What you need to know for human resources
management in Turkey

  • Mercans’ specialists operate in 140+ countries, including Turkey. They are your direct point of contact for human resources management outsourcing services in Turkey, guiding you with HR advisory and assisting with all your PEO/GEO, recruitment, talent management, employee leasing, payroll outsourcing, local compliance and business process outsourcing services in Country. With comprehensive local market knowledge in Turkey and advanced methodologies, they will support you whenever and wherever you need them, regardless of the size of your organization or your industry. Mercans provides you with all the information you need to know to outsource human resource management in Turkey.
Official State name Turkish Republic
Population 82 Million
Capital Ankara
Major Languages Turkish
Currency Turkish Lira (TL or TRY)
Main Industries Clothing and textiles, fruit and vegetables, iron and steel, motor vehicles and machinery, fuels and oils.
GDP Growth 1.9%
Internet Domain .tr
International Dialing Code +90
Dates & Numbers Dates are usually written in the day, month and year sequence. For example, 1 July 2020 or 1.7.2020

1 Working Week in Turkey

  • Office hours of companies in Turkey are from Monday to Friday from 07:30 or 08:30 am to 17:30 or 18:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday are the weekly holiday. Lunch breaks are usually one hour.
  • Government institutions in Turkey do not have office hours on weekends. Turkish banks are open till 5:00 pm from Monday to Friday.
  • According to Turkish Labor Law, weekly work hour in Turkey is maximum 45 hours. However, it may change between 40 to 45 hours a week depending on the business needs.

2 Tax & Social Security in Turkey

2.1 Corporate Income Tax in Turkey

  • In accordance with Turkey’s tax legislation there are two main income taxes, corporate income tax and personal income tax.
  • In Turkey, the corporate income tax rate levied on business profits is 20%. The rate for corporate income tax has been increased to 22% for the tax periods 2018, 2019, and 2020; however, the Turkish Council of Ministers is authorized to reduce the 22% rate to a rate as low as 20%.
    Corporate taxpayers in Turkey defined in the law are as follows:

    • Cooperatives
    • Public economic enterprises
    • Joint ventures
    • Economic enterprises owned by associations and foundations
    • Capital companies

2.2 Personal Income Tax in Turkey

  • All person’s income is subject to personal income tax in Turkey. Income is defined as the amount of all earnings and revenues derived by an individual within a single calendar year.
  • An individual’s income in Turkey may consist of one or more income elements listed as follows:
    • Salaries and wage Income from independent personal services
    • Income from immovable property and rights (rental income)
    • Agricultural profits • Business profits
    • Economic enterprises owned by associations and foundations
    • Income from movable property (income from capital investment)

2.3 Other income and earnings in Turkey

Income Base Amount Rate
0,00 TL – 22,000 TL %15
22,000 TL – 49,000 TL %20
49,000 Tl – 180,000 TL %27
180,000 TL – 600,000 TL %35
600,000 TL %40

2.4 Social Security in Turkey

  • Under the law, all employees of private entities in Turkey are subject to a national social insurance system that covers work-related accidents and illness, general social security, disability and death. The Turkish law also provides retirement benefits.
  • All employees must be declared to Social Security Institution in Turkey before starting to work. All employees, including foreign nationals, are subject to compulsory social security. Only the application of unemployment insurance is exceptional for a foreigner, depending on the existence of reciprocal provisions between his/her home country and Turkey. On the other hand, in the case where an assignee remains in the social security system in the home country and substantiates his/her social security coverage through a document received from the competent authority in his/her home country, he/she is not subject to social security in Turkey.
  • The payment and declaration of the social security in Turkey has to be made electronically.

