Social Dialogue matters
Enacted in 2003, the Turkish labour law (Act. No. 4857) regulates the individual employment relations between a employer and an employee. The law covers both the employment contract of blue- and white-collar employees, yet public service employees are excluded.
For an extensive review of the properties, content and discussion on the details of the law, we kindly refer to the part 1 of Dereli’s (2012) monograph ‘Labour Law in Turkey’ (link).
Before the 2003 labour act, the employment relation in Turkey was regulated by the 1936 Act no. 3008, and subsequently by the 1971 Act No. 1475. Nevertheless, these laws were not fully in line with ILO conventions and EU acquis. Further, employers opposed the relatively rigid character of these old legislations and therefore, a revision of the law needed. In February 2001, the government, the employers’ organization (TISK) and workers’ organizations (DISK, Türk-Is & Hak-Is) agreed on the establishment of a ‘committee of academics’ which was to prepare a draft law. All parties choose a member of this 9 member committee. In June 2002, the committee finished a second draft of the law, the committee managed to reach consensus on most, yet not all, subjects treated in the law. The parliament finally approved the new labour act in June 2003.
Some important articles are:
A English translation of the Turkish Labour Law can be found here.
Limitations of the law:
While the 2003 labour law is clearly a step forward on different aspects, the law certainly has its limitations. As such, large parts of the employees in Turkey are excluded from its application. Moreover, knowing that a large proportion of the workers in Turkey are employed in the informal economy (source), the impact of the law is reduced.