Short-time work allowance ,Minister Explanations

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Short time work can be applied in cases where the working time in the workplace is reduced by at least 1/3 or the activity is stopped for at least four weeks due to general economic, sectoral, regional crisis and challenging reasons. In case of short-time work application, employees who meet the necessary conditions are paid a short-time work allowance up to 3 months for periods of not working.

For short-time working, the application must be approved by the competent authority. For a week after the approval, half-wages will be paid by the Employer to all employees at the workplace. The short time work shall start after this a-week-long period.

With the Article 41 of the Law Numbered 7226 which is published in the Official Gazette on 26th March 2020, it is stated that the applications made in this context will be finalized within 60 days from the date of application.

However, Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services, made the following statements in the visual press on 30.03.2020; “All businesses may apply, we will examine and decide afterwards. This year, we reduced the number of necessary documents, the process works very fast. First of all, the businesses which is focused on protecting the employee should apply.” Upon the question asked about when the applications can be concluded, the line headings of the statements of Minister Selçuk are as follows: “It also depends on the number of insured employees that the applicant employer has. We started this on last Monday, there were businesses that we completed the process on Tuesday and Wednesday. If the signature, the stamp are not forgotten, we will be able to complete it in a very short time. Businesses can make their application online. In our example last year, our average was 11-12 days and we received more applications this year. We will complete the applications before 60 days.”

In this context, we would like to emphasize that short-time work will not be possible until the short-time work application is completed and without a letter of approval received from Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR). Actual short-time works will be legalized upon approval. If the approval period goes towards uncertainty and evolves towards risk for employers, our recommendations are as follows;

  • Only the wages of these short-time working periods can be paid by getting approval from the employees until the actual short-time working hours. In this case, employees will not be able to receive wages and assistance from the institution in any way for periods of not working.
  • If employees do not approve, wages must be paid in full during this process. For this reason, other measure plans should be started other than short-time work.
  • The first of these measure plans is to make the employees use their paid annual leaves.
  • Another measure plan is to make the employees use their unpaid leaves. However, the application of unpaid leave is also possible with the consent of the employee. Otherwise, the employment contract may be terminated due to not paying the wage with the payment of severance pay. Since the employment relationship continues and the employee is always ready for work, the wage of the employee who did not give their consent for unpaid leave will continue to process. The employee may file a lawsuit for this unpaid wage. The risk of unpaid wages can lead to a risk of administrative fine of 289 TL per employee and per month upon a complaint.

For these reasons, we strongly remind you to evaluate the process and risks on a daily basis and to make plans accordingly.

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Mert-Yalcin

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