CMS Expert Guide to employment termination law and legislation

Global comparison

1. Dismissal of employees

1.1 Reasons for dismissal

The reasons for dismissal must be provided if a contract is terminated without notice or if a contract of unfixed duration is terminated with notice. The reason must be real and specific, so the employee can easily understand the grounds for dismissal. The reasons for termination with notice may be attributable to the employee (e.g. non-performance or improper performance of the employee’s duties), or not attributable to the employee (e.g. redundancy). The Polish Labour Code does not list such reasons.

Termination without notice (summary dismissal) may be justified for a number of reasons, but is only permitted when certain statutory conditions are met.

In the remaining case, involuntary termination does not require justification.

The reasons for regular termination as set out in the Labour Act are as follows:

  • if the need for work ceases to exist for economic, technical or organisational reasons (‘notice due to business reasons’); or
  • the employee is incapable of fulfilling his employment-related duties due to certain personal characteristics or qualifications (‘notice due to personal reasons’); or
  • the employee intentionally breaches a contractual obligation (‘notice due to misconduct’); or
  • if the employee did not satisfy the employer’s requirements during the probationary period.

Turkish law foresees two types of dismissals for employees: ordinary termination and extraordinary termination. Each type of termination is then further differentiated according to whether the employment security terms are applicable (as outlined below).

Ordinary Termination

Where the employment security provisions apply to the dismissed employee

Whether the employer is obligated to rely on a reason in an ordinary termination depends on whether the employee to be dismissed benefits from “employment security provisions” applicable under Turkish law.

Employment security provisions would be applicable to an employee if:

  1. The employer in question employs at least 30 employees; and
  2. The employee in question has been employed by the said employer for at least six months based on an indefinite term employment agreement.

If the conditions above are satisfied and the employee benefits from employment security provisions, the employer is obligated to supply a valid reason to dismiss such employee. Turkish law does not provide an exhaustive list of valid reasons for termination. However, the following reasons provided under the law are generally considered as guidelines   for this purpose:

  1. The employee is incapable of performing their duties or they behave in an unacceptable manner;
  2. Business necessity; or
  3. Workplace necessity.

Where the employment security provisions do not apply to the dismissed employee

Where the conditions for employment security are not applicable, an ordinary termination does not need to be justified (i.e. the employer may dismiss the employee without having to supply any grounds).

However, where the employee has been terminated in bad faith, they may claim a “bad faith compensation” (kötü niyet tazminatı). For further details, please see our explanation regarding Consequences if requirements are not met below.

Rules applicable without regard to employment security provisions

In an ordinary termination, the employer is obligated to observe the statutory notification periods regardless of whether the employee in question benefits from employment security provisions. For further details regarding such periods, please see our explanations below regarding Notice periods.

Furthermore, any employee who has been employed for at least one year will be entitled to severance payment upon an ordinary termination of their employment. For further details regarding severance payment, please see our responses below to Consequences if requirements are not met and Severance pay.

Lastly, upon the ordinary termination, the employer is obligated to grant the employee the right to seek new employment during the notification period. Accordingly, an employee will be allowed at least two hours per day to find new employment (unless the employment is terminated immediately by way of paying the employee an amount corresponding to his / her notification period, as indicated in our explanations below in Consequences if requirements are not met).

Extraordinary Termination

In the presence of just reasons, Turkish law provides employers the right to dismiss an employee immediately without having to comply with any notification periods and, in certain instances, without having to pay any severance pay as further detailed in our responses to Severance pay below.

Turkish law does not provide an exhaustive list of just reasons for extraordinary termination but the following reasons indicated under the law are considered to give guidelines as to what constitutes a just reason:

  1. Health reasons;
  2. Acts of the employee breaching moral principles and principle of good faith or similar situations;
  3. Force Majeure; and
  4. Apprehension or detention of the employee

Please note that the distinction based on the applicability of employment security provisions explained above for an ordinary termination is also applicable for an extraordinary termination.

Please see our responses below regarding Consequences if requirements are not met for further details of the legal ramifications of an unjust termination (i.e. where the termination is absent of the alleged just reasons).

1.2 Form

Similar rules apply to both ordinary termination with notice and summary dismissal without notice.

The employee must be served with the original letter of dismissal, and not  an electronic file, e-mail, fax or photocopy. The letter of dismissal must be  in Polish and signed by a person authorised to act on behalf of the company. It is possible to request that the employee signs other language versions of the letter in addition to the Polish version. The letter of dismissal must include information about the employee’s right to appeal to a labour court. The deadline for an employee to appeal against enforced dismissal is 21 days.

Written form, including reasons for termination. Decision is to be delivered to the employee.

As a matter of validity, notice (bildirim) for dismissal must be in writing and signed by the employee to confirm they have received such notice. In addition, it is advisable to have two witnesses present at the time of notice to evidence a possible refusal by the employee to take receipt of the termination notice.

It is also advisable to send an official notification (tebligat) to the employee’s registered address of residence following due receipt of the termination notice (or refusal of the same) to ensure that the employee is duly notified of the termination. For such purpose, specific rules under the notification procedures legislation shall become applicable.

Lastly, please note that an employee may not be terminated due to his / her performance or behaviour without granting such employee a right to defend himself / herself.

1.3 Notice period

Statutory notice periods vary depending on the type of employment agreement and the length of service with a given employer.

