Newsletter on Presidential Decree regarding Measures Taken related to Labor and Social Security under the State of Emergency
Presidential Decree No. 125 on Measures Taken related to Labor and Social Security under the State of Emergency (“Decree”) was published in the Official Gazette dated 22.02.2023.
Within the scope of the Decree, it is aimed to take certain measures in the field of labor and social security, regarding the state of emergency declared due to the earthquake, to be implemented in the cities where the state of emergency was declared (i.e. Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Diyarbakır, Adana, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Adıyaman, Malatya and Hatay).
The said measures are as follows:
1. Measures Regarding Short-Term Employment (Article 2 of the Decree):
Pursuant to the following article, short-term employment allowance will be granted to earthquake-affected employers upon application.
For short-term employment applications made by employers to the Turkish Employment Agency on the grounds of regional crisis caused by the effects of earthquakes during the state of emergency, short-term employment allowance shall be granted in accordance with the application of the employers within the scope of the additional article 2 of the Unemployment Insurance Law No. 4447 dated 25/8/1999 and numbered 4447, without waiting for the completion of the eligibility determination for the workplaces located in the provinces/districts to be determined by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security from the region where the state of emergency is declared according to the state of emergency and/or workplaces that document that they are destroyed, to be destroyed immediately, heavily or moderately damaged due to the earthquake. In accordance with the last paragraph of the aforementioned article, overpayments made due to the employer’s provision of incorrect information and documents shall be collected from the employer together with its’ legal interest.
2. Measures Regarding the Protection of Employment (Prohibition of Termination, Article 3 of the Decree):
As per below article, in cities where a state of emergency has been declared, during the period of state of emergency, employees’ employment contracts can not be terminated, except in the following cases:
a) Article 25/II of the Labor Law (cases against morality and good faith),
b) Termination of a fixed-term contract,
c) Closure of the workplace,
d) Termination of the work.
In case of violation, an administrative fine of 1 month of minimum wage will be imposed for each employee terminated within this scope. At the same time, in case of termination in violation of the aforementioned provision, this may also affect the validity of the termination.
In the provinces where a state of emergency has been declared, all kinds of employment or service contracts cannot be terminated by the employer during the state of emergency as of the effective date of this article, except for the cases that do not comply with the rules of morality and good faith and similar reasons stated in the subparagraph (II) of the first paragraph of Article 25 of the Labor Law dated 22/5/2003 and numbered 4857 and the relevant provisions of other laws, the expiration of the term in fixed-term employment or service contracts, the closure of the workplace for any reason and the termination of its activity, termination of the work in all kinds of service procurements and the construction works made according to the relevant legislation.
The employer or the employer’s representative who terminates the employment contract in violation of the provisions of this article shall be imposed an administrative fine by the Provincial Directorates of Labor and Employment Agency in the amount of the monthly gross minimum wage determined by Article 39 of the Law No. 4857 on the date the act was committed for each employee whose contract was terminated.
3. Measures Regarding Providing Monetary Wage Support (Article 4 of the Decree):
Pursuant to the following article, it has been decided that employees in cities where a state of emergency has been declared, may, upon the application by their employers, receive monetary support from the unemployment insurance fund (133.44 TL per day).
In the provinces where the state of emergency has been declared, among the employees who have an employment contract as of 6/2/2023, those whose employment contract is terminated due to the closure or closure of the workplace due to the effects of earthquakes within the scope of the subparagraph (e) of the first paragraph of Article 51 of the Law No. 4447 on and after 6/2/2023 within the scope of subparagraph (e) of the first paragraph of Article 51 of the Law No. 4447 within the scope of the additional article 2 of the Law No. 4447, and those who do not have a new entitlement to unemployment benefits within the scope of the same Law, provided that they do not receive an old-age pension from any social security institution and after completing the remaining periods of their entitlements, if any, which can be started before, they are given a daily cash wage support of 133.44 Turkish liras from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, not exceeding the duration of the state of emergency, during the period of short-term employment or as long as they remain unemployed. No deduction can be made from the payments made, except for stamp tax. Payments shall be made in accordance with the principles set forth in Article 50 of Law No. 4447, provided that they do not contradict the provisions of this article.
Those who benefit from monetary wage support within the scope of this article and who are not covered by the general health insurance or the dependent of the general health insurance according to the Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law dated 31/5/2006 and numbered 5510, are deemed to be general health insured within the scope of subparagraph (g) of the first paragraph of Article 60 of the same Law and their premiums for general health insurance will be covered by the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
Overpayments made due to the employer providing false information and documents will be collected from the employer with its’ legal interest.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security will be authorized to determine the payment procedures and principles regarding monetary wage support and to resolve any doubts that may arise regarding the implementation of this article.
4. Measures Regarding Time Periods (Article 5 of the Decree)
Pursuant to the following article, in cities where a state of emergency has been declared, the terms of the Trade Union and Collective Bargaining Agreements are extended for the duration of the state of emergency.
The terms regarding the granting of authorization certificates, conclusion of collective labor agreements, settlement of collective labor disputes and strike and lockout within the scope of the Law on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreements dated 18/10/2012 and numbered 6356 have been extended for the duration of the state of emergency in the provinces where a state of emergency has been declared as of 6/2/2023 (including this date).
For the workplaces in the provinces where the state of emergency has been declared, the one-month period in the third paragraph of Article 38 of the Law No. 4857 has been extended for the duration of the state of emergency.
5. Measures Taken in the Field of Social Security (Article 6 of the Decree):
The following article provides details on the measures taken in the field of social security.
During the state of emergency, the Social Security Institution will be authorized to take measures and determine the procedures and principles regarding the health services to be financed by the Social Security Institution from the Institution’s budget. Expenses to be made within this scope will be covered from the budget of the Social Security Institution.
Advance payments of health service providers located in and/or providing services in the provinces declared a state of emergency are exempt from Article 35 of the Public Financial Management and Control Law No. 5018 dated 10/12/2003 during the state of emergency, if it covers 6/2/2023 and the following period.
Invoices, documents and annexes for the payment of health expenses that should be submitted to the Social Security Institution by health service providers located in and/or providing services in the provinces declared a state of emergency, but cannot be provided due to the effects of earthquakes, may not be sought in the invoice audit.
The Social Security Institution may postpone the overpayment and improper payment and contractual penalty debts of health service providers located in and/or providing services in the provinces declared as a state of emergency for the duration of the state of emergency.
All of the provisions in the Decree will enter into force on the publication date of the Decree (22.02.2023).