As our readers will recall from earlier articles, the government had introduced certain time-limited measures in an effort to alleviate the effects Covid-19 had on employers as well as employees, including the prohibition on termination of employment contracts and mandatory unpaid leave. We have also shared with our readers information that the term of termination prohibition and unpaid leave was extended by the president for one month. As a result termination of employment and service contracts is currently prohibited with effect from 17 April 2020 until 17 August 2020. However, the employers are able to mandate their employees to take a partial or fully unpaid leave during this termination period.

The Law no. 7252 published in the Official Gazette dated 28 July 2020 amended the temporary article 10 under Labour Law regulating the termination prohibition. Accordingly;

  • The exceptions to the termination prohibition have been extended. The employers were already allowed to terminate employment agreements for violation of the principles of good faith and moral values and similar reasons. Now, employers can also terminate employment agreements (1) if a fixed-term employment contract expires, (2) if the workplace closes or ceases its activities for any reason, or (3) if the service procurement and constructions works under the relevant legislation terminate.
  • The president's authority to extend the term of termination prohibition was also significantly broadened. The president can now extend the term of the termination prohibition until 30 June 2021, at three monthly intervals.

As the Labour law currently stands, termination prohibition will end on 17 August 2020. However, the extension of the president's authority to extend the term of the prohibition for almost a year can be interpreted as a sign that the term of termination prohibition and unpaid leave is likely to be extended further. We will continue to update our clients on any developments regarding the matter.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.