For a contract of unfixed duration and a fixed-term contract, the notice period is:

  1. two weeks for an employee with less than six months’ service; or
  2. one month for an employee with at least six months’ but less than three years’ service; or
  3. three months if the employee has been employed for three years or more.

Probationary period employment contracts have shorter notice periods, of three working days to two weeks, depending on the agreed length of the probationary period. Polish law recognises probationary period contracts as a separate type of employment contract and not as an initial period of an indefinite term employment contract. After the probationary period, a new contract can be agreed.

Notice periods of a week or multiple weeks always end on a Saturday, and notice periods of a month or multiple months always end on the last day of the month.

The contractual or statutory notice period does not have to be observed for a summary dismissal.

Regular termination: notice period ranges from two weeks to three months, dependent on the employee’s length of service with the same employer.

The three-month period is extended by an additional two weeks / one month for 50 / 55-year-old employees who have 20 or more years’ continuous service with the same employer.

Extraordinary termination (summary dismissal): no notice period. Termination during probationary period: notice period of at least seven days.

Termination by employee: notice period cannot be longer than one month if the employee has a good reason.

If the employment is terminated because the employee  breaches his contractual obligations, notice periods are halved.

Ordinary Termination

For an ordinary termination explained above, the notice periods depend on the length of employment. The relevant periods are as follows:

  1. For employees whose term of employment is shorter than six months, the statutory period is two weeks;
  2. For employees whose term of employment is between six months and one and a half years, the statutory period is four weeks;
  3. For employees whose term of employment is between one and a half years and three years, the statutory period is six weeks; and
  4. For employees whose term of employment is longer than three years, the statutory period is eight weeks.

In principle, Turkish law allows for the employer and the employee to agree on extended notification periods. However, the Turkish Court of Appeals has made at least one ruling where it has stated that an employee, upon his / her termination of the employment, would only be bound to observe the periods indicated above (and not those agreed under the employment agreement). Therefore, if the employee terminates his / her employment, he / she may not be required to observe a notification period longer than those prescribed under the law (as indicated above).

Extraordinary Termination

For an extraordinary termination, a notice period does not need to be observed by the employer (i.e. the dismissal will be effective immediately).

However, in an unjust termination (where the alleged just reasons for termination do not exist), compensation pertaining to the notification periods will be applicable. For further details, please see below our responses to Consequences if requirements are not met.

1.4 Involvement of works council

A single dismissal for employee-related reasons (e.g. performance-related dismissal) is not subject to any collective notification or consultation requirement.

Only group dismissals or significant reductions of the workforce undertaken as a part of a restructuring trigger the notification and consultation requirement. The employer must notify / consult a works council about any matters relating to employment status and structure, any predicted or proposed changes in this respect, and actions taken to maintain the current level of employment. However, this will only be necessary when the anticipated changes are permanent or significant (in relation to the employer’s size).

Works council members may not be dismissed involuntarily (either with or without notice) during their term of office without the prior consent of the works council.

The works council must be informed of the employer’s intention to dismiss. The works council‘s consent is required for dismissal of the following employees:

  • members of the works council; and
  • candidates running for works council positions and members of the election committee for a period of three months following the announcement of the results of the election to the works council; and
  • employee representatives in a body of the employer; and
  • employees with diminished ability to work and employees in immediate danger of physical disability; and
  • employees over 60 years of age.

No involvement.

1.5 Involvement of a union

Notification is required if the employer wishes to dismiss with notice a permanent employee (employed under an employment contract for an unfixed duration) who is a trade union member, or whose rights and interests the trade union has agreed to defend.

The trade union must be informed in writing, including the reasons for termination, at least five days before the employee receives the letter of termination. If the trade union decides that the dismissal is unjustified, it may present the employer with its substantiated objections in writing. An employer may proceed to dismiss having considered the opinion of the trade union (although this opinion is not binding). If the submission of a trade union opinion is delayed or absent, the employer may proceed without any additional consideration.

Notification is also required if the employer wishes to dismiss an employee without notice. In such a case, the trade union has three days to express its opinion in writing.

Trade union officers, or other employees named in a special resolution   of the trade union’s board of management, are protected against involuntary dismissal and may not be dismissed without trade union consent. The number of employees protected under a special resolution depends on   the number of employees who are members of the trade union or the number of the company’s officers (a decision left up to the trade union’s board of management).

If there is no works council, consent is given by the union commissioner (the union representative employed with the respective employer). The union‘s consent is required for the dismissal of a union commissioner during their period of office and for six months thereafter.

A union will be involved in the dismissal of employees if collective employment agreements have been entered into by employees’ unions and employers (or employers’ unions) that foresee the establishment of certain bodies (composed of the representatives of labour unions and the employers) (e.g. disciplinary boards) authorized to make advisory opinions on dismissals. While such advisory opinion is not directly binding on the employer, Turkish courts may still determine that a termination that goes against such opinion is an invalid termination.

1.6 Approval of state authorities necessary

Not generally necessary.

However, employers have certain obligations to inform the Labour Offices of a group redundancy procedure, particularly for large-scale redundancies.

If the works council or union commissioner do not consent, consent can be substituted by a judicial or an arbitral decision.

Not necessary.

