Turkey Extends Lay-Off Ban Aiming to Protect Employees From Pandemic Impact

Turkey extended a ban on lay-offs introduced in April last year for another two months, a presidential decision published on the country’s Official Gazette announced on Tuesday. The ban aimed to protect employees from being laid off on grounds caused by financial impacts of coronavirus pandemic.

When coronavirus pandemic brought the global life to a near stand-still in 2020, governments around the world rushed to introduce measures to protect billion dollars companies. But the Turkish government has introduced short-time work allowance and lay-off ban which aimed to avert mass lay-offs while supporting companies from the financial downturn of the pandemic.

The lay-off ban was introduced on April, 16th, 2020 during the first wave of the virus. President Erdogan has the authority to extend it by decrees until mid 2021, each extension being no more than 3 months.

Turkey’s coveted lay-off ban forbids employers to terminate contract unless  there are certain other criteria like ethics problems or bankruptcy.

The regulation also allows companies to force employees to take unpaid leave wholly or partially but taking unpaid leave within the scope of this regulation should not grant the employee the right to terminate the contract.

The ban allowed Turkey to manage the pandemic period with reasonable impact on unemployment which went slightly up to 12.9% in November.

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