Turkey to ban layoffs for three months to ease COVID-19 impact


The Turkish government is planning to ban layoffs for three months in a bid to protect those lacking job security and to ease damages to the economy due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a draft legislation.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has prepared a draft omnibus bill to tackle the impacts of the massive measures to curb the spread of the virus on economic and social life. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will have the power to extend the ban up to six months, read the drafted bill.

The bill will be introduced to parliament after an exchange of views with the representative bodies of the employers and the workers.

“The proposed law would be guaranteeing employment and aims to protect employees who are not eligible for short-labor pay and are put on unpaid leave,” an AKP official told the Reuters.

The bill would apply to anyone who had been laid off or put on unpaid leave as of March 15 and is not eligible for unemployment benefits. They would be paid daily 39.24 liras ($5.80) by the government.

As part of the measures already taken, the government has offered to pay 60 percent of the wages of employees working in businesses suffering from the outbreak, while state banks have offered loans to companies that keep their employee headcount stable during this period.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 13.7 percent at the end of last year, remaining at elevated levels since a 2018 currency crisis, and economists say a further rise is likely as a result of measures taken to stem the transmission of the coronavirus.

Hurriyet Daily News


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