1.7 Collective redundancies

A group dismissal occurs when an employer employing at least 20 employees terminates the employment relationships of at least the following numbers of employees within 30 days, with notice, and for non-employee-related reasons:

  1. ten employees − if the employer employs fewer than 100 employees; or
  2. 10% of the total workforce − if an employer employs at least 100 but fewer than 300 employees; or
  3. 30 employees − if the employer employs at least 300 employees or more.

These thresholds include terminations on mutual agreement if at least five such terminations have been initiated by the employer.

Small companies (employing fewer than 20 employees) are not subject to the group dismissal procedure, and may proceed without any prior notification of / consultation with employee representatives or local authorities.

Employer who expects to terminate at least 20 employees, five of which due to business related reasons, all within a 90-days’ period, is obliged  to duly consult the works council / union commissioner in order to possibly reach an agreement to save the employees and / or limit the number of terminations. The employer is obliged to provide the works council / union commissioner with written information concerning the reasons for termination, total number of employees, number, professions and positions of employees who are supposed to be terminated, election criteria for such employees, amounts and way of calculating their severance payments and measures undertaken to prevent such terminations. Employer is obligated to consider and explain all possibilities and suggestions that may lead to avoidance of terminations. Also, the Croatian Employment Agency needs to be informed about the previously mentioned points and consultations with the works council / union commissioner.

Collective redundancy is recognized under Turkish law and the relevant provisions will be applicable when the employment of the following numbers of employees are terminated on the same day or within a period of one month following the same procedures and principles as termination with a valid reason:

  1. Ten employees in a workplace where 20 – 100 employees are employed;
  2. 10% of employees in a workplaces where 101 – 300 employees are employed; or
  3. 30 employees in a workplace where at least 301 employees are employed

Collective redundancy is subject to judicial review upon petition by the employees. The judicial review will determine whether the collective redundancy has been implemented for valid reasons and the necessary conditions have been satisfied. For such purposes, the court will make use of data from all types of workplace records and expert opinions, and will reach its own decision.

Certain procedures must also be followed for the due implementation of a collective redundancy. To elaborate, where a collective redundancy is in question, the employer is obligated to inform the regional Directorate of the Employment and Social Security Ministry and Turkish Employment Office at least 30 days before the implementation of such collective redundancy. In the event that the employer does not inform the relevant state institutions, it will incur an administrative fine of TL 857 (app. EUR 141) (as of 2019) for every employee affected by the collective redundancy.

It should also be noted that the notification period for the termination starts within one month of having informed the relevant state institution. Without such notification, notification periods for the termination cannot be duly initiated.

1.8 Summary dismissals

Dismissal without notice is only permitted in specified circumstances.

An employee may be summarily dismissed (disciplinary dismissal) if he:

  1. commits a serious breach of his basic employee’s duties; or
  2. commits a crime while employed (the offence must be obvious or confirmed by the judgment of a final court), provided that such crime makes his further employment impossible; or
  3. through his own fault loses a license necessary for the performance of duties connected with the post.

Summary dismissal may only be exercised within one month of the employer becoming aware of the reasons for dismissal.

It is also possible for the employer to summarily dismiss an employee without fault due to long-term absence from work, where:

  1. the employee is unable to work by reason of illness:
    1. for a period longer than three months, if the employee has less than six months’ service with a given employer; or
    2. for a period longer than the period the employee has been receiving sick pay and sick benefit (typically 182 days) and the first three months of rehabilitation benefit (additional 90 days); and
  2. the employee’s justified absence from work for other reasons lasts longer than one month.

Summary termination (summary dismissal) is defined as termination without notice, and is only lawful where there has been: 

  1. a serious breach of employment obligations, or
  2. the employment relationship between the parties is no longer possible for another important reason (there are, therefore, two possible reasons: (i) breach of employment obligations; or (ii) another important fact; in either case, the employment relationship must not be possible any longer).

The employee is to be dismissed within 15 days of the day of becoming aware of the fact / reason for dismissal.

Please see above our explanation regarding extraordinary termination.

1.9 Consequences if requirements are not met

If the termination of a contract without notice, or termination of a contract of unfixed duration with notice, is unlawful the employee may claim reinstatement or compensation.

Reinstatement cannot be claimed for an unlawful termination with notice during a fixed-term or probationary contract.

If the contract is of unfixed duration, compensation of between two weeks’ and three months’ salary (and not less than the employee’s salary during the notice period) may be awarded.

In an unlawful termination without notice, an employee may in general only claim compensation of up to three months’ salary. Further entitlement can be claimed on the basis of general civil law rules.

If it is decided the dismissal is illegal, the employee is to be reinstated. Reinstatement is possible even before the end of the court procedure to determine the legality of the dismissal if the employee so requests. If the parties do not wish to continue with their employment relationship, the court shall at the employee‘s request determine:

  1. the date of termination of the employment contract; and
  2. compensation for damages, which ranges from three to eight times the employee’s average monthly salary over the previous three months (depending on the employee’s age, length of contract and obligations in relation to supporting family members or other dependants as defined by family law).

There are different consequences under Turkish law for an ordinary termination and an extraordinary termination in which a valid or just reason is absent. These are as follows:

Ordinary Termination

Where the employment security provisions apply to the dismissed employee

In this scenario, the notification periods indicated above must be observed by employers when terminating an employee. As such, the employer would be obligated to either

  1. Allow the employee to work during the notification period (duly paying him / her for the work performed during such the period); or
  2. Pay the amount corresponding to the notification period if the employer wishes to terminate the employee immediately.

