New parental leave entitlements have been introduced in Turkey. These include introducing a new leave entitlement available after maternity leave ends, as well as a new right to request part-time work up until the child enters compulsory education. People between 20 and 25 years old are now also eligible for general health insurance for two years after graduation from high school or higher education, without any income determination (in certain conditions).

The Law Amending the Income Tax Law numbered 6663 and certain Laws (“Amendment Law”) was published in Official Gazette number 29620 on 10 February 2016. The Amendment Law makes changes with respect to the above mentioned issues to the following laws, among others:

  • Unemployment Insurance Law numbered 4447.
  • Social Security and General Health Insurance Law numbered 5510
  • Labor Law numbered 4857.

Maternity leave in case of death during or after child birth

Under the Amendment Law, if a mother dies during or after child birth, maternity leave will now be granted to the father (Article 22 of the Amending Law).

Right to un-paid leave after maternity leave ends

An extra un-paid leave is now available for the period following maternity leave. Accordingly, if requested, mothers will be entitled to take un-paid leave for up to half of her weekly working hours. Male or female workers adopting a child under three years old are also entitled to this un-paid leave. Such extra un-paid leaves are available for 60 days for the first birth, 120 for the second and 180 for the third (Article 22 of the Amending Law).

An allowance will be paid during the extra un-paid leave period, which amounts to half of the individual’s weekly working hours. The allowance is paid monthly by the unemployment insurance fund. The principles and procures for payment will be jointly determined by the Ministry of Finance, the Social Security Institution, and the Undersecretariat for the Treasury (Article 20 of the Amendment Law). 

The right to request part-time work

Both parents now have the right to request part-time work from their employers. The right exists for the period between when maternity leave ends, up until the beginning of the month after the child’s compulsory education begins. However, if one of the parents does not work, the other is not entitled to request part time work. Employers cannot use such a request as a reason for termination. Couples or individuals adopting a child under three years old are also eligible.

The Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Social Security will release a regulation outlining the sectors and workplaces where part-time work is possible, as well as principals and procedures (Article 21 of the Amendment Law).

For employees who receive half of their financial rights and social welfare because they are taking advantage of their right to part-time work, the actual service time and payment period will be calculated as half of the full-time amounts. However, the full monthly amount will be paid for general health insurance premiums, without any deduction (Article 30 of the Amendment Law).

General health insurance for people between 20 and 25 years old

People between 20 and 25 years old are now included in the scope of general health insurance for two years after graduation without any income determination, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • They are not dependent on their parents.
  • They do not receive general health insurance from other countries.
  • They have graduated from either:
  • High School, or equivalent (if under 20 years old), or
  • Higher Education (if under 25 years old).

Please see this link for the full text of the Amendment Law (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.