Turkish Wage and Hour Law Shares Many Complexities With Its American Counterpart

by Fisher Phillips

Wage and hour law in Turkey is deceptively complex despite its seemingly simple premise, just as its American counterpart. Indeed, many of the same issues American employers wrangle with relative to laws and regulations concerning employee pay (e.g., minimum wage, overtime, what constitutes time “worked,” etc.) , also must be considered by Turkish employers.

The majority of Turkish wage and hour law is governed by Turkey’s Labor Law No. 4857 (the “Labor Law”) as is much of the employer/employee relationship in Turkey. However, just as in the United States, governmental agencies also have a large role to play in matters of employee pay in Turkey. For example, Turkey’s Ministry of Labor sets the minimum wage for Turkish employees. The Ministry of Labor is required by law to reset the minimum wage at least once every two years. Recently, however, the Ministry of Labor has taken to resetting the minimum wage every six months, which, as one could imagine, has kept Turkish employers on their toes when it comes to determining the pay of its workers.

The standard work week in Turkey is 45 hours, with the usual schedule of seven and one-half hours per day, six days a week. Time and a half is paid for all overtime worked by employees who work at least a typical 45-hour work week. Employers and employees may agree to a shorter work week than the standard 45 hours by way of individual employment contracts, which are the basis of the employment relationship in Turkey. If an employee’s normal work week is less than 45 hours, then the employee is entitled to only one and one quarter hour of pay for every extra hour worked. Employees are also entitled to double-time pay if required to work on a national holiday.

Unlike in the US, regardless of whether a Turkish employee works a standard 45-hour per week schedule or a lesser amount pursuant to an employment contract, he or she may not work more than 11 hours per day, must consent to work any overtime, and is limited to working a maximum of 270 hours of overtime a year. Furthermore, the employee can chose whether to take comp time in lieu of overtime pay, which the employee may use within six months.

However, just as in many American employer/employee relationships, issues may arise in the Turkish employment setting regarding what is and is not compensable time “worked” by an employee. Under Turkey’s Labor law, certain travel time, idle time when an employee is at the employer’s disposal, and time spent by recent mothers nursing, are all considered time “worked.” But standard break times to which Turkish employees are entitled, which range from 15 minutes to one hour based upon the amount of time worked by the employee on a given day, are not considered time “worked.”

The above-discussed matters are only some of the most basic issues at the center of Turkish wage and hour law. Other issues regarding employee pay and work schedules, such as tips, record keeping and withholdings from pay checks, exist in Turkey just as in America. As one can see, the complexities that permeate the seemingly simple premise of wage and hour law in America are also present in Turkey.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fisher Phillips | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Fisher Phillips

Fisher Phillips on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.