Increasing employees’ salary is within the scope of employer’s management right, and it is at the employer’s discretion, provided that there is no established workplace practice* or any employer commitment (e.g. a provision in the employment contract stating that there will be a raise every year).

*If a salary raise was implemented without any criteria in the last 2-3 years, this can be deemed as a workplace practice.

It should also be evaluated whether there is a workplace practice regarding salary increase rates. For example, if a raise is made in accordance with inflation rate every year, but in the next salary raise, this rate will be changed by the company to a lower amount than then-current inflation rate, this will constitute a fundamental change in the working conditions of the employees and might require employees’ written consent.

In addition, employees’ salaries should not be below the national minimum wage[1] (if the relevant employee works part-time, the minimum wage should be determined in proportion to the part-time working period). If there is an employee whose salary will be below the minimum wage, the salary of this employee should be increased to be at least the minimum wage.

Lastly, the employer shall also act in accordance with equal treatment principle when determining such salary raises.  In this context, in line with the Supreme Court decisions, in case there are objective reasons (e.g. according to the working conditions of the employees and the efficiency received), different raise rates may be applied to different employees in the same workplace.

[1] Between 01.01.2023 and 31.12.2023, the monthly national minimum wage is gross 10,008.00 TL (net 8,506,00 TL).

Batuhan Şahmay
Partner | [email protected]
Behiç Ateş Gülenç
Associate | [email protected]