In addition to this, in case of a termination, the employee may seek remedy before a mediator and if the matter is not resolved before the mediator, then the employee will be entitled to initiate a “lawsuit for re-instatement” (işe iade davası), in each case claiming that such dismissal is not based on one of the valid reasons explained above.

Where the parties are unable to resolve this dispute before the mediator and this matter is referred to a court and the said court determines that the ordinary termination is absent of a valid reason, it will render a judgement about:

  1. The re-instatement of the employee to the position he / she held prior to termination; and
  2. The amount of compensation the employer is obligated to pay to the employee in case the employer will not re-instate the employee.

If the employer re-instates the employee, it is obligated to pay to the employee a (maximum) amount equal to four months’ salary as well as any other receivables of the employee, which is meant to compensate the employee for the duration of the lawsuit during which the employee did not work.

If the employee chooses not to re-instate the employee, it is obligated to pay compensation to the employee equal to

  1. Four months’ salary as well as any other receivables of the employee, which is meant to compensate the employee for the duration of the lawsuit during which the employee did not work; and
  2. Four to eight months’ salary as compensation for undue termination.

In both scenarios, the salary taken as the basis for the compensation amount is the monthly salary the employee received immediately prior to termination.

Lastly, amounts corresponding to unused leave periods (if any) will also become payable to the employee.

Where the employment security provisions do not apply to the dismissed employee

In this case, the employer must observe the notification periods or make the corresponding payments as indicated above in our responses to paragraph Where the employment security provisions apply to the dismissed employee.

In addition to the above, if the employment has been terminated in bad faith (e.g. solely to avoid paying certain receivables to an employee, due to the employee’s involvement with a labour union etc.), the employer would be obligated to pay a bad faith compensation. Such compensation is equal to three times the amount pertaining to the notification periods of the employee.

Lastly, amounts corresponding to unused leave periods (if any) will also become payable to the employee.

Severance Payment

Any employee who has been employed for at least one year will benefit from severance payment upon ordinary termination of his employment relation by the employer regardless of whether the employee benefited from employment security provisions. For further details, please see our responses to Severance pay below.

Extraordinary Termination

Where the employment security provisions apply to the dismissed employee

In this scenario, as the dismissal will be effective immediately, in the absence of such just cause for termination, the employer would be obligated to compensate the employee for the amount pertaining to the notification periods (as indicated above).

Furthermore, the employee will also be entitled to initiate a lawsuit for re- instatement. Please see our responses above to Where the employment security provisions apply to the dismissed employee regarding the possible outcomes of such lawsuit.

Lastly, amounts corresponding to unused leave periods (if any) will also become payable to the employee.

Where the employment security provisions do not apply to the dismissed employee

In this case, as the dismissal will be effective immediately, in the absence of such just cause for termination, the employer would be obligated to compensate the employee for the amounts pertaining to the notification periods (as indicated above).

The bad faith compensation indicated in our responses above to Where the employment security provisions do not apply to the dismissed employee are also be applicable in this case.

Lastly, amounts corresponding to unused leave periods (if any) will become payable to the employee.

Severance Payment

If the employee was employed for at least one year, he / she will benefit from a severance payment upon an unjust termination of his / her employment regardless of whether he / she benefited from employment security provisions.

For further details, please see our responses to Severance pay below.

1.10 Severance pay

If an employer employs more than 20 employees, and dismisses an individual solely for non-employee-related reasons (e.g. due to a reduction in the workforce or redundancy of a work post), it must pay a severance payment equivalent to:

  1. one month’s salary − for employees with less than two years’ service with a given employer; or
  2. two months’ salary − for employees with between two and eight years’ service; or
  3. three months’ salary − for employees with more than eight years’ service.

However, severance pay is capped by statute at 15 times the national minimum monthly salary (capped at PLN 39,000 from January 2020, equivalent to approx. EUR 9138).

An employee with an open-ended contract who has two years’ continuous service with the same employer (and is not being dismissed due to an intentional breach of contractual obligation) is entitled to a severance payment. The statutory minimum severance payment is calculated by multiplying one-third of the average monthly salary in the preceding three months by the number of years’ continuous service with that employer. The severance payment is capped at six times the average monthly salary, unless otherwise provided for by law, by-law, collective agreement or work contract

As indicated above, in an ordinary termination, employees who have worked for the employer in question for at least one year, will be entitled to severance pay regardless of whether they benefited from employment security provisions prior to termination and even if there was a valid reason for their dismissal.

As for an extraordinary termination, employees who have worked for the employer in question for at least one year will be entitled to severance pay if they were terminated based on any grounds other than “acts breaching moral principles and principle of good faith or similar situations”. Further, an employee will be entitled to severance pay at any rate if he / she was terminated on an unjust basis (i.e. if the alleged just reasons for termination do not exist).

Regarding the amount of the severance payment, note that upon termination, an employee, in principle, is entitled to 30 days of pay for each year of employment prior to termination. However, this payment is subject to a ceiling of approximately TL 7,117 (EUR 800,subject to an inflation markup bi-annually). Consequently, even if the 30 day salary of the employee was higher than TL 7,117, the employee may only receive this amount as severance payment for each year of employment.

For calculation of the severance pay, the gross salary will include tax and security premiums deducted from the salary as well as additional moneys and monetary rights provided to the employee, including bonuses, child support payments, and monetary assistance in relation to health and transportation to and from work.

