Hiring guide in Turkey

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What should I know about hiring in Turkey?

Understanding the local laws and cultural mores is essential when searching for a new hire in Turkey. Hiring in Turkey can be complex, with various regulations and requirements that employers must be aware of. 

First, you should know that Turkey has a highly regulated labour market with laws and regulations covering every facet of working there. These laws govern topics like minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, and other employee protections, and employers must adhere to them. 

In addition, there are laws and regulations that apply only to certain fields of work, such as the Social Security and General Health Insurance Law, which mandates that businesses provide health insurance to their staff. Furthermore, businesses in Turkey are obligated to make regular payments to the government as part of the country’s complex tax system.

Why is Turkey a good choice for finding remote employees?

Turkey has emerged as a global centre for trade, tourism, and innovation thanks to its unique cultural heritage, extensive historical legacy, and prime geographic location. Companies seeking remote workers have increasingly looked to Turkey for many reasons. 

First, the country’s education system has produced a highly educated and skilled labour force. Every year, many graduates from Turkey’s universities enter the workforce with advanced degrees in technical disciplines and information and communication technologies. As a result, employers have access to a large pool of qualified candidates who possess various marketable skills. 

In addition, Turkey is also renowned for its hard-working population, who are willing to put in the time and effort required to produce quality results for their employers. Because of this, it is a great place to set up shop for companies with a strong work ethic and commitment to their employees.

How can Native Teams help you hire in Turkey?

To begin hiring remote Turkish employees, you will need either a legal entity in Turkey or the assistance of a global recruiting solutions provider. Native Teams can be helpful in this situation. Being your Employer of Record in Turkey, Native Teams will help you with all aspects of hiring, onboarding, payroll, taxes, benefits, and general compliance with local legislation.

Hire your first Turkish employee with Native Teams.

Legal requirements for hiring in Turkey

There are certain laws and regulations employers must follow when hiring new employees in Turkey. Below, we’ll outline them in greater detail:

Legal framework

Labor Law No. 4857 is the foundation of employment relations in Turkey. It’s a detailed set of regulations covering crucial elements such as working conditions, salaries, dismissal procedures, and social security.

Types of employment contracts

In Turkey, there are four primary types of employment contracts determined by both the length of employment and the agreed-upon work hours. These encompass fixed and indefinite-term contracts, which are based on the duration of employment, and full-time and part-time contracts, which are determined by the agreed-upon work hours.

Fixed-term contracts are established between an employer and an employee, specifying a predetermined period for the employment, which can be for a set timeframe or until the completion of a particular task or project. On the other hand, indefinite-term contracts lack a predetermined end date and continue until either the employer or the employee terminates them in accordance with labour law provisions.

Full-time contracts require employees to work a standard number of hours per week, typically around 45. Part-time contracts are tailored for employees working fewer hours than those specified for full-time employment.

Content of an employment contract

Employment contracts should include several key elements. These include the identification of involved parties and a clear job title and description. Additionally, the contract should indicate the workplace or remote work arrangement and specify the commencement date of employment. If the contract is fixed-term, it should outline the duration and any probationary period. 

In addition, it should detail the working hours, especially for part-time contracts, and include information on salary, benefits, and entitlements to various types of leave. Termination procedures, as well as provisions regarding non-competition, confidentiality, and intellectual property, should also be clearly outlined. Finally, signatures from both parties signify mutual agreement and acceptance of the contract terms.

Download a free employment contract for Turkey through Native Teams.

Oral, written or electronic employment contracts

Some aspects of the employment agreement need written confirmation to hold legal weight. For example, to establish the legitimacy of part-time or fixed-term contracts, probationary periods, non-compete agreements, confidentiality obligations, and penalty clauses, a written employment contract is essential.

Likewise, foreign workers seeking a work permit in Turkey must provide a written contract. Moreover, remote work arrangements must be formalised through a written contract, as they deviate from standard working conditions.

While not always mandatory, a written employment contract becomes vital for ensuring the validity of specific terms. Without one, labour laws act as the default regulations.

Probationary period

The probationary period provides an opportunity for both parties to assess the suitability of the current work arrangement without any commitments.

