How To Hire And Pay Employees In Turkey

Emerald Technology's guide to hiring employees in Turkey

CURRENCY

Turkish Lira is the official currency of Turkey. Its currency symbol is , TRY.

CAPITAL CITY

Ankara, Turkey's capital, formerly known as Angora.

LANGUAGE

Turkish is the official language with around 80 t0 90 million speakers.

POPULATION The current population of Turkey is 85.04 Million 2021 based on World bank numbers.
PAYROLL FREQUENCY

Salary payments are usually paid monthly. 

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Turkey has 16 public holidays, with 15 full days and 2 half a days.

GROW YOUR TEAM IN TURKEY

NO ENTITY, NO PROBLEM

To start growing your team in Turkey, you must establish a local entity- including an account with a local bank, a local office and an address registered as a subsidiary. This allows you to manage payroll, tax, benefits and compliance for your employees, but can take several months. 

Emerald can hire and payroll your workers, quickly and compliantly with their ready to go entity. Make growing your team simple with Emerald as a global partner.

PROS AND CONS OF HIRING IN TURKEY

The Turkish economy is booming and growing at an impressive rate, the market is expanding rapidly and your business can capitalise on this by expanding here. It is recognised as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It benefits from a young working population, geopolitical position and sought-after business community which tends to attract a good amount of foreign investment.

However, doing business in Turkey does pose some challenges; it is not the easiest country for foreign companies to adapt to. There are complex bureaucracy and regulatory issues so lots of international companies tend to engage with local partners.

WHY TURKEY IS GOOD FOR REMOTE WORKERS

Turkey is becoming a more popular destination for remote workers. Employers are required to provide necessary tools and equipment for remote workers to ensure their job can be done. Employers are also required to provide a remote work contract when relevant outlining working hours etc. Many digital nomads venture to Turkey because of how accessible co-working spaces are and most major cities have large remote worker communities.

START GROWING YOUR REMOTE WORKFORCE NOW

WORKING TIME AND OVERTIME IN TURKEY

Whilst there is no ‘standard’ work week in Turkey, working hours are set at a maximum of 45 per week and should be equally divided across the number of days worked. If an employee’s weekly working hours exceed 45, they are entitled to overtime pay, which increases their regular hourly rate by 50%. In lieu of payment, employees may be granted 1.5 hours of ‘free time’ for every overtime hour worked. Total overtime hours may not exceed 270 per year.

ANNUAL LEAVE AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Employees who have worked for at least one year (including the probation period) are entitled to paid annual leave. Paid time off is based on years of service, according to the following schedule:

  • 1-5 years: 14 working days
  • 5-15 years: 20 working days
  • 15+ years: 26 working days

Turkey has 16 public holidays, with 15 full days and 2 half a days.

January 1st: New Year's Day 
April 23rd: National Sovereignty and Children's Day 
May 1st: Labor and Solidarity Day 
May 2nd: Ramadan Eve 
May 3rd: Ramadan Feast 
May 4th: Ramadan Feast holiday 
May 19th: Commemoration of Ataturk Youth and Sports Day 
July 8th: Kurban Bayrami Holiday Eve
July 9th: Sacrifice feast day 1
July 10h: Sacrifice feast day 2
July 11h: Sacrifice feast day 3
July 12th: Sacrifice feast day 4
July 15th: Democracy and National Unity Day 
August 30th: Victory Day 
October 28th: Republic Day Eve 
October 29th: Republic Day 

PROBATION PERIOD IN TURKEY

Under Turkish Labour Law, a maximum two-month probation period may be implemented, during which employment may be terminated without penalty.

RESIGNATION AND DISMISSAL IN TURKEY

Employers are obliged to comply with mandatory legal minimum termination notice periods, which vary depending on the length of the employment, in accordance with the following schedule:

  • Less than 6 months: 2 weeks
  • 6-18 months: 4 weeks
  • 18 months - 3 years: 6 weeks
  • 3+ years: 8 weeks

For employees who have completed at least 1 years’ service, severance payments are required for termination of an employment contract, whether or not there is a cause justification. The severance payment is calculated by multiplying the employee’s last 30 days’ gross wage by the number of years they have been employed.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS

Non-compete agreements must be in written form and are only valid if the employee is employed in a position whereby, they will be exposed to valuable knowledge, or trade secrets, and the use of such information may harm the employer. They must be limited to a reasonable period of time (max. 2 years), effective within a specified territory, and in relation to a specific business field. Employee and customer non-solicitation clauses are also permissible.

