As it is well known, there is a rapid increase in the spread of the New Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all over the world and there is a serious increase in the number of the cases and patients in our country as well. Within this period, while taking measures to protect public health, it is aimed to protect the economic stability and the employment at the same time. Within this scope, in accordance with the provisional article 10 of the Labor Law, a temporary termination prohibition and unpaid leave implementation have been identified and anticipated for three months. The termination prohibition and unpaid leave implementation, which was extended many times before, have been extended with the Presidential Decision No. 3344 published in the Official Gazette dated 30/12/2020 and numbered 31350.
Prohibition of Termination
Within the scope of the provisional article 10 of the Labor Law, all types of employment agreements cannot be terminated by the employer except for the terminations arising from the employee’s behavior contrary to the rules of ethics and goodwill and similar cases, expiry of the term in fixed-term employment agreements, closure of the workplace for any reason and termination of the workplace’s activities, termination of the work in service procurements and construction undertakings conducted in accordance with the relevant legislation.
Due to the continuing effect of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the term of the temporary termination prohibition was extended for two months as of 17/11/2020 in accordance with the Presidential Decision No. 3135 published in the Official Gazette dated 27/10/2020 and numbered 31287. It has been decided to extend this period for two months as of 17/01/2021 in accordance with the Presidential Decision No. 3344 published in the Official Gazette dated 30/12/2020 and numbered 31350, and thus the termination prohibition period has been extended until 17/03/2021.
It should be noted that the employer or employer’s representative who terminates the employment contract contrary to the termination prohibition will be imposed an administrative fine for each employee whose contract is terminated amount of monthly gross minimum wage at the time of the act (3.577.50 TL for 2021).
Unpaid Leave Implementation
In spite of this termination prohibition, the employer has been granted the right to leave the employee for unpaid leave in whole or in part with the provisional article 10 of the Labor Law, and under the aforementioned provision, taking unpaid leave does not provide the employee the right to terminate the agreement based on a just cause.
The period of unpaid leave implementation has been extended until 17/03/2021 in accordance with the Presidential Decision No. 3344 published in the Official Gazette dated 30/12/2020 and numbered 31350 in accordance with the termination prohibition period.
According to this record, during the termination prohibition period, the employees will be able to benefit from cash wage support until 17/03/2021 provided that the employees ;
- are on unpaid leave pursuant to the provisional article 24 of the Unemployment Insurance Law No. 4447 and unable to benefit from the short-time working allowance,
- whose employment agreement is terminated so as to be entitled to unemployment benefits but cannot benefit from this unemployment benefit according to the other provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Law No. 4447, on the condition that the employment agreement is terminated after 15/3/2020.
It should also be noted that the President of the Republic is authorized to extend the terms regarding the termination prohibition and unpaid leave implementation until 30/6/2021 for a maximum period of three months.
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