Typically, the probationary period lasts up to 2 months, although it may be shorter if agreed upon by both parties. The only exception to this regulation is through collective agreements, which can extend the probationary period to 4 months.

Working hours

The maximum allowed weekly working duration is set at 45 hours, with any additional time considered as overtime. Nevertheless, employers have the freedom to set working hours below this limit as they see fit. The key limitations revolve around not exceeding 45 hours per week and 11 hours per day.

Night work

Working past 8:00 p.m. is considered night work. According to legal regulations, night work should start no later than 8:00 p.m. and conclude no earlier than 6:00 a.m., with a maximum duration of 7.5 hours. On the other hand, daytime work allows up to 11 hours, while nighttime work is limited to 7.5 hours.

Breaks and types of leaves

Employees are granted 15 minutes of rest for shifts lasting 4 hours or less, 30 minutes for shifts between 4 and 7.5 hours, and 1 hour for shifts exceeding 7.5 hours. Additionally, employees must be entitled to at least twenty-four hours of uninterrupted rest within a seven-day period, defined as the “weekly break.”

Annual leave

The length of annual leave is determined by an employee’s tenure within the workplace. Employees who have worked for one to five years are entitled to a minimum of 14 days of annual leave. For those with more than five but less than fifteen years of service, the entitlement increases to at least 20 days, and for employees with fifteen or more years of service, it rises to a minimum of 26 days.

After completing one year of service, employees are entitled to 14 days of annual leave, regardless of their weekly working hours or days.

Public holidays

Public holidays in Turkey are classified into two main categories — national holidays and religious holidays. Some of the national holidays include New Year’s Day, Labour and Solidarity Day, and Republic Day. Religious holidays consist of occasions such as the Ramadan Feast and Kurban Holiday.


Wages are issued at least once per month, although this frequency can be adjusted to weekly intervals through employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements. Annually, the government announces a minimum wage that serves as the baseline for all salaries, with part-time workers’ minimum wage calculated hourly based on this figure. Primary wages must be paid in cash, with additional payments like bonuses potentially given in cash.

To calculate the salary and taxes in Turkey, click here.

Sick leave

An authorised physician can issue sick leave certificates for a patient for up to 10 days at a time, with a maximum allowance of 40 days per calendar year spanning from January 1st to December 31st.

Parental leave

Both parents have the opportunity to opt for part-time work until their child starts primary school, including situations involving adoption. This arrangement offers parents a flexible work schedule to better manage childcare duties.

Paternity and maternity leave

According to local regulations, maternity leave covers 8 weeks before and 8 weeks after childbirth. With a doctor’s certification, an additional 5 weeks of leave before childbirth can be added to the postnatal period, extending postnatal leave to 13 weeks. In cases of multiple pregnancies, 2 weeks are added to the prenatal leave. Mothers also have the option to take unpaid leave until their child reaches 6 months of age.

For female employees adopting a child under 3 years old, maternity leave lasts for 8 weeks starting from the actual receipt of the child. However, if the child is over 3 years old, this period is limited to 3 days.

If the male employee’s spouse gives birth, the father is entitled to 5 days of paternity leave beginning after the birth. Additionally, 3 days of leave are granted in the case of adoption.

Methods of employment termination

The employment relationship can be terminated through various means. These include the death of either the worker or the employer, though if the employer is an individual, the contract doesn’t automatically end unless its continuation is impractical. 

Conclusion of a fixed-term contract, mutual agreement between employer and employee, resignation by the employee, dismissal by the employer, termination via mediation, and other specialised grounds for termination, such as those specific to seafarers and journalists in Turkey, are also recognised. 

Each of these termination reasons necessitates following notice periods, severance pay, and potentially other compensatory measures based on the situation.

Ordinary dismissal by employer

When an employer seeks to end an employment contract for ordinary reasons, there must be a valid justification, particularly if the employee has worked for the company for more than 6 months. This type of termination, grounded in a valid reason, enables the employer to conclude an indefinite-term contract while observing notice periods, even if the cause isn’t severe enough to warrant immediate dismissal.