2.5 Reporting in Turkey

  • Tax is imposed on a calendar-year basis in Turkey. Employers must withhold income tax from salaries and wages paid to employees. All withholding taxes must be declared monthly on the 23rd day and paid on the 26th day of the month following the month of payment.
  • Annual income tax return due date is 25th of March of the following year.
  • Annual income tax return due date is 25th of March of the following year.
  • Employers employing insured persons within the scope of the first paragraph of Article 4 (4) of the 4th Article of the Turkish Law No. 5510 shall deduct premium amount of premiums of insured persons to be calculated on the principal earnings of the insured employed by them within one month and add the premium amounts corresponding to their own shares to these amounts, month / period until the end of the period.
  • If the last day of the payment period encounters a formal Turkish holiday, the premium amounts will be paid to the Agency within the first business day following the latest day at the latest.
    Example: Premiums for insurance premiums in a private sector workplace from 1 June 2020 to 30 June 2020 will be paid no later than 31/07/2020.
  • The insured and premium service declaration containing the insured ‘s basic income and service information for the current month shall be issued by the authorized tax office until 23:59 on the 23rd day of the following month at the latest.
  • The following notification must be made to SSI in time:
    • Full wage of employee
    • Starting or leaving of an employee
    • Missing days of employee should be declared by monthly premium and service document
    • Employee who receive temporary disability allowance from SSI should be notified in certain periods determined by law
    • Social Security premiums should be paid on time

3 New Hires in Turkey

  • When a new employee is hired in Turkey, the employer must notify the authorities of new starters immediately by submitting a notice of employment. The declaration must be submitted online to the Turkish authorities one day before the start date at the latest.
  • The documents required to register the new starts are as follows:
    • Copy of identity card
    • Graduation Certificate
    • Disabled/non-disabled information
    • Criminal Record Certificate

4 Leavers in Turkey

  • When the employees who are working against wage under an employment contract leave the employment (termination of employment contract), SSI/SGK should be informed by filling the form online in its website within 10 days as of the leaving the date.
  • This Turkish procedure is also called deregistration of leavers. A leaver declaration should be filled in SSI website; stating the date of termination of employment contract, reason of termination and occupation code.
  • In case the last submission day of leaver declaration coincides with an official holiday, declaration can be submitted on the day following the official holiday.

5 Payroll in Turkey

  • Payroll is a document that shows all earnings, deductions and all legal deductions.
  • Payroll is a document proving that the employer demonstrates the obligation to pay wages to the worker. For this reason, the arrangement and implementation of the payroll is very important for both the employer and the worker.
  • In case the last submission day of leaver declaration coincides with an official holiday, declaration can be submitted on the day following the official holiday.

5.1 Requirements for Payroll in Turkey

  • There are many issues to be considered when preparing payrolls. In the table below, there are matters that should be included in the payroll according to the Turkish Labor Law No. 4857, Turkish Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law No. 5510, Turkish Tax Procedure Law No. 213.
Labor Law no. 4857 Social Insurance and General
Health Insurance Law No. 5510
Tax procedure Law No. 213
Worker`s name and surname Registration number of the workplace Name, surname, signature or seal of receipt of fee Date and number of the tax card, if any Unit fee (monthly, weekly, daily, hourly of piece-rate)
The day and the period of payment The amount wage, such as overtime, weekends, holidays and general holiday fees. All kinds of deductions such as tax, insurance premium, advance deduction, alimony and execution The payroll`s month and period
Name and surname of the insured
Social security (TC number) registration number of the insured
Working time or wage related period
Payment day Total number of days paid The amount of taxes calculated on the fee
Employer’s signature Insured`s fee Amount paid Signature of the insured that the fee has been received

5.2 A sample standard Payslip in Turkey

6 Employment Law in Turkey

  • Although there are several types of employment contracts owing to the nature of work, regular staff of a company in Turkey is usually employed under an (open-ended) employment contract for an indefinite period which has a start date but no specified duration or an end date.
  • Authorized private employment agencies in Turkey can establish a temporary employment relationship by transferring its employees to the employer with a temporary employment contract in the following circumstances;
  • During the suspension period of a continuing work contract of employees who cannot perform their works for the employer because of pregnancy, military service, annual leave or sickness
    • In seasonal agricultural works
    • In domestic jobs without any time limit
    • In some particular works, that are deemed as out of establishment’s everyday main work routine, performed in short time and with intervals, for 4 months at the most.

