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AMENDMENT TO THE LABOR LAW AND THE LAW ON OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

This Amendment Law numbered 6645 (the “Amendment Law”) amending the Labor Law numbered 4857, the Law on Occupational Health and Safety numbered 6331 and certain laws and decree- laws was published in the Official Gazette numbered 28335 and dated 23 April 2015.

The Amendment Law provides that working methods which could threaten life because of coerced production in violation of the production or manufacturing plans and business schedules will be deemed grounds for suspension of the work. Employers or employers’ representatives who carry out unauthorized operations for the works suspended in workplaces will be sentenced to imprisonment from 3 years to 5 years.

In mining workplaces where deadly work accidents occur, the employer will be excluded from public tenders for 2 years provided that the employer’s fault is judicially determined.

In which mining work places rescue chambers will be created and the technical specifications of these chambers will be governed by a regulation to be issued within a year.

Employers who make their employees use personal protective equipment which does not meet standards and which fail to install the monitoring system which shows the location of miners and their entries and exits will be punished with an administrative fine.

The income to be derived out of the sales of the goods owned by the companies that carry out underground mining activities, which were made as a result of expropriation procedures or legal proceedings initiated by the Saving Deposits Insurance Fund (in Turkish, “Tasarruf Mevduatı Sigorta Fonu”), will be used primarily for the payment of the severance pays and other receivables of the employees working in these companies.

For the works where tourism, private security and health services are provided, night shifts will be allowed over 7.5 hours, provided that the employee’s consent is obtained.

The Social Security Institution (SSI) may not share the personal data they process and the data that have trade secret nature with natural and legal entities without the notarized consent of the data owner.

Those who do not have occupational qualification certificate may not be recruited 12 months after the date of publication of the communiqué for the occupations specified in the communiqué whose standards were published and which are classified in the category of hazardous and very hazardous works. Employers and employers’ representatives who employ employees who do not have the required qualification will be punished with an administrative fine of 500 Turkish Lira for each employee.

OUTSTANDING SOCIAL SECURITY PREMIUMS OF ARTISANS

The insured status of those insured by the Social Security Organization for Artisans (in Turkish, “Bağ- Kur’lular”) who have outstanding premium debts for 12 months and more as of the end of his month shall be suspended if they fail to pay or reconstruct their premium debts within 3 months.

RECRUITMENT OF SAFETY SPECIALIST, OCCUPATIONAL PHYSICIAN AND OTHER HEALTH PERSONNEL

It is worthy to note that contrary to the expectations of the employers, this Amendment Law did not provide any postponement of the employer’s obligation regarding the recruitment of safety specialist (in Turkish, “iş güvenliği uzmanı”) and occupational physician (in Turkish, “işyeri hekimi”) at the workplace. As per articles 6 and 26/1b of the Law numbered 6331 on Occupational Health and Safety:

Workplace Class
Date of Entering in Force
Administrative Fine

Number of employees > 50

All the hazard classes

30.12.2012

TRY 5,000 for each one of safety specialist, occupational physician and other health personnel. The fine applies again for each month of absence of the aforementioned professionals.

Number of employees < 50

Hazardous and very hazardous

01.01.2014

Less hazardous and state organization

01.07.2016

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND

In case the young unemployed are recruited under certain conditions, the employer’s contribution to the insurance premium will be paid out of the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

The social security contribution premium rate of 15%, which is deducted from the employees upon retirement, will be reduced to 10%.

The workplaces where no work accident occurred will be provided with incentives. In workplaces where no work accident occurred, the employer’s contribution to employees’ unemployment insurance will be collected as 1% for 3 years.

THOSE BELOW THE AGE OF 15 WILL NOT BE EMPLOYED

Children below the age of 15 will not be employed, and children below the age of 14 will be employed in artistic, cultural and advertisement activities, provided that a written contract is concluded and permission is obtained for each activity.

Children working in artistic, cultural and advertisement activities may not work more than 5 hours a day and 30 hours a week. For children above the age of 15, this period may be increased to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.

FIVE-DAY PAID LEAVE FOR PATERNITY

Employees will be granted a three-day paid leave for marriage, adoption of a child or for the death of their father, spouse, siblings and children, and a five-day paid leave for paternity.

EARNING OF THE EMPLOYER SUBJECT TO SOCIAL SECURITY PREMIUM

As per article 46 of this Amendment Law, the article 80/b of the Social Security and General Health Insurance Law numbered 5510 has been abrogated, with effect from 1 October 2008 as per the article 88 of the Amendment Law. The said abrogated article was providing that: “Where the insurance holder is also employer, then the earning subject to premium cannot be less than thirty times the highest daily earning subject to premium of the employed insurance holders. Monthly earnings subject to premium of the insurance holder whose monthly earning subject to premium is determined to be less than the thirty days of daily earning subject to premium of employed insurance holder shall be increased to the level of determined earning and the premium of the difference shall be collected by applying default fine or default increment pursuant to the provisions of Article 89”.

Our Firm remains at your disposal for any further clarifications you may need or any further queries you may have in connection with our above explanations.

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