authorities, the collection procedure of the penalties, the delay increase to be applied and the statute of limitations regarding the penalties.
1. Enforcement authorities
When the labour law norms and the general provisions of the Law on Misdemeanours are evaluated, it is seen that the public institution, which is assigned to enforce the law on administrative fines in Turkey, is also authorized to impose fines. In this context, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Provincial Directorates of Labour and Employment Institution or Provincial Directorates of Social Security Institution are authorized and responsible for imposing administrative fines in Turkey.
Public prosecutors are authorized to issue administrative sanctions.
It is clear that in the case of penalties binding on liberty, since the penalty arises from the Turkish Penal Code, it will be in question with the decision of the competent court.
2. Payment and collection of fines and late payment interest in Turkey
When it comes to the collection of fines and delay interest, it is possible to evaluate the issue only in the context of administrative fines. In this sense, in relation to administrative fines in Turkey, it is necessary to firstly explain the collection procedure of the fines and to make explanations about the delay increase.
An administrative fine made in accordance with the provisions of the notification law must be paid within 30 days. The penalty must be paid spontaneously or the penalty amount must be collected through forced execution.
It is possible for the penalty addressee to pay in advance as well as in installments. If the perpetrator’s situation is not suitable, it may be decided to divide the fine amount into four equal installments, provided that the first installment of the fine is paid in advance and paid within one year. However, in the event that the installments are not paid on time or underpaid, the entire remaining amount will be collected.
The second situation, forced enforcement, may be applied if the addressee fails to pay the fine. As a rule, forced enforcement is a way that can be applied even if the objection has occurred. However, it is not used much in practice.
Administrative fines in Turkey are considered as state receivables and must be paid to the state treasury, as explained in the relevant laws and the Law on Misdemeanours. For this reason, it is ruled that the Law No. 6183 on the Procedure for Collection of Public Receivables should be applied regarding their collection.
For the delay increase, it will be sufficient to examine the law only in terms of administrative fines. Accordingly, based on Article 51 of the Law on Collection Procedure of Public Receivables No. 6183 regulating the delay increase, no delay increase will be charged for administrative fines.
In the aforementioned article, it is ruled that the delay increase will be applied at certain rates in tax penalties and public receivables that are imposed by the courts and are in the nature of penalties, but the delay increase cannot be applied to public receivables other than these and which are in the nature of penalties. Since there are no administrative fines in Turkey imposed by the courts in the context of labour laws, delay increase will not be applied in these cases. However, in case of judicial fines imposed by the courts in the relevant legal provisions, a delay increase will be applied.
3. Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations on penalties constitutes another important heading related to the penal provisions that exist within the labour law system and are tried to be examined within the criminal law system due to its relationship with the labour law.
Statutes of limitation are, in general, the provisions in the laws stating that the penalty cannot be prosecuted or applied or the right cannot be exercised after a certain period of time has elapsed, especially in cases of penalties and rights. From this point of view, the most important difference between the concept of statute of limitations and the concept of forfeiture is that the statute of limitations shall be taken into consideration upon the assertion, while the forfeiture period shall be sought ex officio.
In terms of our subject, the statute of limitations is regulated in the Misdemeanour Law No. 5326 and the Turkish Penal Code No. 5327. In both laws, the concept of statute of limitations is divided into two, the Law on Misdemeanours mentions the statute of limitations for investigation and the statute of limitations for fulfilment, while the Turkish Criminal Code regulates the statute of limitations for litigation and the statute of limitations for punishment separately.
According to Article 20 of the Law on Misdemeanours amended by Article 33 of the Law No. 5560 dated 06.12.2006, an administrative fine cannot be imposed on the person due to the misdemeanour when the statute of limitations for investigation expires. In the same article, the statute of limitations is limited according to the fine amounts. Accordingly, the investigation statute of limitations
a. Five for misdemeanours that require an administrative fine of one hundred thousand Turkish Liras or more,
b. Four for misdemeanours requiring an administrative fine of fifty thousand Turkish Liras or more,
c. Three years for misdemeanours that require an administrative fine of less than fifty thousand Turkish Liras.
For proportional fines in Turkey, this period is determined as eight years by not establishing a connection with the amount of the fine.
The statute of limitations for execution is regulated in Article 21 of the Law, and it is accepted that the decision regarding the administrative fine can no longer be executed if the statute of limitations for execution expires.
The statute of limitations for fullfillment shall start to run from the beginning of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the finalisation of the decision regarding the penalty coincides, and shall be as follows in relation to the penalty amounts:
a. In case an administrative fine of fifty thousand Turkish Liras or more is decided, seven,
b. Five if an administrative fine of twenty thousand Turkish Liras or more is imposed,
c. Four if an administrative fine of ten thousand Turkish Liras or more is imposed,
d. Three years in case an administrative fine of less than ten thousand Turkish Liras is decided.
In accordance with the provision of the law, the statute of limitations will not run if the administrative sanction cannot be started or cannot be fulfilled.
In the Turkish Penal Code, the issue is regulated in Article 66 under the title of statute of limitations for lawsuits and in Article 68 under the title of statute of limitations for penalties. When the provisions related to labour law are evaluated, it is seen that the statute of limitations for lawsuits is accepted as 8 years and the statute of limitations for penalties is accepted as 10 years, considering that the penalties foreseen are imprisonment under 5 years.