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Exercising the right of notice of termination
Features and procedures of the Notice of Termination
According to Article 17 of the Turkish Labour Law, before terminating a continual employment contract made for an indefinite period, a notice to the other party must be served by the terminating party. Under Article 19 of the Turkish Labour Law, the notice of termination shall be given by the employer in written from involving the reason for termination, which must be specified in clear and precise terms.
In accordance with Article 19/1 of the code, in employment relations which are subject to employment security, the written form requirement of the notice of termination is the condition for validity. Notifications that do not comply with this requirement will be invalid. According to Article 109 of the Turkish Labour Law all the notifications under this law should be made in written form. Therefore, in employment relations which are not subject to employment security, the written form requirement is not a condition for validity but a condition for proof.
The employer can reveal his/her will for termination in written form, verbally or through actions. Termination is available in cases where the addressee is in a position to interpret this behaviour as a will to terminate due to the trust theory according to the nature of the event. However, it should be noted that according to Article 19/1, as the termination notice in writing is a validity condition for terminations to be made by the employer in relations subject to employment security, the termination will be deemed invalid if done verbally or through actions, since the termination does not comply with the written form requirement.
Period of the Notice of Termination
Under Article 17, increasing notification periods are regulated according to the employment period of the employee in the workplace, that is, his seniority. According to this article the contract shall then terminate;
- in the case of an employee whose employment has lasted less than six months, at the end of the second week following the serving of notice to the other party;
- in the case of an employee whose employment has lasted for six months or more but for less than one and a half years, at the end of the fourth week following the submission of notice to the other party;
- in the case of an employee whose employment has lasted for one-and-a-half years or more but for less than three years, at the end of the sixth week following the submission of notice to the other party;
- in the case of an employee whose employment has lasted for more than three years, at the end of the eighth week following the submission of notice to the other party.
These periods for notice of termination apply for terminations made by both the employee and the employer. If the employment contract is suspended for any reason within the termination notification period, the notification period will not be calculated until the end of the suspension period.
Notification periods regulated under Article 17/2 are minimum periods. The timeframe may be prolonged through contracts between the parties but cannot be reduced or removed.
2. Provision and conclusions of the notice of Termination
a. Conditions of parties during the notification period
All rights and obligations arising from the employment contract between the employee and the employer continue in the same period that must pass from the date of the notification of termination to the date of the termination of the employment contract. Therefore, the worker will still be under the obligation of service and the employer will be under the obligation to pay. However, the fact that the right of the notice of termination has been used before, does not prevent the use of the right to terminate immediately for a just cause, since the rights still continue in the same way, in the event that a justified reason for termination occurs within the notification period.
b. Granting Permission to Seek New Jobs
Turkish Labour Law Article 27 allows the employee to search for a new job within the notification period and within working hours. Pursuant to this Article, the employer is obliged to give the employee permission to seek a job within working hours and without deducting wages in order for the employee to find a new job within the notice periods. The job search permit cannot be less than two hours a day and the employee can combine the job searching hours and use them collectively. However, an employee that wants to use the job seeking permission collectively has to coincide with the days before the day of quitting and inform the employer of this situation. Moreover, the employee cannot determine the time to use the new job search permit. Otherwise, the employer may immediately terminate the employment contract for justified reasons due to the absenteeism of the employee.
The sanction of the employer not to grant the permission to seek a job or to make it under use is to pay the employee the wage for that period. If the employer employs the employee during the job seeking permit, in addition to the wage that the employee will receive without a work permit, the wage of the period employed is paid with a hundred percent increase.
The new job seeking permit under Article 27 can be benefited from regardless of who initiated the termination. That being said, this permit does not apply in cases where in the employment contract is terminated through cash payment; where there is immediate termination based on just cause; and where the termination is irregular or invalid. Likewise, if the employment contract is terminated immediately for justified reasons within the notice period, the right to seek new employment ends. Again, it should be noted that in this case, the new job search permit fee paid until the termination of the contract cannot be recovered. It is not necessary for the worker to make a request for the emergence of the right to seek a new job.