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.


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Notice on comments

mara mcglothin

5/23/2012 5:46:18 PM

AMERICAN AMERICAN I sure hope you aren't holding your breath! You are going to be really blue! Turkey on the slippery slope and will one day wake up and be Iran. Normal Turkish citizens who did not vote for the AKP are quick to defend its economic policies(of which they can take no credit) and will one day wake up and discover what has happened due to their apathetic behavior. Welcome to Turkey! You know what they say about "absolute power"?

american american

5/20/2012 10:07:40 PM

oh yeah! i'd also like to see a ban on running red lights, excessive honking, motorcycles on the sidewalks or driving in between cars on the road, shopkeepers/workers flicking lit cigarettes out of doorways onto the streets, and dropping trash out of windows!

american american

5/20/2012 10:05:06 PM

how about first giving overtime pay?


5/20/2012 6:16:17 PM

Who's watching the employer? Are these the same people that are going to improve constitutional law? Will Turkish polititians ever learn how to pass sound, fair, enforcable laws as well as they pass gas?

Red Tail

5/20/2012 1:04:08 PM

Of course it is not acceptable to show up at work with a hangover. A hangover is cause by the person himself and it make him/her incapable of doing his/her job properly. Or would you like to send your kid to a school where the teacher is poorly prepared and smell like alcohol and all confused and maybe has to go and through up? Or do you want to go with a taxidriver who spent the whole night drinking the day before? It is unprofessional and damaging to the employer to have hangover employees.

Tracy Lockett

5/20/2012 11:48:08 AM

Human rights taken away yet again - you can come and work for me every day but you can't spend your money on a social life or I will fire you. If people listened to this they would put all bars and clubs out of work - tourists would be afraid to drink for fear or what other law could be imposed on them - this is 2012 - move on Turkey or be left behind because of your own stupidity - I refer to the lawmakers here and NOT the people whom I love dearly.


5/20/2012 6:19:30 AM

Well it turns out evidence still matters a little, especially in the European Court where many Turkish citizens seem to go for real justice with increasing frequency. In fact, government is now proposing to take the hefty fines imposed for frivilous cases out of judges and DAs salaries.


5/19/2012 11:39:46 PM

Murat, you seem to think evidence makes a difference in Turkish courts.

Damien Banks

5/19/2012 9:24:02 PM

@ murat... Spot on!! Oldest rookie mistake in the book. Autocracy is intoxicating... excuse the pun, and one clear sign that this govmt is getting cocky is this 'hangover legislation'... classic overreaching! The bright side though is this is exactly how autocracy falls.

Dweller -

5/19/2012 7:52:17 PM

One has to consider how this "hangover" will be proved. I am thinking of someone with a big bass drum being struck very loudly every few seconds at every work place with an AKP overseer looking for anyone wincing to the noise.
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