Terms of Termination Prohibition, Unilateral Unpaid Leave and Short-Time Working Allowance Extended in Wake of Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
Shortly after publication of Law No. 7252 on the Establishment of Digital Platforms Commission and Amendment of Certain Laws (“Law”) in the Official Gazette (No. 31199) dated 28 July 2020, two Presidential Decrees (No. 2810 and 2811) published in the Official Gazette (No. 31202) on 31 July 2020, extended the terms of the termination ban, unilateral unpaid leave and short-time working allowance for one month.
Following these developments, another Presidential Decree (No. 2915) published in the Official Gazette (No. 31230) on 31 August 2020, extended the term of short-time working allowance for two more months, to commence following the one month extension.
Lastly, with Presidential Decree No. 2930 published in the Official Gazette (No. 31234) on 4 September 2020, the terms regarding the termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave have also been extended for another 2 months, as of 17 September 2020.
Amendments regarding the termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave introduced by Law No. 7252 are (briefly) as follows:
- the President has been authorised to extend the terms of termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave until 30 June 2021, for no longer than three months per extension.
- the scope of exceptions of the termination ban has been expanded, and the following items have been regulated as exceptions to the termination ban:
- expiry of the term in fixed-term employment or service 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.
Extension of the term of termination prohibition and unilateral unpaid leave
Presidential Decree No. 2930 published in the Official Gazette (No. 31234) on 4 September, 2020 extended the terms regarding the termination ban and unilateral unpaid leave for a further 2 months, until 17 November2020. In accordance with the above, termination of employment contracts by employers will be prohibited, however, employers will be able to impose unpaid leave, without the employee’s consent, until 17 November 2020. As per the amendments introduced by Law No. 7252, the President is expected to extend these terms.
Extension of the term of short-time working allowance
Presidential Decree No. 2810, published in the Official Gazette (No. 31202) on 31 July, provides that the term of granting short-time working allowance for workplaces, which applied for short-time working on the grounds of compelling reasons arising out of COVID-19 until 30 June 2020 (inclusive of this date) has been extended for one month until 1 September 2020. Later, Presidential Decree No. 31230, published in the official Gazette and dated 31 August 2020, extended this term for an additional two months. As of the date of this article, workplaces fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements are entitled to benefit from the short-time working allowance until 31 October 2020 (inclusive of this date).
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