READY TO HIRE YOUR EMPLOYEES IN TURKEY?

CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT IN TURKEY

For indefinite period contracts, it is legally required to have a written employment contract in place in the local language. The contract should state the terms of the employee’s compensation, all benefits, and termination requirements. The contract should show the employee’s salary in Turkish Lira.

MATERNITY LEAVE IN TURKEY

Pregnant women are eligible to receive 8 weeks of maternity leave preceding and following childbirth. In addition, they are eligible for lump-sum pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing benefits. Fathers are entitled to parental leave of up to 3 days.

SICKNESS LEAVE IN TURKEY

Under Turkish Labour Law, all employees are entitled to a maximum of 1 week’s paid sick leave, on presentation of a valid medical report. Employers are not obliged to pay their employees for time off sick as this is covered by government disability programs. In practice, most employers continue to pay employees their full salary while they are sick and deduct the amount paid by the Social Security Institution from the employee’s salary. Extended sick leave may be granted on an unpaid basis.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Social security premiums must be paid by the employer and the employee at rates defined according to labour categories. For Turkish nationals, the general rates are 20.5% (if certain conditions are satisfied, it is reduced by 5% to 15.5%) for the employer. Foreign nationals who remain covered under their home country’s social security system are not required to pay Turkish social security premiums up to a maximum period of three months (possibly longer if there is a social security treaty between the home country and Turkey).

Contribution Emploee Employer
Social Security Contribution 14% 20.5%
Unemployment Insurance 1% 2%

Note: - State makes 1% contribution to unemployment insurance.

HEALTHCARE AND INSURANCE

The healthcare system in Turkey comprises a mixture of compulsory health insurance and private medical insurance. The Ministry of Health is responsible for coordinating all health and social welfare activities, and according to the Turkish Constitution, all individuals are entitled to social security. The public healthcare system is paid for through public health insurance which is automatically deducted from employees’ salaries.

Employment of

FOREIGN NATIONALS IN TURKEY

Most foreign nationals will need a visa to work in Turkey. A foreign worker un Turkey will initially be issued a definite-term work permit for a maximum of one year. 

Visas in Turkey

In the case of an extension request, the foreign worker shall be granted a maximum of two years’ extension at the first extension application for the same employer, and for further applications, a maximum of three years’ extension shall be granted.

Highly qualified foreign workers may have the option of being granted a ‘Turquoise Card’ for a transition period of three years, during which time their activities and commitments will be monitored by a specialist from the General Directorate. The Turquoise Card can then be made indefinite. Foreign workers with a long-term residence permit or a legal work permit with a minimum term of eight years may apply for an indefinite-term work permit, however, there is no automatic entitlement to this.

Salary Taxes

MINIMUM WAGE IN TURKEY

The minimum wage in Turkey is TRY 5,500 per month.

INCOME TAX

Income tax is payable in Turkey according to the following schedule:

Taxable Income  Tax on excess
0 -22,000 15%
22,000 - 49,000 20%
49,000 -180,000 27%
180,000 -600,000 35%
600,000+ 40%

 

SALARY PAYMENTS IN TURKEY

Salary payments must be made at least once a month. The payment period may be fixed at weekly through the employment contract if desired.

SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS IN TURKEY

The employee contributes 14% of their salary to Social Security, in addition to between 15.5% and 20.5% contributed by the employer (dependent on certain conditions). The employee contributes 1% of their salary to Unemployment Insurance, in addition to 2% contributed by the employer and 1% by the government.

WORKER MISCLASSIFICATION IN TURKEY

Similar to other countries, Turkey has strict rules on classifying individual contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassifying your workers can put your business at risk of fines.

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