1.11 Non-competition clauses

Post-contractual non-competition clauses

Post-contractual non-competition restrictions are permitted when an employee has access to confidential information, the disclosure of which could damage the employer. In this case, the parties should in this case enter into a separate post-termination non-competition agreement. This should specify the restricted time period and compensation due to the employee (which must not be lower than 25% of the employee’s salary for the duration of the agreement). Compensation may be paid in monthly instalments.

Post-contractual non-competition clauses must last no longer than two years from the date of termination of the contract. The employer is obliged to pay compensation (at least one-half of the average monthly salary paid in the last three months of employment). The covenant will not be valid if the employee is a minor or if the employee‘s salary amounts to less than the average national salary.

The non-competition clause does not apply if: (i) the employee terminates the contract without notice period (extraordinary termination) and does not state that he does agree that the clause applies; or (ii) if the employee is dismissed without a justified reason, unless the employer undertakes to pay the prescribed remuneration for the duration of the clause.

During the term of the employment agreement, employees are under a non-compete obligation as per the terms of Turkish law.

For any non-compete obligations to prevail after the employment relationship, they must be limited by time and geographical scope so as not to prejudice the economic well-being of the employee.

From a timing perspective, Turkish law, in principle, allows for a two-year period as a valid non-compete term starting from the termination of the employment relationship. As for the geographical scope, Turkish law requires that the non-compete obligation is limited to certain regions or cities where the employment of the employee by a competitor would be most detrimental for the initial employer. Where a non-compete obligation is found to be in excess of the said limitations, it will be limited by Turkish courts. Accordingly, in a dispute, the court will not take into account the contractual non- compete obligation but determine the scope of the non-compete obligation that could duly be agreed between the parties and proceed on that basis.

There is no specific regulation or established precedent under Turkish law regarding a non-compete in favour of a third person who is not the actual employer of the employee in question (e.g. the parent company of the employer). As such, it is likely that a non-compete obligation in favour of such third person would be unenforceable under  Turkish law.

1.12 Miscellaneous

Not applicable.

Not applicable.

It should be noted that Turkish courts are extremely employee friendly. Therefore, complying with the necessary principles and procedures with regard to a termination is essential. For this purpose, all the relevant documents (e.g. the employment agreement) must be reviewed very carefully and all notices and notifications (i.e. the termination notices / notifications) must be prepared in a diligent manner and duly served.

Lastly, Turkish employers are obligated to treat employees equally and where a termination has been effected on a discriminatory basis, an employee may claim a discrimination compensation (ayrımcılık tazminatı). Such compensation will equal four months’ of the employee’s salary when subject to discrimination as well as any further receivables the employee should have received had he / she not been subject to such discrimination.

2. Dismissal of managing directors

It should be noted that the title ‘managing director’ is not recognised under the Croatian Companies Act or other relevant applicable legislation. The Croatian Companies Act recognises only a ‘director’, who is authorised to represent the company and obliged to be registered as a member of the management board with the respective commercial court.

A managing director need not to have an employment agreement with the company, or any other type of agreement, in order to be able to represent the company.

Where a managing director has a  managing / service agreement  which falls under the regulation of Croatian obligatory law, only the provisions of the managing / service agreement apply. If aspects of the relationship are not dealt with in the managing / service agreement, the relevant provisions of the Croatian Obligations Act will apply.

Where a managing director does not have any employment or managing / service agreement with the company, he shall be treated as a member of the management board only.

The table below sets out the position under Croatian law with respect to the managing directors of a limited liability company, with and without service agreements.

2.1 Reasons for dismissal

A management board member may be dismissed from the corporate function without cause, unless the company deed or articles of association provide otherwise.

Apart from dismissal from the board, the contract under which the management board member received remuneration (if concluded) must be terminated separately. Polish law does not provide for a specific type of contract for board members.

In civil law relationships, if the contract (e.g. management contract) is terminated without significant reason, the company should cover any loss incurred by the management board member. Further entitlements may be provided for individual contracts.

A management board member may also be employed under an employment contract. If this is the case, the reasons for dismissal must be provided if a contract is terminated without notice or if a contract of unfixed duration is terminated with notice. The reason must be real and specific, so the managing director can easily understand the grounds for dismissal. The reasons for termination with notice may be attributable to the managing director (e.g. non-performance or improper performance of the managing director’s duties), or not attributable to the managing director (e.g. redundancy). The Polish Labour Code does not list such reasons.

Termination without notice (i.e. summary dismissal) may be justified for a number of reasons, but is only permitted when certain statutory conditions are met.

In the remaining case, involuntary termination does not require justification. Further entitlements may be granted in individual contracts.

No special reasons required (unless otherwise specified within the statute of the company or the contract itself).

Where the managing director has a service agreement, the provisions of that service agreement (and consequently the Croatian Obligations Act) will apply.

If the managing director is a member of the management board according to the statute of the company (and not only appointed by resolution of the shareholders), the company statute may set out that revocation is only possible for special reasons.

First, Turkish law only recognizes a distinction between the termination of employees and

  1. Employer representatives and deputy employer representatives who manage an enterprise in its entirety; and
  2. Employer representatives who manage a workplace in its entirety and who are authorized to employ and dismiss employees.

