Turkish Law Blog
Obligations of the Employer Depending on the Number of Employees
Under the current Turkish Legal System, the employer has certain general obligations arising from the labor contract. These general obligations stipulated in the Labor Law numbered 4857 (“The Law”) can be summarized as establishing occupational health and safety in the workplace and conducting supervision and observance related to this. However, as the number of employees of a workplace increases, a number of additional obligations arise along with the general obligations. Consequently, these obligations increase as the number of employees of the workplace increases.
In accordance with Labor Law numbered 4857 and Occupational Health and Safety Law numbered 6331, different obligations of employer arise as the number of employees exceeds 20, 30, 50, 100 and 150. In the following paragraphs, the obligations of the employer according to the changing number of employees will be examined in detail.
i. Employers Employing Twenty and More Employees
According to Article 29 of the Law, if the labor contracts of 10 employees in a workplace with 20 to 100 employees are terminated by the employer collectively or on different dates, within one month, the employer has a notification obligation. In such a case the employer is obliged to report the termination to the workplace union representatives, relevant regional directorate and Turkish Employment Agency 30 days before the date of termination in writing.
ii. Employers Employing Thirty and More Employees
If the number of employees employed in the workplace is 30 and more and the seniority of the employees are more than 6 months, these employees have the right to benefit from the employment security provisions regulated under the Law. Accordingly, a valid reason must be sought by the employer for the termination of the labor contract of an employee covered by employment security. However, under the Law, the following reasons are not considered as valid grounds for termination particularly; participation in trade union activities, suing against the employer, race, color, gender, marital status, pregnancy, birth, religion and political opinion.
In the calculation of 30 employees, the number of employees in all workplaces owned by the same employer in the same branch is taken into account. Also, the seniority of the employees is calculated by taking into consideration the time spent in all workplaces of the same employer.
iii. Employers Employing Fifty and More Employees
In accordance with Article 30 of the Law, in private sector workplaces where 50 and more employees are employed, 3% of the employees must be disabled. In the calculation of the number of employees, the number of employees employed in the workplaces of the same employer within the same provincial boundaries is taken into account.
On the other hand, in public workplaces where 50 and more employees are employed, 4% of the employees must be disabled and 2% of the employees must be former convicted.
In addition, employers employing 50 and more employees have an obligation arising from the Occupational Health and Safety Law numbered 6331. Accordingly, these employers are obliged to establish Occupational Health and Safety Boards in order to carry out studies on occupational health and safety and perform the rulings of the board established.
iv. Employers Employing One Hundred and More Employees
Pursuant to the Regulation on Annual Paid Leave issued in accordance with Article 53 of the Law, employers of the workplaces with 100 and more employees are obliged to establish a board of leave. The board should be consisting of three people, one of them representing the employer or the representative of the employer and two of them representing the employees. The duty of the board is to prepare the annual leave schedule and to ensure that the employees are able to use the annual paid leaves.
Also, if the labor contracts of at least 10% employees of a workplace with 101 to 300 employees are terminated by the employer collectively or on different dates, within one month, the employer has a notification obligation pursuant to Article 29 of the Law.
Finally, the employers of the workplaces with 100 and more female employees have an additional obligation. In such workplaces, the employers are obliged to establish a breastfeeding room separate from the workplace and at a maximum distance of 250 meters from the workplace for the female employees in order to leave and breastfeed the children under one year of age.
v. Employers Employing One Hundred and Fifty and More Employees
Although the employers employing 150 and more employees do not have significant obligations arising from the Law, in a case of employing 150 and more female employees, the employers are obliged to establish nursery for the employees pursuant to Regulation on Conditions for Recruitment of Pregnant or Lactating Women and Breastfeeding Rooms and Children Care Dormitories. In such a case, the nursery should be established as near as possible to the workplace otherwise the employer has to provide transportation for the employees.
In conclusion, under the Turkish Legal System, the obligations of the employer vary depending on the number of employees employed in the workplace. As the number of employees increase in the workplace, the employers are encountering more obligations additional to the prior ones. The increase of the responsibilities of an employer is an expected consequence since the labor force in the workplace increases along with the number of employees.
 Labor Law numbered 4857 and dated May 22, 2003, published in the Official Gazette numbered 25134 and dated Jun 10, 2003.
 Occupational Health and Safety Law numbered 6631 and dated Jun 20, 2012, published in the Official Gazette numbered 28339 and dated Jun 30, 2012.
 Regulation on Annual Paid Leave published in the Official Gazette numbered 25391 and dated Mar 3, 2004.
 Regulation on Conditions for Recruitment of Pregnant or Lactating Women and Breastfeeding Rooms and Children Care Dormitories published in the Official Gazette numbered 28737 and dated Aug 16, 2013.