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LABOR > Shift in Turkey's labor law may ban hangovers

Enis Tayman ISTANBUL / Radikal

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A lunch time drink can be grounds fordismissal without severance after a debated shift in the labor law.

A lunch time drink can be grounds fordismissal without severance after a debated shift in the labor law.

The Turkish parliament is planning to push through a change in the 84th clause of the Workplace Safety Law before it adjourns on June 30 for summer recess. Accordingly, the new law would make it possible for an employer to fire an employee who shows up to work “having consumed alcohol,” as opposed to being “drunk,” which is what the current law stipulates. According to the terms of the new law, the employee could be fired without being paid severance.

A member of the Uludağ University Law Faculty Dr. K. Ahmet Sevimli says that the new law is problematic both in legal terms and could also lead to political issues.

Law professors criticize the new alcohol law

“An employee who has had a drink the night before could have a certain amount of alcohol in his/her blood the next day. Similarly, the same applies for an employee who has had a drink at lunch time, but is not drunk. If the law is passed, then this employee could be fired without severance,” said Sevimli.
Anadolu University Law Faculty Professor Dr. Ufuk Aydın agrees with Sevimli. According to Aydın, the new law adds an extra burden on the employee.

“This new law works against the employee,” said Aydın noting that an employee who even had just one beer or glass of wine could be fired without severance if it were to be noticed at the workplace.

Aydın also added that this new law would not be in line with the Court of Appeals judicial precedence.

The parliament’s Health, Family, Work and Social Work Commission said that the 84th clause would be kept as is.

“The goal is to preserve the 84th clause as it stands. Therefore, if there is an alcohol expression, this will be changed to “drunkenness.” We had no intentions to change this clause, only to preserve it,” said the Commission.

May/19/2012

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