(Persons in (i) and (ii) above are collectively referred to as “Managers” for the purposes of this Guide)

For the purposes of (i) above, employer representatives and deputy employer representatives are usually considered to be the general managers (genel müdür) and deputy general managers (genel müdür yardımcısı), respectively, of the relevant entities. Managing directors should fall in the scope of “general managers” as explained above.

As for (ii) above, any person who has been given both powers indicated in it will also be subject to the regime explained below. However, in Turkish legal practice, persons other than employer representatives and deputy employer representatives, would rarely hold all of such powers together.

Turkish law foresees two types of dismissals for Managers, namely ordinary termination and extraordinary termination.

Ordinary Termination

Under the employment security provisions of Turkish law, certain employees are granted specific remedies in case of an ordinary termination.

Under Turkish law, employment security provisions do not apply to Managers. Therefore, a manager may be terminated without a valid reason and remedies against such ordinary termination (such as initiating lawsuit for reinstatement (işe iade davası)) will not be available. However, the employer is still obligated to observe the notification periods for the ordinary termination of a Manager. For further details regarding such periods, please see our explanations below regarding Notice periods and Consequences if requirements are not met.

Furthermore, any Manager who has been employed by the employer in question for at least one year will be entitled to severance pay for an ordinary termination. For further details, please see our responses to Consequences if requirements are not met and Severance pay below.

In addition, where the Manager has been terminated in bad faith, he / she may claim a “bad faith compensation” (kötü niyet tazminatı). For further details, please see our explanations below regarding Consequences if requirements are not met.

Upon the ordinary termination of a Manager, the employer is obligated to grant the Manager a right to seek new employment during the notification period. Accordingly, such Manager shall have at least two hours per day to find new employment (unless the employment is terminated immediately by way of paying the Manager the amount corresponding   to his / her notification period, as indicated in our explanations below in Consequences if requirements are not met).

Lastly, upon an ordinary termination, an amount corresponding to unused leave periods will also become payable to the Manager.

Extraordinary Termination

In the presence of just reasons, Turkish law provides employers the right to dismiss a Manager immediately without having to comply with any notification periods or having to pay any severance pay.

While the law does not provide an exhaustive list, the following just reasons indicated under the law are considered as a guideline for this purpose:

  1. Health reasons;
  2. Acts of the manager breaching moral principles and the principle of good faith or similar situations;
  3. Force Majeure; and
  4. Apprehension or detention of the manager

Please see our responses below regarding Consequences if requirements are not met for further details as to the legal ramifications of an unjust termination (i.e. where the termination is absent of the alleged just reasons).

2.2 Form

In the case of limited liability companies (‘spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością’), management board members may be dismissed from office by a resolution of shareholders unless the company deed states otherwise.

In case of joint-stock companies (‘spółka akcyjna’), a management board member can be dismissed by the supervisory board, unless the articles of association state otherwise. The shareholders can also dismiss a management board member at any time.

The management board member concerned and court register should then be notified of the decision regarding the dismissal, but the dismissal is valid from the date of the relevant resolution (unless the resolution itself states otherwise).

If a management board member has an additional civil contract (e.g. a management contract), this must be terminated separately as it does not automatically expire upon the management board member’s dismissal from the board.

In dealings with a company’s management board member, the company should be represented by the supervisory board (if any is present) or an attorney-in-fact appointed by a resolution of shareholders meeting. These rules do not apply to a former management board member deemed to be an ordinary worker from the time of his dismissal from the board. Any additional contracts with the former management board member may be terminated by the board.

Valid shareholders’ resolution on revocation of appointment as member  of the management board. Registration of this revocation with the court registry. Termination of the service agreement in the same form in which the agreement has been signed (Obligations Act provisions shall apply).

There is no requirement for a due notice of termination of a Manager to be given in writing. However, it would be advisable to give such notice in a written form and have two witnesses present at the time of the notice for evidentiary purposes.

Further, it would also be also advisable to send an official notification (tebligat) to the Manager’s registered address of residence to ensure that the Manager is duly notified of the termination. For this purpose, specific rules under the notification procedures legislation become applicable.

In addition to the above, in most cases there will be a shareholders’ resolution and / or a board of directors’ resolution for the appointment of the Manager and this resolution will be registered with the relevant trade registry and published in the trade registry gazette. Where the Manager is terminated, a new shareholders’ resolution and / or a board of directors’ resolution will need to be made regarding the revocation of the appointment of the Manager in question and the new resolution will also need to be registered with the relevant trade registry and published in the trade registry gazette.

2.3 Notice period

A management board member may be dismissed from the corporate function without any notice period. However, notice periods may be stipulated in civil contracts.

According to the Croatian Companies Act, the appointment of a director of the company can be revoked at any time without notice (for no special reason). Some restrictions (not strictly defined) can be set out within the statute of the company.

If the director has a service agreement, the notice period will be as set out in the service agreement.

Ordinary Termination

For an ordinary termination explained above, the notice periods depend on the length of employment. Accordingly, please find below the relevant periods:

  1. For Managers whose term of employment is shorter than six months, the statutory period is two weeks;
  2. For Managers whose term of employment is between six months and one and a half years, the statutory period is four weeks;
  3. For Managers whose term of employment is between one and a half and three years, the statutory period is six weeks; and
  4. For Managers whose term of employment is longer than three years, the statutory period is eight weeks.

