In Turkish law, employees who have completed 1 year of work at the workplace are entitled to annual leave. To prevent misuse of the annual leave by employee or employer, both parties should be aware of the applicable rules and regulations on the topic.

According to Article 53 of the Labor Law No. 4857,  an employee’s age and years of seniority are taken into account when calculating how many days of annual leave an employee is entitled to. Article 53 states that, an employee is entitled to:

• 14 days if the employees’ years of experience in that workplace is 1 year to 5 years (including 5 years);
• 20 days if the employees’ years of experience is between 5 –  15 years; and
• 26 days if the employees’ years of experience more than 15 years (including 15 years) and more.

Please be advised that annual leaves that are not used in a given year do not expire and will be transferred to the next year.  If an employee is 18 year old or younger or 50 year old or elder then the annual leave cannot be less than 20 days.

According to the Annual Paid Leave Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 03 March 2004 and numbered 25391, the employer cannot divide the annual paid leave. If the parties reach an agreement, the annual leave may be used in parts provided that one part is not less than 10 days. Other paid and unpaid leave or sick leave granted by the employer during the year cannot be deduced from the annual leave. National holidays, week-end and general holidays, which coincide with the annual leave will not be counted as part of the annual leave.

There are more applicable rules in relation to the right and use of annual leave in Turkey. For more information, you may please contact us.

Written by Faruk Aktay and M. Husrev Ayten.