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LABOR > Draft eases leasing workers under flexible conditions

Aysel Alp ANKARA / Hürriyet

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This file photo shows workers at a citrus processing plant in Turkey. DHA photo

This file photo shows workers at a citrus processing plant in Turkey. DHA photo

Employers will be allowed to “lease” short terms workers to fill in for absent workers on leave under three conditions, according to a draft regulation.

The new regulation, which redefines “leased labor” as a temporary employment relationship, applies to private employment offices, according to the draft seen by hurriyet.com.tr. The current law allows only holdings and companies to “lease” workers.

The draft says a firm may “lease a worker” if a permanent worker is not able to work for any reason such as enlistment, maternity leave, illness, detention, or if its business volume expands at an unpredictable rate.

Firms will also be allowed to lease workers for temporary short-term work, seasonal work, urgent work for workplace safety and work not regarded as normal daily tasks. Another area that the new regulation covers is homecare and housekeeping services.

Officials at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security have said the goal of the draft regulation is to increase labor market flexibility and reduce unemployment. However, labor unions consider the regulation, which allows for “leased or borrowed labor” to be “modern servitude.”

Lawyers from the three largest trade unions, namely the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş), the Labor Confederation (Hak-İş) and the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), are worried about the implementation of the new regulation when workers are on strike, as it may pave the way for employers to hire temporary workers during such labor action.

Ministry officials disagree, citing the International Labor Organization agreements that are in place. But the lawyers say the draft does not include an exception regarding strikes, unlike the current regulation. The current law does not allow an employer to employ temporary workers if the employer is one side of a collective agreement dispute at the stage of a strike or a lockout.

The draft limits the number of leased workers to 20 percent of the total staff at workplaces with more than 100 workers. But there is no limit set for workplaces with less than 100 staff members.

Employers cannot lease workers for more than six months, with a maximum of two extensions of this period, according to the current law. The new regulation reduces this period to a maximum of three months. The contract period may be extended three times, but may total no more than six months.

July/27/2012

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