Fair Wages

Fair Wages


“The information below is valid for everyone including Turkish citizens, foreigners, refugees, temporary protection holders, international protection holders, conditional and subsidiary refugee status holders”.


»What is the wage?

  • The wage is the amount of money to be paid in cash by an employer to a person/employee in return for the work performed.
  • The wage may be paid on a monthly basis at the latest. The time of remuneration may be reduced to one week according to the employment contract or collective agreement.

»What is the minimum wage?

The minimum wage is the amount of money paid in return for work and enough to meet the vital needs such as nourishment, housing, health, clothing, transportation and cultural expenses.

No discrimination can be made based on language, race, color, sex, disability, political belief, philosophical belief, religion and similar reasons in determining the minimum wage. Foreigners under temporary protection and international protection cannot be paid less than the minimum wage.

The minimum wage in Turkey is around 2.020,91 TRY* per month in 2019 and is updated every year.

*Approximately 373 USD as per the recent dollar rate.

»Gross – Net Difference

When calculating your income for tax purposes, you may hear the terms “gross” and “net”. Gross income includes (almost) all of your income, while net income is what is left after various tax deductions are applied. Here’s what these terms mean, as well as another important income figure to know.

Gross income

In a financial context, the term “gross” generally means all of something. For example, on your paycheck, “gross pay” refers to the entire amount of money you get paid, before taxes and other deductions come out (SSI-SGK premium, Stamp duty, income tax etc.)

Net income

Net income is calculated by taking your allowable deductions and exemptions. This is actually what you received at the end. That is why there is a difference between your gross and net income in Turkey.

»Maximum Working Hours

The maximum normal working hours are 45 hours per week. Unless the contrary has been decided, working time shall be divided equally by the days of the week worked at the establishment.

»Overtime Payment

Overtime work may be performed for purposes such as the country’s interest, the nature of the operation or the need to increase output. Overtime work is work which exceeds forty-five (45) hours a week. Overtime hours (hours exceeding 45 hours per week) must be paid 1.5 times the regular hourly wage.

Overtime work in emergency situations: During periods of mobilization, the Council of Ministers may, if it deems it necessary and limited only by that period, extend the daily hours of work up to the maximum of which the employees working in establishments serving the needs of national defense are capable, according to the nature of the operations and urgency of the needs in question.

Daily working hours should not exceed 11 hours.

»Work on the National day and Public Holidays

The issue of whether or not work during the National day and Public holidays will be decided by the collective agreement or by the employment contracts. The employee’s consent is required if there is no provision in the collective agreement or in employment contracts.  The important thing is that the employment contract is not subject to any special form, so you do not have to make it written and you can decide verbally. However, if your work relation is going to be more than one year, you have to make a written contract.

»Remuneration for holidays

Employees shall be paid a full day’s wages for the national and public holidays on which they have not worked; if they work during the holiday, they shall be paid an additional full day’s wages for each day worked. In workplace where a percentage wage system is in effect, the wage for the national and public holidays shall be paid to the employee by the employer.

The following payments shall not be considered for the purpose of calculating payments in respect of national or public holidays or weekly rest days: overtime and incentive premiums, the wages paid to permanent employees when they are employed outside normal working hours in preparatory, complementary or cleaning operations.

The following shall be recognized as days worked:

a. Time periods deemed to be part of the working time although no work has been done, and any periods of holidays, with or without pay, either statutory or based on contract,

b. Up to three days’ leave of absence in the event of the employee’s marriage and up to three days’ leave in the event of the death of the employee’s mother, father, spouse, brother or sister, and child.

c. Any leave granted by the employer and any sick or convalescent leave based on a medical report, subject to a maximum of one week, if the employer, without being obliged to do so by force major or economic reasons, suspends work on one or more days of the week, these days on which no work has been done shall be reckoned as days worked in order to be entitled to paid weekly rest day.

»Rest day

The employees shall be allowed to take a rest for a minimum of twenty-four hours (weekly rest day) without interruption within a seven-day time period. Remuneration for weekly rest day, for the non worked rest day, the employer shall pay the employee’s daily wage, without any work obligation in return.

»Rest Break

According to the Turkish Constitution and labour act you have a right to rest during the working hours.

Rest break should be;

  • 15 minutes if you are working 4 hours or less in a day
  • 30 minutes if you are working up to 7,5 hours in a day
  • 1 hour if you are working more then 7,5 hours in a day

»Annual leave

Employees who have completed a minimum of one year of work in the establishment since their recruitment, including the trial period, shall be allowed to take annual leave with pay.

The right to annual leave with pay shall not be waived.

The length of the employee’s annual leave with pay shall not be less than:

a. 14 days if his length of service is between one and five years, (five included),

b. 20 days if it is more than five and less than fifteen years,

c. 26 days if it is fifteen years and more (fifteen included).

For employees above the age of fifty, the length of annual leave with pay must not be less than twenty days.

Annual leave with pay may not be divided by the employer. The length of annual leave with pay may be increased by employment contracts and collective agreements. Also, if the employee is found to have accepted gainful employment during his annual leave, he may be asked by the employer to reimburse the annual leave remuneration already paid to him.

»Wage account slip

The wage payment the employer makes at the establishment or through a bank,  has to be handed in to the employee using a signed slip showing the wage account with the special mark of the establishment. This pay slip must indicate clearly the date of payment, the pay period, all supplements to basic wages such as overtime earnings, payments for weekly rest days and national or general holidays, and all deductions such as taxes, insurance contributions, reimbursement of advance payments, payments for alimony and sequestrated deductions.

»Deductions of fines from wages

No employer may impose a fine on an employee’s wage for reasons other than those indicated in the collective agreement or the employment contract. The employee must be notified at once, together with the reason, of any wage deductions as fines.