Within the scope of Economic Stability Shield package announced by President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on 18.03.2020, it was declared to public that the short-time working allowance will be implemented and the processes required to benefit from such working will be eased and accelerated; in this respect, a temporary income support will be provided to the employees employed at the workplaces, in which the activities have been suspended, and the costs of the employers will be decreased.

Following the announcement stated above, detailed information was provided by Turkish Employment Agency (“Agency”) in respect of short-time working to be applied within the scope of Covid-19. Please find below the detailed information regarding short-time working to be performed in this respect.

A. Implementation of Short-Time Working:

Pursuant to Unemployment Insurance Law numbered 4447, short-time working may be applied at the workplace, if the weekly working periods are decreased significantly or the activities of the workplace is ceased partly or completely due to general economic, sector-specific or regional crisis and force majeure events; provided that the period of short-time working shall not exceed 3 (three) months.

With such application of short-time working, if force majeure events occur, instead of termination of employees’ employment agreements, it is aimed for standing of the companies and employment force.

In current case, the Agency has announced that short-time working has commenced within the scope of force majeure event occurred due to periodic circumstances arising from external effects.

B. Submission of Short-Time Working Request to the Agency and Conclusion of the Request by the Agency:

The employer that want to implement short-time working must primarily inform the Agency (and the union at the workplace that is the party to the collective agreement, if any) in writing. If the Agency approves such requests of the employers, short-time working may be applied at the workplace by the employers.

In general, this review is conducted at the workplace of the employer by labor inspectors following such request; however given the current circumstances, the Agency has stipulated a different implementation.

In consideration of the current circumstances, the Agency has stated that the request for short-time working may be conducted by sending the Short-Time Working Request Form and the list including the information on employees that will work under short-time working to the e-mail addresses notified by the Agency, along with the evidences thereof1. In addition, it is also notified that additional documents may be requested by the Agency from employers, if necessary, and sending of such additional documents will also be performed via e-mail in the same manner.

In addition to the above mentioned, the review related to the suitability of short-time working will only be conducted on the documents sent to the Agency and no physical visits shall be conducted at the workplaces of the employees.

If the short-time working request of the employer is approved by the Agency, the employer must announce this at a location visible by the employees at the workplace (or notify the employees in writing, if such announcement at the workplace is not possible) and inform the union that is a party to the collective agreement, if any.

C. Short-Time Working Allowance, Term and Discontinuance:

In order to be entitled to short-time working, the employees must be entitled to unemployment allowance as per the working periods and premium payment days in respect of unemployment insurance at the time of commencement of short-time working.

The daily short-time working allowance to be paid to the employees at the workplaces, in which short-time working is implemented, amounts to 60% of the daily average gross income of the employee, which is calculated in consideration of the relevant employee’s income taken as basic to social security premium in the previous 12 (twelve) months, provided that it does not exceed 150% of the gross monthly minimum wage applied for employees and is paid by the Agency during the period of short-time working, provided that it does not exceed 3 (three) months.

The short-time working allowance will be paid in a way to complete the weekly working period applied at the workplace, to the employee, in a monthly manner and on the 5th day of each month and the payments will be made to the employees through PTT Bank. However, this date may be brought forward by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services.

The employer will determine the short-time working period in consideration of the customs of the workplace and the nature of the work and make the reason for missing day notification under the code “19-Short-Time Working Allowance” with the Social Security Institution Monthly Premium and Service Document on behalf of the employees subject to short-time working.

If the short-time working is conducted due to force majeure events, the payments related to short-time working allowance will start to be made following the completion of the 1 (one) week’s period, which is the period of 1 (one) week in which it cannot be worked at the workplace due to force majeure events that require the business to be cease for more than 1 (one) week. The employers will make half pay to their employees within such period of 1 (one) week.

The detailed information can be found at https://iskur.gov.tr/en/employer/short-term-employment-allowance/.

Salary of the employees, who work under short-time working, related to week holidays, national holidays and religious holidays, on which the employees do not work, will be paid by the employer and the Agency in proportion to the period of short-time working.

In the event any employee obtaining short-time working allowance starts a job, starts to obtain old-age pension, is called to arms due to any reason, leaves his/her job due to duty of work arising from any law or temporary incapacity payment commences on behalf of the relevant employee (as of the date, on which the health report subject to temporary incapacity allowance has started), the short-time working allowance provided to the relevant employee will be cut.

D. Overpayments by the Agency:

In the event the Agency makes overpayment due to the submission of wrongful information and documents by the employer, such overpayments will be collected from the employer along with their legal interest. In addition, in the event the Agency makes overpayment due to the fault of the employee, such overpayments will be collected from the employee along with their legal interest.

E. Early Termination of Short-Time Working:

If, during the period of short-time working, the employer wishes to terminate short-time working and to continue with its normal activities, the employer must provide 6 (six) business days’ prior written notice to the Agency (to the union that is a party to the collective agreement, if any) and to the employees. In this case, the short-time working will terminate as of the date stated on the notice.