Turkish parliament

Turkey bans layoffs of workers for 3 months

The initiative is part of a new package of measures approved by the Turkish parliament, to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy of companies and families.

Turkey‘s parliament on Wednesday approved a new package of measures to mitigate the effects on the economy of the coronavirus pandemic, including a ban on companies firing their workers except in very serious cases over a three-month period.

The measure was announced through his Twitter account by the Minister of Labor, Family and Social Services, Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, who pointed out that employment contracts may not be cancelled for a period of 3 months except in exceptional cases.

In addition, the Turkish state will pay 39.24 lire (5.20 euros) a day for 3 months to workers who do not receive any salary for having suspended their work activity. Likewise, Selçuk indicated that her ministry will cover the expenses of the elderly and disabled in residences and private care centres.

The government will also cover the payments of these workers to social security. Currently the Turkish State already pays 60% of the base salary of the employees of companies that have been forced to temporarily suspend their activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New measures approved in the Turkish parliament

The Turkish National Assembly (parliament) approved late on April 15th a package of measures aimed at alleviating the impact on the economy of companies and families of the crisis caused by the coronavirus, ratifying a draft presented by the AKP party of the Turkish president Tayyip Erdoğan.

These measures include deferring the payment of rents for 3 months in various types of state-owned real estate, while local municipalities may postpone the payment of water bills for 3 months for companies and households. The consistories will also be empowered to subsidise or defer payments from companies and individuals to guarantee the continuity of public transport services.

On the other hand, companies that have been forced to close during this period will not have to pay taxes related to advertising or the environment. Student loan payments are also deferred for 3 months, while agricultural credit payments are deferred until next year. In general, deferred interest payments on credits for 3 months will be exempt from interest, and this period may be extended.

Other approved measures indicate that travel agencies will not be obliged to pay fees to their associations throughout 2020. The State will also expand financial support for research and development projects, and if necessary, public funds may be provided to medical institutions.

Financial aid for 4.4 million low-income families

Finally, companies are prohibited from inflating the prices of consumer goods, and measures are established to prevent hoarding of products or avoiding them to reach consumers, for which a supervisory committee will be created. If it is detected that a company in Turkey carries out these practices, it may be fined with between 10,000 and 500,000 liras (between 1,325 and 66,000 euros).

Turkey’s Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced on Wednesday that the state has already distributed aid worth 12 billion liras (1.59 billion euros) to 2.1 million families with low incomes and suffering difficulties from the crisis of the coronavirus, adding that it is expected to provide aid to another 2.3 million families.