Regulation on Annual Paid Leave Amended to Allow Employees to Divide Annual Leave


Introduction

The right of employees to annual paid leave is regulated by Articles 53 to 60 of the Labour Act (4857) and the Regulation on Annual Paid Leave.

According to the act and the regulation, employees can use their annual paid leave if they have worked for their employer for at least one year. Employees are entitled to at least:

  • 14 days’ annual paid leave for one to five years of service;
  • 20 days’ annual paid leave for five to 15 years of service; and
  • 26 days’ annual paid leave for 15 years of service or more.

Dividing annual leave

In principle, employees are expected to take their annual leave en bloc. Before Article 56 of the Labour Act was amended, employees could divide their holidays into a maximum of three parts:

  • with their employer’s agreement; and
  • on the condition that one part lasted at least 10 days.

Under Article 103 of the act, an administrative fine will be imposed on employers who divide holidays contrary to Article 56. However, in practice, dividing the holiday period into three, providing that one part lasts at least 10 days, causes problems, as most employees prefer to divide their annual leave into several parts throughout the year and employers that grant permission to employees to divide their annual leave into more than three separate parts are subject to administrative fines.

The legislature considered the abovementioned problem and on April 14 2016 amended Article 56 of the act. Under the amendment, holidays may be divided without any limitation on the parties’ agreement on the condition that one part lasts at least 10 days. However, the Labour Act preserves the administrative fine imposed on employers that divide holidays contrary to Article 56.

Although the Labour Act was amended, Article 6 of the Regulation on Annual Paid Leave still allows employees to divide their holiday periods into a maximum of three parts, contrary to the act. On August 18 2017 the Regulation Amending the Regulation on Annual Paid Leave was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force. Article 6 of the amended regulation allows employees to divide their holidays into different parts in accordance with the Labour Act.

Following the amendment to the Regulation on Annual Paid Leave, the Labour Act and the regulation were made compatible with each other regarding employees’ rights to divide their holiday periods more than three times. Further, the regulation also preserves the condition of using at least 10 days leav en bloc, as it aims to provide employees with a minimum amount of uninterrupted rest

Comment

Following the amendments to the Labour Act and the Regulation on Annual Paid Leave, employees’ rights to continuous rest have been maintained, but they now have the flexibility to divide their holidays into several parts in a given year.

First published by ILO – Employment & Benefits Newsletter, in 11.10.2017