Terms of Termination Ban and Unilateral Unpaid Leave Have Been Extended Once Again - April 2021


Termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave came into force for the first time with the Law on Minimizing the Impacts of the New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak on Economic and Social Life and the Amendment of Certain Laws (7244) (“the Amendment Law”) published in the Official Gazette (31102) on 17 April 2020.

With the Amendment Law, termination of all employment contracts, regardless of being under the scope of the Turkish Labour Act or not, were prohibited for three months as of the effective date of the Amendment Law. The only exception of the ban was termination of employment based on just cause due to cases which are incompatible with moral, goodwill and similar circumstances. Besides, employers were granted with the right to put the employees under unpaid leave unilaterally, partially or in full, during the termination ban.

With this initial version of the provision, the President was granted with the power to extend this three-month term to six months.

With the Law No. 7252 on the Establishment of Digital Platforms Commission and Amendment of Certain Laws published in the Official Gazette (31199) on 28 July 2020,

  • the expiry of the term in fixed-term employment or service agreements,
  • the closure of the workplace for any reason and termination of the employer's activities, and
  • the termination of work-in-service procurements and construction works conducted in accordance with the relevant legislation,

were introduced as other exceptions to the termination ban. Also, the President’s authority to extend the terms of termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave was extended until 30 June 2021, provided that each extension is for a maximum period of three months.

The terms of termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave have been extended several times since then as follows:

  • from 17 July 2020 to 17 August 2020 as per the Presidential Decree (2707) published in the Official Gazette (31171) on 30 June 2020,
  • from 17 August 2020 to 17 September 2020 as per the Presidential Decree (2811) published in the Official Gazette (31202) on 31 July 2020,
  • from 17 September 2020 to 17 November 2020 as per the Presidential Decree (2930) published in the Official Gazette (31234) on 4 September 2020,
  • from 17 November 2020 to 17 January 2021 as per the Presidential Decree (3135) published in the Official Gazette (31287) on 27 October 2020,
  • from 17 January 2021 to 17 March 2021 as per the Presidential Decree (3344) published in the Official Gazette (31350) on 30 December 2020,
  • from 17 March 2021 to 17 May 2021 as per the Presidential Decree (3592) published in the Official Gazette (31418) on 09 March 2021.

Lastly, with the Presidential Decree (3930) published in the Official Gazette (31470) dated 30 April 2021, the terms of termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave have been extended until 30 June 2021.

As per the Temporary Article 10 of the Turkish Labour Act, the President is authorized to extend the termination ban until 30 June 2021, for a maximum of three months per extension. Therefore, unless an amendment on the said article is introduced, the termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave will expire on 30 June 2021.

First published by ILO - Employment & Benefits Newsletter, in 10.05.2021

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