New reg: Maternity leave

Maternity Leave Regulation Update

Turkey has introduced a change on the maternity leave regime adopting new choices for working women and adoptive parents, such as working half-time up to a certain periods and work part-time until the child begins to school, after the expire of statutory maternity leave and/or half-time work periods.

The secondary legislation detailing the outline is now came into force. The Regulation, known as maternity leave regulation was published in the Official Gazette No. 29882 dated 08 November 2016. The maternity leave conditions in the event of birth or adoption, unpaid leave after maternity leave, and part time work until the child begins compulsory primary school are the main highlights of the Regulation.

Maternity Leave
The Regulation reaffirms the main principle under Turkish Labor Code that female employees must not be engaged in work for a total period of sixteen weeks, eight weeks before confinement and eight weeks after confinement. In case the mother dies in childbirth or after the child was born, the unused leaves related the post-natal period shall be used by the father.

In the same way, now one of the married couple or the adopter who adopted a child under three years of age will be allowed up to eight weeks maternity leave starting from the date the child is handed over to them.

Half-time work
As per the Regulation, on condition that baby is born alive, after the maternity leave working female employees or the male or female adopter of a child under three years of age, upon their request shall be granted to work half-time up to:

• Sixty days on first childbirth,
• One hundred and twenty days on second,
• One hundred and eighty days for the third child.

There will be no breast-feeding leave within the above said durations.

Part-time work
Part-time working claims are also regulated with the Regulation. In this respect, after the leave periods (maternity leave, half-time work, unpaid leave), female employees may claim to work part-time until the first day of the month following the date child’s compulsory schooling begins.

The daily or weekly time periods to be worked in part-time will be determined by employer, also by taken into consideration of local tradition, nature of work and claim of employee. Wages and other dividable benefits of part-time working employee should be paid in proportion of the time worked.

It should be noted that, to claim part-time working, the female employee must prove that her spouse is working. In case her spouse is not working, the female employee cannot claim to work part-time. However, this condition shall not required for the following situations:

• In case one of the spouse has a sickness, which requires continuous care, and on condition that this is certified by a physician report in a general hospital or university hospital.
• In case the guardianship of the child given to one of the spouses by the court and the claimant employee is that legal guardian of the child.
• In case the child under three years of age adopted solely.

Employee who wants to claim part-time work should notify the employer in writing at least one month before he/she starts working part-time.

In the works which are not specified below, employee may work part-time without consent of employer. However, in following fields and works, part-time work can be permissible only by the employer's consent:

• In private health establishments; responsible manager, responsible physician,
laboratory manager, and the employees who are supposed to work full time in the jobs considered as health service.
• In the works performed by continuing shifts because of their nature and which are considered industrial work.
• Seasonal campaigns and contract works last less than one year.
• If the hours of work cannot be divided due to nature of the job.

Employee, who started to work part-time, may switch to fulltime working, on condition that not benefiting from this right again for the same child.

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