Please note that Turkish law, in principle, allows for the employee and   the employer to agree on an extended notification period. However, the Turkish Court of Appeals has made at least one ruling where it has stated that an employee, upon his / her termination of the employment, would only be bound to observe the periods indicated above (and not those agreed under the employment agreement). As this ruling would also be valid for Managers, if a Manager terminates his / her employment with the employer, he / she may not be required to observe a notice period longer than those indicated above.

Extraordinary Termination

For a due extraordinary termination, a notice period does not need to be observed by the employer (i.e. the dismissal will be effective immediately).

However, in an unjust termination (where the alleged just reasons for termination do not exist), compensation pertaining to the notification periods will be applicable. For further details, please see below our responses to Consequences if requirements are not met.

2.4 Involvement of works council

No involvement.

No involvement.

No involvement.

2.5 Involvement of a union

For management board members employed under employment contracts, notification is required if the employer wishes to dismiss with notice a permanent managing director (employed under an employment contract for an unfixed duration) who is a trade union member, or whose rights and interests the trade union has agreed to defend.

The trade union must be informed in writing of the reasons for termination at least five days before the employee receives the letter of termination. If the trade union decides that the dismissal is unjustified, it may present the employer with its substantiated objections in writing. Having considered the opinion of the trade union (which is not binding), an employer may still proceed to dismiss. If the submission of a trade union opinion is delayed or absent, the employer can proceed without any additional consideration.

Notification is also required for an employer to dismiss a managing director without notice. In such a case, the trade union has three days to express its opinion in writing.

Trade union officers, or other managing directors named in a special resolution of the trade union’s board of management, are protected against involuntary dismissal and may not be dismissed without trade-union consent. The number of employees protected under a special resolution depends on the number of employees who are members of the trade union or the number of company officers. (This decision is the responsibility of the trade union’s board of management).

No involvement.

A union will be involved in the dismissal of Managers if collective employment agreements have been entered into by employees’ unions and employers (or employers’ unions) which foresee the establishment of certain bodies (composed of the representatives of labour unions and the employers) (e.g. disciplinary boards) authorized to make advisory opinions on dismissals (although such collective labour agreements would usually apply to blue-collar employees only). While such advisory opinion is not directly binding on the employer, Turkish courts may still determine that a termination that goes against such opinion is invalid.

2.6 Approval of state authorities necessary

Not required.

Respective commercial court brings a resolution on registration of the resolution in the court registry. The court’s resolution and registration are declaratory.

Not necessary.

2.7 Collective redundancies

A group dismissal occurs when an employer of at least 20 employees terminates the employment relationship of at least the following numbers of employees within 30 days, with notice, and for reasons unrelated to work performance:

  1. ten employees − if the employer has fewer than 100 employees;
  2. 10% of the total workforce − if an employer has at least 100 but fewer than 300 employees; or
  3. 30 employees − if the employer has at least 300 employees or more.

These thresholds include termination based on mutual agreement if the employer has initiated at least five such terminations.

Small companies (employing fewer than 20 employees) are not subject to the group dismissal procedure, and may proceed without any prior notification or consultation with employee representatives and local authorities.

Not applicable.

No specific provisions are applicable to a collective redundancy concerning Managers. However, in determining whether a collective redundancy has occurred, the number of terminated Managers (if any) will also be taken into consideration.

2.8 Summary dismissals

For management board members employed under an employment contract, dismissal without notice is only permitted in specified circumstances.

A managing director may be summarily dismissed (i.e. a disciplinary dismissal) if the individual:

  1. commits a serious breach of his basic duties;
  2. commits a crime while employed (the offence must be obvious or confirmed by the judgment of a final court), provided that such a crime makes his continued employment impossible; or
  3. through his own fault loses a license necessary for the performance of duties connected with the position.

Summary dismissal may only be exercised within one month of the employer becoming aware of the reasons for dismissal.

It is also possible for the employer to summarily dismiss a managing director without fault due to long-term absence from work, where:

  1. the managing director is unable to work due to illness:
    1. for a period longer than three months, if the managing director has less than six months of service with a given employer; or
    2. for a period longer than the period the managing director has been receiving sick pay and sick benefits (typically 182 days) and the first three months of a rehabilitation benefit (additional 90 days).
  2. the managing director’s justified absence from work for other reasons lasts longer than one month.

Not applicable.

Please see above our explanation regarding extraordinary termination.

2.9 Consequences if requirements are not met

For management board members employed under an employment contract if the termination of contract without notice or termination of contract of unfixed duration with notice is unlawful, the managing director may claim reinstatement or compensation.

Reinstatement cannot be claimed for an unlawful termination with notice during a fixed-term or probationary contract.

If the contract is of unfixed duration, compensation of between two weeks’ and three months’ salary (and not less than the managing director’s salary during the notice period) may be awarded.

In an unlawful termination without notice, a managing director may in general only claim compensation of up to three months’ salary. Further entitlements can be claimed on the basis of general civil law rules.

If there is no valid shareholder resolution, the revocation will be invalid and the court will refuse to register it in the court registry. Where the managing director has a service agreement, he could claim:

  1. compensation for damages; or
  2. fulfilment of contractual obligations in accordance with the provisions of the Croatian Obligations Act.

