Dismissal from employment is a significant event that impacts both employers and employees in Turkey.
In this transcontinental country bridging Europe and Asia, specific legal provisions govern dismissal procedures to ensure fairness and protect the rights of both parties. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to dismissal procedures in Turkey, covering key aspects such as valid reasons for dismissal, notice periods, severance pay, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Valid Reasons for Dismissal in Turkey
Employers in Turkey have the right to dismiss employees for valid reasons. These reasons can include poor performance, misconduct, breach of employment contract, or economic necessity. Poor performance should be objectively assessed, and employers must provide employees with a reasonable opportunity to improve before considering dismissal. Misconduct, such as theft, fraud, or workplace violence, can also serve as grounds for termination.
Dismissal in Turkey : Notice Periods
When terminating an employment contract, employers in Turkey are generally required to provide notice to the employee. The length of the notice period depends on the duration of the employment relationship. The Labor Law sets out minimum notice periods ranging from two weeks to eight weeks, with longer notice periods for employees with longer service. Employers may choose to pay the employee in lieu of the notice period.
Severance pay is a key aspect of dismissal procedures in Turkey. It serves as financial compensation to employees whose employment contracts are terminated without just cause. Employees are entitled to severance pay if they have completed at least one year of continuous service. The amount of severance pay is calculated based on the employee’s length of service, their last gross monthly wage, and certain factors outlined in the Labor Law.
Termination During Probationary Periods
During the probationary period, both employers and employees have the right to terminate the employment contract without notice or severance pay. The duration of the probationary period is typically two months but may be extended up to four months by mutual agreement. If either party decides to terminate the employment relationship during this period, they are not required to provide a reason for their decision.
In cases where employers need to reduce their workforce due to economic or technological reasons, they may initiate collective dismissal procedures. Collective dismissals involve terminating a certain number of employees within a specified period. Employers are required to follow specific procedures, including providing advance notice to employee representatives or trade unions, conducting consultations, and offering appropriate compensation or reemployment options.
Dispute Resolution in Turkey
If an employee believes that their dismissal was unjustified or unfair, they have the right to challenge the decision through various dispute resolution mechanisms. Employees can file a lawsuit with the labor court within two months of the termination. The court will examine the circumstances and evidence presented by both parties and make a decision based on the applicable labor laws and regulations.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
In addition to litigation, alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, can be pursued to resolve dismissal disputes in Turkey. These methods offer a more informal and collaborative approach to resolving conflicts. Mediation involves a neutral third party assisting the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. Arbitration involves submitting the dispute to an arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal, whose decision is binding on the parties.
Dismissal procedures in Turkey are governed by specific legal provisions designed to protect the rights of both employers and employees. Employers must have valid reasons for dismissal, provide appropriate notice periods, and consider severance pay. Employees, on the other hand, have the right to challenge dismissals they consider unfair through various dispute resolution mechanisms. By understanding and adhering to the dismissal procedures outlined in Turkish labor law, employers and employees can navigate this process with fairness and respect for their respective rights.