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Amendments To The Labor Law Introduced By Law Numbered 6663

February 2016

Introduction

The Law on the Amendment to the Income Tax Law numbered 6663 (“Law No. 6663”) and Other Certain Laws was accepted on 29.01.2016 and entered into force through publication in the Official Gazette dated 10.02.2016 and numbered 29620. As is evident by its name, Law No. 6663 is considered as an “omnibus law,” and amended various laws. The most important of these laws is Labor Law numbered 4857 and related legislation.

Law No. 6663 introduces provisions providing secured flexibility to business life, and strengthens rights and permissions regarding maternity periods.

Amendments made by the Law

Law No. 6663 grants women, adoptive parents, or one of the spouses (in the case of adoption) unpaid leave up to six months, after expiry of their maternity leave and following their adoption, or acknowledges the right for such persons to use unpaid leave for one-half of working hours, for a period of up to six weeks.

Accordingly, the following provisions were added to Article 74 of the Labor Law entitled “Working in Maternity Period and Breast Feeding Permission:”

“In the event of the post-natal death of the mother, unused leave shall be used by the father. The adoptive parent or one of the spouses who adopts a child, and who is younger than three years of age, shall use maternity leave for a period of eight weeks, commencing as soon as the child is physically entrusted to the family.”

“Following the expiry of the maternity leave, which is used in accordance with the first paragraph, in order to ensure nursing and the raising of the child, provided that the child is still living, the female employee and male or female employees, adopting a child who is younger than three years of age, shall be granted, upon their requests, unpaid leave for one-half of their working hours for a period of sixty days for the first birth, one hundred and twenty days for the second birth, and one hundred and eighty days for any subsequent births. In case of multiple births, thirty days per each birth shall be added to these periods. If the child is born being disabled, such periods shall be extended as three hundred sixty days. The parent shall not benefit from the provisions on maternity leave, while enjoying the rights envisaged under this paragraph.”

“In the event of adoption, this leave shall either be granted to one of the spouses or to the adoptive parent.”

“The provisions in this article shall apply to all employees working with a labor agreement, either within or outside of the scope of this Law.”

Law No. 6663 introduces a part-time employment option for parents, after the expiry of the maternity leave, and employment for one-half of the working hours, until their child reaches school age. Within this context, the following paragraph has been added to Article 13 of the Labor Law entitled “Agreement of Part and Full Time Employment.”

“As of the expiry of the periods envisaged under Article 74 of this Law, one of the parents may request part-time employment, until the first day of the month following the month in which the child starts compulsory elementary education. This request shall be fulfilled by the employer and shall not be deemed as a valid reason for termination. The employee working part-time as per this paragraph may return to full-time employment, given that he/she shall not benefit from this right again for the same child. The employment agreement of the employee, who has been employed in order to substitute the employee who was temporarily working part-time, shall automatically terminate. The employee requesting to benefit from such right, or wishing to return to his/her full-time employment status, shall notify the employer, in writing, at least one month prior to such events. If one of the parents is unemployed, the working parent shall not request part-time employment. Persons adopting a child younger than three years of age, either severally or with his/her spouse, shall benefit from such right as of the entrustment of the child.”

Additionally, Law No. 6663 has also added certain provisions to Unemployment Insurance Law No. 4447, in conjunction with the aforementioned provisions. Accordingly, Additional Article 5, entitled “Part Time Employment Payment after Maternity and Adoption,” has been added to the Unemployment Insurance Law:

“The employee shall be paid according to part-time salary, following the maternity and adoption, throughout his/her unpaid leave period, equal to one-half of the working hours per week. The duration of the payment shall be equal to one-half of the weekly working hours indicated under Article 63 of Law No. 4857.”

“In order to benefit from such provision, the employee must have paid at least 600 days’ of declared unemployment insurance premium, the employee must have actually worked for one-half of the weekly working hours provided for under Article 63 of Law No. 4857, and must apply to the Institution within 30 days as of the expiry of maternity leave following the birth and adoption period, along with the documenting of the part-time employment following birth and adoption.”

Along with the referred to amendments, Article 53 of the Unemployment Insurance Law has also been modified, the part-time employment payment following birth and adoption, which is regulated under “Additional Article 5,” and the premium expenses have also been added to the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Law No. 6663 has also made certain amendments involving officers, subject to Law No. 657. The rights granted as per the Labor Law has naturally been granted to the officers, as well. In addition to such rights, it has been envisaged that the period of the unpaid leave, following maternity leave for the officers shall be determined in accordance with their stage and degree adjustments.

Likewise, female officers are allowed to work one-half of their Daily working hours for a period of two months for their first births, four months for their second births, and six months for their subsequent births, without any of their financial or social rights being interrupted. Additionally, a four month unpaid leave for female officers, which starts upon the expiry date of their maternity leave, may also be commenced at the expiry date of their two, four or six month part-time employment periods. The same right has also been granted to adopting parents. Again, in line with the amendments to the Labor Law, part-time employment options have also been provided to the officers.

Conclusion

Law No. 6663, which is considered to be an omnibus law and makes alterations to the Income Tax Law along with various laws, introduced quite significant provisions to modern-day business life. The Law introduced adjustments that provide secure flexibilities in business life and procured advancement for maternity rights of the employees. It especially sets forth provisions that enable working mothers and parents to balance between their domestic and business lives. The Law also presents governmental support in this regard.