7 Annual Leave in Turkey

  • Each employee shall be entitled to annual leave with full pay for 14 days per year of service unless more than that period was agreed upon, provided that the annual leave shall be 21 days if the employee remains in the service of the employer 5 successive years.
  • Entitlement to Paid Annual Vacation Details;
    • 1 – 5 years (inclusive) 14 days
    • 5 – 15 years 20 days
    • 15 years and longer 26 days
  • In Turkey, the public holidays, religious feasts and the weekly holidays shall not be calculated from the annual leave unless they took place during it. If the employee’s period of service is less than a year, then they shall be entitled to pro rata paid leave for the period which they have worked.

8 Maternity Leave in Turkey

  • According to the relevant rules of the current Turkish Labor Law, female employees are permitted to have a paid maternity leave period of eight weeks prior to and eight weeks after giving birth (i.e. a total paid maternity leave period of 16 weeks). It is also possible to optionally take unpaid maternity leave of up to six months in addition to the paid leave period of 16 weeks.
  • Significant amendments concerning maternity leave in Labor Law came into effect on 29 January 2016, providing flexible working choices for mothers. Working women will be offered a choice to work half time up to two months on her first childbirth, four months on her second and six months for the third child, without losing their full-time earnings after the expire of their statutory maternity leave.

9 Maternity Leave in Turkey

  • An employee whose wife has given birth will be granted five days paid paternity leave and, in the case of adoption, employees will be granted three days paid leave.
  • Weekends and national holiday coinciding with leave period are not taken into consideration, so the leave may be over 5 days in these cases.
  • Addition to this, employed parents whose child has at least seventy percent disability or chronic disease based on medical report, shall be allowed to take up to 10 days leave of absence with pay in a year for attending the treatment of the child; on condition that leave may be taken only one of the parents and without interruption or with segments.”

10 Sick Leave in Turkey

  • Employers are not obligated to provide sick pay to employees, but employees are entitled to sick pay through government disability programs.
  • If a sick employee has not been working for at least three days, the employee can receive sick pay from the Turkish Social Security Institution provided that the employee has a medical report. The process is as follows:
    • A medical report prepared by the doctor online is sent automatically to Social Security Institution
    • The Social Security Institution makes sick pay payments to the named bank, under the national ID number of the insured
    • There is no maximum period after which sick pay elapses but medical reports exceeding 40 days must be received from a doctors’ panel instead of a single doctor
    • Finally, if the time spent on sick leave by the employee goes six weeks beyond the notice period given in the employment contract between the parties, the employer will be entitled to terminate the employment contract with just cause

11 Immigration in Turkey

  • Foreign national individuals to be employed in Turkey need a Turkish work visa and a Turkish work permit in order to be eligible to work and reside in Turkey.
  • The first step to obtain authorization to work in Turkey is applying for a work visa through the Turkish representative (consulate/embassy) in the individual’s country of residence or citizenship. Within 10 days following the work visa application, a work permit application must be filed with the Ministry of Labor by the Turkish employer (or the sponsoring entity).
  • After the work permit is issued, the employee should visit the Turkish Representative, with whom the work permit application was filed, and obtain the work visa. Authorities must be informed of the individual’s Turkish residence address within 20 days of entrance into Turkey.
  • The following evaluation criteria for the work permit applications have recently been determined by the Ministry of Labor as follows:
    • A local employment quota is introduced (five local employees per foreign national)
    • A certain minimum amount of paid-in capital or gross sales or exports figures will need to be met
    • Minimum salary levels ranging between TRY2,943.00 and TRY17,072.50 (to be revised in January 2021) must be paid to foreign national employees
    • If the foreign individual is to be the shareholder of the company, a requirement for a certain minimum share and amount of capital share must be met.

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