Implementation of the Obligation to Employ Disabled Persons in Workplaces in Turkey

April 22, 2024by Bünyamin Esen0

The obligation of employers to employ disabled personnel in their workplaces is regulated in the Article 30 of the Turkish Labour Code No. 4857, which is the primer law of Turkish Labour Law.

Accordingly, employers are obliged to employ three percent disabled people in private sector workplaces where they employ fifty or more workers.

Employers provide the workers they are obliged to employ through the Turkish Employment Agency. In this context, the qualifications of the workers to be employed, the jobs they can be employed in, their orientation to the profession through special work to which they will be subject, outside the general provisions in the workplaces, how they will be professionally recruited by the employer, are regulated by the regulation issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, after taking the opinion of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies.

Disabled workers cannot be employed in underground and underwater works, and those working in underground and underwater works are not taken into account in determining the total number of workers to be used as a basis for calculating the disabled quota to be employed in the workplace.

While fulfilling the obligation to employ people with disabilities, priority is given to those who became disabled while they were employees of the workplace.

If workers who had to leave a workplace due to disability and whose disability subsequently disappears request to be rehired at their old workplace, the employer must hire them immediately if there are vacancies in their old jobs or similar jobs, otherwise, under the current conditions, by giving preference to other bidders for the first job to be vacant. If the employer does not fulfill his obligation to conclude an employment contract even though the required conditions are met, he/she pays compensation in the amount of six months’ salary to the former employee who requested to be hired.

The entire employer’s share of the social insurance premium to be calculated based on the lower limit of premium-based earnings (the gross national minimum wage) for insured employed by private sector employers is covered by the Turkish Treasury, and thus insurance premium incentive is being applied to employers employing disabled.

If employers violate their obligation to employ disabled people, an administrative fine of 20,900 Turkish Liras will be imposed for each disabled person not employed and for each month not employed for the calendar year of 2024. The penalty in question is applied by the Turkish Employment Agency if detected by labour inspectors or by the administration.

The fines to be collected in case of violation of this provision are used in projects such as enabling disabled people and ex-convicts to establish their own businesses, supporting technologies that will enable disabled people to find a job, placing disabled people in jobs, ensuring their adaptation to work and the workplace, and similar projects. Issues regarding the use of collected fines are handled by the General Directorate of Labour and the General Directorate of Occupational Health and Safety of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the General Directorate of Disabled and Elderly Services of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses of the Ministry of Justice, under the coordination of the Turkish Employment Agency. It is decided by the commission consisting of one representative from the top organizations representing the most workers and employers and one representative from the top organization representing the most disabled people.

Bünyamin Esen

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