Through the Law Regarding Amendments to Certain Laws published in the Official Gazette dated 26/03/2020 no.31080, amendments have been made to the labour and social security legislation. Those related to the short-time working allowance were shared with you with our Circular no. 23 on 26.03.2020.
The subject of this circular will be essentially (together with the short-time working) the same Law and other regulations in the field of labour and social security.
1. Minimum wage support will be implemented in 2020 as well.
The minimum wage support applied annually in social security legislation since 2016 will be implemented this year as well with some changes.
Temporary article 80 has been added to the Social Security and General Health Insurance Law no. 5510 through the Article 29 of the Law no. 7226. This article sets out the conditions for minimum wage support to be implemented in 2020.
Accordingly, by the employers employing the insured persons under the long-term insurance branches and within the scope of 4/a;
a. not to exceed the total number of premium payment days of the insured reported with daily earning basic to premium at 128 Turkish Liras and below on the monthly premium and service documents or withholding and premium service returns (APHB/MPHB) submitted to the SSI for the same month of 2019; the total number of premium payment days for the insured notified in the monthly premium and service documents or withholding and premium service returns submitted in 2020 for the current month,
b. total number of premium payment days for the insured notified from the workplaces covered by this Law for the first time in 2020,
c. provided that the amount to be found by multiplying 2.50 Turkish lira per day for months/period January to December to be compensated from the unemployment insurance fund, will be deducted from the social security premiums that these employers will pay to the SSI.
- Daily earnings amount of 128 liras basic to premium indicated in the sub-clause (a) will be taken as 256 Turkish liras for the workplaces of private sector employers subject to a collective labour contract as per the Law no.6356. For the insured working underground in workplaces where lignite and hard coal are extracted, daily earnings will be considered as 341 TL and provided that it will not exceed the 50 % of the number of premium payment days reported in APHB/MPHB for the same month of 2019, the total number of premium payment days of the insured reported in the APHB/MPHB submitted for the current month in 2020 will be taken into consideration.
- To benefit from the minimum wage support, within the scope of paragraph (a) of the first sub-clause of Article 4, there should not be any notifications below the number of insured in the month/period in which the least insured notification is made among the long-term insurance branches.
- It will not be possible to benefit from the minimum wage support if it is detected that employers did not submit monthly APHB/MPHB for Jan/Dec 2020 regarding the insured people they employ within the legal period, the social security premiums were not paid in their legal period, if it’s detected that they did not report their employees as insured or that the insured reported did not actually work during the investigations and inspections carried out by the officers in charge of auditing and control; if there are any premium, administrative fines, and related delay penalties and overdue debts owed to the SSI. However, the employers deferring and splitting the premium, administrative fines and related delay penalties and overdue debts into instalments as per the Article 48 of the Law no.6183 will be able to benefit from the relevant support as long as this deferment and instalment continues.
- The provisions of this article do not apply to the insured registered in the monthly premium and service documents for the period of Jan/Dec 2020 submitted to the SSI other than the legal period or withholding and premium service returns to be submitted to the Treasury and Finance Ministry.
- Minimum wage support was put into force to be implemented as of 01.01.2020.
- The SSI circular on the issue has not been published yet and it is considered that the accumulated minimum wage supports for January and February will be deducted from the accruals of March.
2. The effective date of the Tradesmen and Ahi Community Fund postponed for 1 year.
The right to receive a salary through "Unemployment Insurance" which is granted to employees with a 4/a status under a service contract was granted to taxpayers and company shareholders working under 4/b status; however through the Law no.7061 dated 5/12/2017, the enforcement of the law was postponed to 01.01.2020.
Temporary Article 22 has been added to the Unemployment Insurance Law no.4447 through the Article 17 of the Law no.7226. Accordingly, implementation of the provisions regarding the establishment of the Tradesmen and Ahi Community Fund regulated in the Annex 6 of the Law no. 4447 and Law no.5510 have been postponed until 01.01.2021.