Justified terminations typically arise from issues such as employee incompetence or misconduct or organisational changes. In such instances, the employer is obligated to follow the prescribed notice periods based on the employee’s length of service and provide severance pay. It is essential to prioritise the principle of ‘Termination as a Last Resort,’ meaning termination should only be considered when no alternative solution exists.

Notice period and challenging the dismissal

The duration of notice periods depends on the length of the employee’s tenure. Employees with less than 6 months of service have a 14-day notice period; employees with 6 months to 1.5 years have 28 days; those with 1.5 to 3 years have 42 days; and those with over 3 years have 56 days (equivalent to 8 weeks).

Notice of termination must be given in writing, and the countdown starts upon the other party’s receipt of the notice.

Rights and obligations of unemployed individuals

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, individuals must have been employed under a service contract for the last 120 days before termination, have made unemployment insurance contributions for at least 600 days within the past three years, and submit an application to the İŞKUR unit within 30 days following termination.

The amount of benefit is determined as 40% of the average daily gross earnings based on the individual’s monthly premium contributions over the last four months, with a maximum limit set at 80% of the gross monthly minimum wage.

Severance pay

Severance pay is compensation granted to employees with a minimum of one year of service who undergo involuntary termination from their employment. It’s calculated based on factors such as the employee’s gross wage, length of service, and duration of insurance coverage. Typically, severance pay amounts to one month’s gross wage for each year of service.

Prohibition of competition

A legal non-compete agreement remains in effect throughout employment, preventing employees from working for a competitor without the employer’s approval. Violating this agreement can result in termination for justifiable reasons, potentially leading to damages claims. However, asserting compensation claims necessitates the existence of a written employment contract.

Remote working policy

Turkish law defines remote work as an official arrangement detailed in a written agreement, allowing employees to fulfil their responsibilities away from the conventional office environment, utilising technology supplied by the employer. 

However, this arrangement must be documented, encompassing job specifics, methodologies, timeframe, venue, payment, equipment allocation, safety measures, employer correspondence, and work conditions. Employees keen on remote work must submit a formal written request to their employer, who has a 30-day period to reply.

Responsibilities with remote work arrangement

The first step is to document all regulations governing remote work. Unlike traditional work arrangements, remote work lacks a predetermined legal structure. So, it’s important to establish clear guidelines in written form to prevent confusion. Both parties should participate in crafting these rules and express any concerns.

Moreover, remote work frequently entails employees functioning without direct oversight. Nonetheless, employers are responsible for supervising their remote workforce. Ultimately, honesty between both parties is essential for the success of remote work arrangements.

Health and safety at home

The employer must notify employees about safety protocols, offer essential training, carry out health monitoring, and guarantee occupational safety standards for the provided equipment, taking into account the specificities of remote work. The remote work framework requires customised measures to enforce occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations.

What are the advantages of hiring employees from Turkey vs other countries?

Hiring employees from Turkey can offer several advantages over hiring from other countries. Firstly, Turkish employees often possess strong language skills, particularly in Turkish and English, which can be advantageous for businesses with international operations or those targeting Turkish-speaking markets.

Secondly, labour costs in Turkey may be lower compared to some other countries, making it more cost-effective to hire skilled professionals without compromising on quality. Moreover, Turkey has a well-established education system, producing skilled professionals in various fields such as engineering, technology, and business.

Finally, Turkey’s time zone may be advantageous for businesses with operations in Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. This ensures real-time communication and seamless collaboration.

Why use Native Teams for hiring in Turkey?

Native Teams lets you employ team members ‘like a local’ meaning you get all the benefits of a global team, wherever you are based. Here are the reasons why you should use Native Teams for hiring:

  • No paperwork: We will handle all the necessary paperwork for you.
  • Save on taxes: We help you handle your taxes.
  • No company set up: You can expand your business using our company entitles.
  • Online onboarding: We’re here to ensure your onboarding process is trouble-free.
  • No accounting: We will handle all of your accounting needs, including invoicing, payroll, and more.
  • Increase your profit: We assist you in growing your business and maximizing your profits.
  • Compliance expertise: we can assist your company in navigating the regulatory environments and ensure you meet all relevant requirements.
  • Local support: We can assist you in understanding and complying with the relevant local laws.
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*Note: The provided information was accurate at the time of writing.

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