There are different consequences under Turkish law for an ordinary termination and an extraordinary termination which is absent of a valid or just reason. These are as follows:

Ordinary Termination

In an ordinary termination, the employer would be obligated to observe the notification periods indicated above. As such, the employer would be required to either

  1. Allow the Manager to work during the notification period (duly paying him / her for the work performed during such period); or
  2. Pay the amount corresponding to the notification period if the employer wishes to terminate the Manager immediately. Furthermore, any Manager who has been employed for at least one year will benefit from severance payment upon ordinary termination of his employment relation by the employer. For further details, please see our responses to Severance pay below.

In addition to the above, if the employment was terminated in bad faith (e.g. solely to avoid the payment of certain receivables to a Manager etc.), the employer is obligated to pay a bad faith compensation. Such compensation equals three times the amount pertaining to the notification period of the Manager.

Lastly, any amount pertaining to unused leave periods will also become payable to the Manager.

Extraordinary Termination

In this case, as the dismissal will be effective immediately, in the absence of such just cause for termination, the employer is obligated to compensate the Manager for the amount pertaining to the notification periods (as indicated above).

Furthermore, if the Manager was employed for at least one year, upon an unjust termination, he / she will benefit from severance payment upon an unjust termination of his / her employment. For further details, please see below our responses to Severance pay.

In addition, the bad faith compensation indicated above for ordinary terminations also become applicable.

Lastly, any amounts pertaining to unused leave periods become payable to the Manager.

2.10 Severance pay

For a management board member employed under an employment contract, if an employer of more than 20 employees dismisses an individual solely for non-employment-related reasons (e.g. due to a reduction in the workforce or redundancy of a work position), the employer must pay a severance payment equivalent to:

  1. one month’s salary − for employees with less than two years’ service with a given employer; 
  2. two months’ salary − for employees with between two and eight years’ service; or
  3. three months’ salary − for employees with more than eight years’ service.

However, severance pay is capped by law at 15 times the national minimum monthly salary. (From January 2020, the cap is PLN 39,000 or EUR 9,138).

Both civil law and employment contracts may include voluntary severance payments.

Severance pay may be specified in the managing director’s service agreement (this is usually a large sum).

As indicated above, in an ordinary termination, a Manager who has worked for the employer in question for at least one year is entitled to severance pay even if there was a valid reason for his / her dismissal.

As for an extraordinary termination, Managers who have worked for the employer in question for at least one year will be entitled to severance pay if they were terminated based on any grounds other than “acts breaching moral principles and principle of good faith or similar situations”.

Further, a Manager will be entitled to severance pay at any rate if he / she was terminated on an unjust basis (i.e. if the alleged just reasons for termination do not exist).

Regarding the amount of the severance payment, note that upon termination , a Manager, in principle, is entitled to 30 days of pay for each year of employment prior to termination. However, this payment is subject to a ceiling of approximately TL 7,117 (EUR 800,subject to an inflation markup bi-annually). Consequently, even if the 30 day salary of the Manager was higher than TL 7,117, the Manager may only receive this amount as severance payment for each year of employment.

For calculation of the severance pay, the gross salary will include tax and security premiums deducted from the salary as well as additional moneys and monetary rights provided to the Manager, including bonuses, child support payments, and monetary assistance in relation to health and transportation to and from work.

2.11 Non-competition clauses

For management board members employed under an employment contract, post-contractual non-competition restrictions are permitted when a managing director has access to confidential information, the disclosure of which could damage the employer. In this case, the parties should enter into a separate post-termination non-competition agreement. This should specify the restricted time period and compensation due to the managing director (which must not be lower than 25% of the managing director’s salary for the duration of the agreement). Compensation may be paid in monthly instalments.

Civil law contracts may provide for competition restrictions. Statutory provisions on minimum compensation do not apply to management board members employed under a civil law contract.

The managing director, as a member of the management board, is prohibited from doing the following without the approval of the supervisory board (or the shareholders, if the company does not have a supervisory board):

  1. being a member of the supervisory board or management board of another company with the same business activities; or
  2. performing business activities equal to those of the company for his or somebody else’s account; or
  3. using the company’s premises for performing business for his own or somebody else’s profit. The company is entitled to compensation for any damage caused.

During the term of their employment, Managers are under a non-compete obligation as per the terms of Turkish law.

For non-compete obligations to prevail following the end of the term of employment relationship, such non-competition clauses must be limited by time and geographical scope.

From a timing perspective, Turkish law, in principle, allows for a two-year period as a valid non-compete term starting from the termination of the employment relationship. As for the geographical scope, Turkish law requires that the non-compete obligation is limited to certain regions or cities where the employment of the Manager by a competitor would be most detrimental for the initial employer. Where a non-compete obligation is found to be in excess of the said limitations, it is subject to limitation by Turkish courts. Accordingly, in a dispute, the court will not take into view the contractual non-compete obligation but will determine the scope of the non-compete obligation that could duly be agreed between the parties and proceed on that basis.

Please note that there is no specific regulation or established precedent under Turkish law regarding a non-compete in favour of a third person who is not the actual employer of the Manager in question (e.g. the parent company of the employer). As such, it is likely that a non-compete obligation in favour of such third person would be unenforceable under Turkish law.

2.12 Miscellaneous

Not applicable.

Not applicable.

It should be noted that Turkish courts are extremely employee friendly and the same approach would prevail for the Managers. Therefore, complying with the necessary principles and procedures with regard to a termination is essential. For this purpose, all the relevant documents (e.g. the employment agreement) must be reviewed very carefully and all notices and notifications (i.e. the termination notices / notifications) must be prepared in a diligent manner and duly served.