3. Occupational training exam-document fee incentives extended.
Through the amendment to the Article 16 of the Law no.7226, the phrase "31.12.2019" was changed as "31.12.2021" in the first paragraph of the Annex-3 of the Unemployment Insurance Law no.4447. For the professions deemed as dangerous and very dangerous and jobs indicated on the communiques to be released by the Ministry; the duration of the coverage of the costs of the documents and the examination fee of the individuals proved to be successful in the exams carried out by the examination and certification institutions authorized within the context of Occupational Qualification Authority Law no. 5544 dated 21/9/2006 has expired as of 31/12/2019. This period was extended until 31.12.2021.
4. Compensatory working period extended from two months to four months.
The phrase “two” in the first paragraph of Article 64 of the Labour Law no. 4857 titled Compensatory Work has been amended as “four” through the Article 43 of the Law no.7226 and the President has been authorized to increase this period up to twice.
Accordingly, in cases of stopping work due to compulsory reasons, vacationing the workplace before or after national holidays and general holidays, or working under the normal working hours significantly or for a full vacation due to similar reasons, or being permitted upon the request of the worker; the employer will be able to make compensatory work for the off periods within four months and these works will not be considered as overtime or overtime work.
5. Amendments made to the general health insurance premium requirements of flexible employees.
As per the articles 13 and 14 of the Law no. 4857, part-time or on-call workers, the ones working at certain times of the day during the month and receiving wages for the hours worked and among those who are subject to the first paragraph of the additional article 9 of this Law, for the ones working twenty days in a month or less, the general health insurance premiums for their missing days are required to be completed to thirty days, while those subject to the provision of 5510 / Annex-9 first paragraph (employed by one or more natural persons in domestic services and working hours calculated as per the time worked, insured people with a working day of 10 days or more and those working in a residential door-keeping business) are exempted from this provision and the 20-day phrase which is taken as the basis for the other is reduced to 8 days. This provision will be effective as of 01.04.2020. 6. The lowest pension is 1,500 TL. As per the provisions of the Law no.5510 and provisions of other laws repealed by this Law, the total amount of payments made every month together with the pensions paid for disability and old-age insurance was at least 1,000 TL, including the additional payment to be made in accordance with the 1st article of the Law No. 5454 dated 8/2/2006, this amount has been set as 1,500 TL.
This provision is effective from April 2020 payment period.
7. Employer union solidarity fund support limit increased.
If there is a provision within the bylaw of the employers' unions and the conditions are determined by the decision of the general assembly, the limit of employer union solidarity fund support that can be used to pay employers' share of insurance premiums has been increased from 25% to 35%.
8. Amendments made to the conditions for short-time working allowance.
The amendments introduced through the Law no.7226 are as follows:
i. The requirement of working under a service contract for the last 120 days before the short working start date will be considered as 60 days and the requirement of 600 days unemployment insurance premium payment in the last 3 years before the short-time working start date will be considered as 450 days.
ii. Those who do not meet the requirement mentioned in the first item will be able to continue to benefit from the short-time working allowance for the period remaining from the right of last unemployment benefit entitlement provided that it does not exceed the short working period. Applications can also be made for these.
iii. Amendments introduced in the first item will be valid for short working applications submitted due to a compelling reason arising from the new coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, to be effective until 30/6/2020.
iv. So as to benefit from short-time working allowance for this reason, during the short-time working period, excluding the reasons indicated in the sub-clause (II) of the first paragraph within Article 25 of the Law no.4857; (II- Cases that do not comply with the rules of ethics and goodwill and alike) the employees should not be dismissed by the employer.
v. Short-time working applications will be finalized within 60 days from the application date.
vi. The President is authorized to extend the application deadlines until 31.12.2020 and/or to differentiate the conditions for 90/450 days.
vii. Requirement of 120 days and 600 days of premium payment will continue to apply for insured people in short time working applications submitted currently and that are not arising from coronavirus.