Minimum Wage in Turkey– Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a separate legislation relating to minimum wages in Turkey?

The Minimum Wage Regulation (last modified in 2014). The purpose of the regulation is to lay out the principles to be applied when determining the minimum wage, and the workings and the meetings of the Minimum Wage Determination Commission. Provisions of this regulation covers all sectors employing all kind of workers with a job contract; including the workers outside the scope of the Labour act 4857. It is based on the 39 principle of the Labour Act 4857.

Do one or more minimum wages exist that is/are determined by law?

The minimum wage for doormen is calculated differently by law. Doormen are exempt from Income tax (based on the 23. principle of the Income Tax Law 193) and from Stamp Duty (based on the 34. law paragraph in the fourth section of the second table of the Stamp Duty Law 488).

At what level are minimum wages determined?

The provisions of the Act concerning minimum wages apply to all employees regardless of whether they come within the scope of the Labour Act. The minimum wage is also set by region. The legislation provides lower rates of minimum wages for workers under 16 years old.

On what basis is minimum wage calculated?

The minimum wage rates are calculated on daily basis.

In case of weekly/monthly minimum age, are they based on any fixed number of hours?

Even though the wage rates are calculated on a daily basis, the minimum wage is based on 45 hours of work weekly which equals to 7,5 hours per day. Here, one work week is defined as 6 days. Nevertheless if agreed by both employer and employees, this can amount to 66 (not exceeding 11 hours/day).

Are governmental bodies, employer and/or trade union representatives involved in minimum wages setting?

The Minimum Wage Determination Committee set the minimum wage rates of the country. This Committee is composed of fifteen members: an equal number of representatives of the government, employee’s organisations representing the majority of employees, and employer’s organisation representing the majority of employers. The minimum quorum is 10 members.Decisions are taken under the majority of votes of its members, and in the event of a tie, the chairman of the Committee has a casting vote.

How are upratings (adjustments) of minimum wage/s decided upon?

Adjustment to the minimum wage is also decided by the Minimum Wage Determination Committee. Committee has to take into account living conditions, social and economic situation in the country, indexes of living expenses (if available) and the actual wages paid during the time of the meeting.

Which are the components of minimum wage in Turkey?

The components of the net minimum wage are: Gross Minimum Wage, Social Security Institution premium, Unemployment Insurance Fund, Stamp Duty, Minimum Livelihood Discount and the Income Tax.

How frequently is the fixed component of minimum wage updated?

Gross minimum wage is updated once in two years and there is no specific interval for the update of unemployment insurance fund. Other components are updated annually.

What is/are the yardstick/s on which minimum wage upratings are based?

Minimum wage upratings are based on Needs of workers and their families, Cost of living, Level of wages and incomes in the country, Inflation rate and social/economical conditions of employees.

What is National Poverty line?

Click here to know the national poverty line in context with Minimum Wage, living wages and actual wages. Select the currency (Euro or national currency) to know national poverty line.

How is minimum wages compliance regulated?

It is the duty of officials of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ensure that all provisions of the Labour Act and any other labour legislation governing working conditions are complied with. These officials may enter workplaces as any time in order to carry out inspections and examine records.

Which legal sanctions can be applied in compliance is lacking?

Those employers or employer representatives, who intentionally fail to pay or incompletely pay the minimum wage established by the Minimum Wage Determination Committee, are fined for 153 Turkish Liras for each such worker.

Are sanctions often being applied?

There is no official documentation about the applied sanctions. Although the law is clear about the procedures, most workers with minimum wage earns less than the minimum wage or works more hours than what the committee determined. It is extremely rare that an employer is sanctioned for not complying with the minimum wage standards.

Are employer and/or trade union representatives involved in compliance procedures?

The compliance procedures are decided and inspected by the Ministry of Labour only. Employer and/or trade union representatives are not involved.

To whom/Where can individuals complain, if they think they are earning less than minimum wage?

The individuals can complain directly to the Ministry of Labour or to their union. In the second case, the union demands an investigation by the Ministry.

Which month of the year is minimum wage rate revised in Turkey?

Every year on the 1st of January and the 1st of July the government announces the new wages for the next coming 6 months.