Side Benefits

Regulation of working time

The maximum allowable workweek is generally 45 hours divided into working days of equal length. An employer may increase the schedule to more than 45 hours in working weeks without paying overtime provided that no workday exceeds 11 hours and that within two months, the average length of the work week does not exceed 45 hours.

The maximum overtime hours cannot exceed 270 hours a year. In addition, the following employees are not allowed to do overtime:

  • Employees under 18 years of age,
  • Pregnant employees have just given birth,
  • Employees working under a fixed-term employment contract,
  • Employees who prove their lack of sanitary conditions with health reports from the authorized health centers.

Employee consent is required for overtime works.

side benefits

Overtime payment

Overtime pay at 1.5 times the straight-time rate is mandatory when an employee’s hours of work exceed 45 hours a week. Workers may choose to take one and a half hours off instead of overtime pay for each hour of overtime worked within six months. Overtime wages must be remunerated twice the standard hourly rate in case employee works in national holidays announced by government authorities.

Health Insurance

The health system in Turkey comprises a combination of compulsory public health insurance and private health insurance. The Ministry of Health is responsible for the coordination of all health and social protection activities, and, according to the Turkish Constitution, all individuals have the right to social security. The public health system is financed by public health insurance which is automatically deducted from the source/ employees’ salaries.

Social Security and Welfare Benefits

The Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services (Aile, Çalışma ve Sosyal Güvenlik Bakanlığı) is responsible for employment and social security affairs in Turkey.

The social security system in Turkey is managed by the Social Security Institution (SGK) that emerged from the merger of three different organizations, namely, the Government Employees Retirement Fund for civil servants, the Social Insurance Institution for contractual and the Self Employment Fund (Bağ-Kur) for self-employers.

The Social Insurance and Universal Health Insurance Law no 5510 is the legal basis for the status and implementation of the contributory system. The Law in question became fully enforced as of 1 October 2008.

Contribution to the state-run social security scheme (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu – SGK) is compulsory for all employees. A percentage of employees’ pre-tax wages are paid into the system. Both employers and employees pay premiums; however, premiums vary according to the level of risk associated with a job.

The employee contributes approximately 15% of the employee’s salary, which is deducted at source and paid to the state. The employer contributes about 22.5%.

Agricultural workers, the self-employed, and people receiving benefits from other organizations in the system are not eligible for SGK social security benefits.

Pension System

Pensions in Turkey can be public or private.

The public pension system is regulated by the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (Social Security Institution, SGK), which collects insurance contributions from employees and employers, 9% from employees, and 11% from employers. Once an employee who has paid dues to the SGK for the required period reaches retirement age, he/she becomes eligible for the SGK pension. The amount of his/her pension is determined by the amount of contributions he/she has paid. In addition to SGK pensions, employees can make use of the private pension system by making additional contributions to private pension funds managed by private insurance companies. The private pension system is regulated by law.

Additional Side Benefits

Some side benefits are widely accepted in Turkish working life, so most employers provide the following benefits:

  • Meal vouchers/ lunch tickets
  • Travel allowance
  • Company car (Especially for senior management level and sales team)
  • Private Health Insurance