Employment Contracts

employmen conract

Employment Contracts

According to Article 9 of the Turkish Labor Law No. 4857, employment contracts may be concluded either for a fixed or an indefinite period. An employment contract is deemed to have been concluded for an indefinite period when the employment relationship is not based on a fixed term. On the other hand, the conclusion of a fixed-term employment contract is exceptional in labor law, which is only possible if the work or the contract is subject to an objective condition such as cases where the work has a fixed duration or will be completed within a fixed period or when a certain event occurs.

Turkey has four types of employment contracts:

  • Temporary and Permanent Employment contracts,
  • Definite and Indefinite contracts,
  • Part-time and full-time employment contracts,
  • Work on-call employment contracts.
Definite/Fixed-term employment

This is fixed-term employment with a fixed date for the end of employment. A fixed-term contract can only be renewed once (except in specific circumstances) and becomes a permanent contract.

Indefinite/open-ended employment:

This is used when the employment does not have a specified duration or end date.

It should be noted that open-ended contracts give employees more extensive rights than fixed-term contracts. The table below shows the significant differences between the two:

Indefinite/open-ended employment contracts
Definite/Fixed-term employment contracts
No automatic expiration date Automatically expires at the end of the term
A written notice of termination shall be sent by the terminating party No need for written termination notice
The employee may be entitled to the “notice pay” upon termination of employment. No notice pay upon termination of employment
The employee may be entitled to the “severance pay” upon termination of employment. No severance pay upon termination of employment

Temporary work: A temporary contract is for work of up to six months; it can be renewed twice for a maximum employment period of 18 months.

Full-time employment: A full-time employee is contracted to work 45-hour in a workweek typically. The hours may be unevenly distributed over a week but may never exceed 11 hours in a day.

Part-time employment: Contract for an employee whose standard weekly working time is significantly less than that of an employee working full-time.

On-call work and project-based employment: Normally, working hours are agreed in advance. When the hours for a project have not been agreed, the weekly working time is limited to 20 hours. An employer must give a decent notice when the employee must be on duty / available.

Important note: A fixed-term employment contract must be signed for foreign employees.

A work permit must be obtained for foreign employees in Turkey. According to the regulations of the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services, a one-year fixed-term employment contract is required for a work permit. This employment contract cannot be arranged as part-time; it must be issued as full-time. If the work permit of the employee is to be extended, the duration of the employment contract is extended accordingly. For the following questions, please check this link:

  • What is work permit in Turkey?
  • What are the conditions to obtain a work permit in Turkey?
  • How to obtain a work permit in Turkey?

An employee’s trial period can be up to two months. However, this period may be extended to four months with the agreement of the employee and the employer. During the trial period, a contract can be terminated without notice by either party.

work permit

A written contract must be signed by the employer and the employee and must contain the following information:

  • Business name of the company, name of the employer and address of the place of work,
  • Name, social security number and residential address of the employee,
  • Starting date and duration of the trial period,
  • Duration of the contract (definite or indefinite duration),
  • Hours of work and time period (daily, monthly),
  • Description of the employee’s job and responsibilities,
  • Responsibilities of the employer,
  • Details of salary and side benefits, overtime, terms of payment and annual leave,
  • Termination rules,
  • Other special conditions.

Important note: For the foreign employees who need a work permit in Turkey, it is mandatory to prepare a simple fixed-term employment contract according to the format published by the Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services.

If the main employer and employee request a more detailed employment contract, a more detailed second employment contract can be prepared. However, the first employment contract, according to the Ministry’s instructions, should be considered regarding the legal aspect.