Declaring Work Accidents in Turkey

October 31, 2023by Bünyamin Esen0

Work accidents are unfortunate events that can have profound consequences for both employees and employers. Recognizing the importance of safeguarding the well-being of the workforce, Turkey, like many other countries, has established a legal framework that imposes an obligation to report work accidents to the Social Security Institution (SSI), which is the responsible body for governing social insurance regime of the country. In this short essay, we will explore the legal obligation to declare work accidents to the Social Security Institution of Turkey, emphasizing the rationale, requirements, and implications of this requirement.


Rationale for Reporting Work Accidents

The legal obligation to report work accidents to the SSI is grounded in several important principles. First and foremost, it is a means of ensuring the welfare of employees and providing them with the necessary support following a workplace accident. Timely reporting allows for the immediate provision of medical care, compensation, and rehabilitation services, thereby reducing the physical and financial burden on the injured worker.

Furthermore, reporting work accidents also serves the purpose of ensuring the social insurance rights to the accidentees by the SSI. In line with the Social Insurance and General Healthcare Insurance Act No. 5510, the SSI is providing social insurance benefits to the insured such as temporary incapacity allowance, healthcare expenses, permanent incapacity benefit.


Legal Requirements for Reporting Work Accidents

In Turkey, the legal framework for reporting work accidents primarily regulated by the Act No. 5510, also known as the “Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law.” Under this law, both employers and employees have specific obligations related to the reporting of work accidents.

  1. Employer’s Responsibilities: Employers are legally obligated to report work accidents within three business days of becoming aware of the incident. To fulfill this obligation, they must complete the “Workplace Accident and Occupational Disease Report” and submit it to the SSI via the online declaration system. Employers are also required to provide necessary medical treatment and compensate the injured employee during their recovery period. Failure to report accidents in a timely manner can result in fines and other legal consequences.
  2. Employee’s Responsibilities: Employees are encouraged to report workplace accidents as soon as they occur. They should inform their employers about the accident and seek immediate medical attention. The employee is also obliged to cooperate with the SSI during the investigation and follow the medical treatment prescribed. Yet, the obligation of declaration is upon the shoulders of the employer.


Implications of Failing to Report Work Accidents

Failing to report work accidents to the SSI can have severe consequences for both employers and employees. For employers, not fulfilling their legal obligation may lead to financial penalties inline with the Act No. 5510, civil liability claims from the injured worker, and even criminal charges. In contrast, employees who do not report accidents promptly may jeopardize their right to receive compensation, medical treatment, and rehabilitation services.

In addition, systematic underreporting of work accidents can have broader societal implications, such as undermining occupational safety standards and worker protection. Therefore, it is vital for all parties involved to take their responsibilities seriously and comply with the legal framework.


In sum, the legal obligation to declare work accidents in Turkey to the Social Security Institution is a crucial component of the country’s social insurance and occupational safety framework. It is designed to protect the well-being of employees, prevent future accidents, and ensure that both employers and employees fulfill their legal obligations. By complying with these requirements, Turkey aims to create a safer and more secure work environment for all, ultimately fostering a healthier and more productive workforce.

Bünyamin Esen

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