Türkiye preparing for flexible working models

Türkiye preparing for flexible working models

Türkiye preparing for flexible working models

Recent statements by Labor and Social Security Minister Vedat Bilgin have brought the concept of flexible working on to the country’s agenda.

According to a study by the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK), OECD finds that it is possible to work remotely for 21 percent of the working population in Türkiye, with the number expected to increase further.

Bilgin said on July 18 that with new technologies and new information entering the production process, “we need to think and criticize that an 8-hour work day is now a part of our old habit.”

“Today, there are studies in many countries to reduce daily and weekly working hours,” he added.

“These changes will inevitably occur as technology replaces labor and as technology disassociates the production process from work space.”

TİSK President Özgür Burak Akkol stated that besides working remotely, there are many different flexibility models such as part-time work, micro jobs, and on-call working.

“The effective functioning of these methods for both the employee and the employer are possible, first of all, if they find a place in our lives in a ‘safe’ way,” he said.

All flexible working models and their applications in the world were covered in detail in TİSK’s “Next Generation Working Models” report, which also includes the developments during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report, four out of 10 employees in Europe switched to working from home with the start of the pandemic.

According to the study conducted by 4,000 people, 51 percent of the participants stated that they were more productive while working from home, while the vast majority of 95 percent stated that their productivity did not change or increased. Although the majority of those questioned do not want to return to their traditional office life, 49 percent of the participants reported that they missed their colleagues and 14 percent of them reported that they missed the time they spent with their colleagues during breaks.

One of the most common methods of flexible working is “part-time work.” Part-time work forms 15 percent of all employment worldwide, while the rate in the Turkish workforce remains at 9.5 percent.

The Netherlands leads the way in part-time jobs, with 37 percent of total employment in the country being part-time. Switzerland is in second place with 26.9 percent, followed by Indonesia with 25.9, Australia with 25.5 and Japan with 25.2 percent.

A prominent feature of the Netherlands in this employment model is that, unlike other EU countries, part-time work is preferred and not out of requirement at the request of the employees, according to the report.

One of the other flexible working models common in the world is micro jobs. In Germany, two criteria are taken as the basis for this model.

The first one is based on the earned wage and the jobs with monthly earnings not exceeding the upper limit of 450 euros are included in the scope of micro jobs. Secondly, the jobs that are worked on a working day scale, with an upper limit of three months or 70 working days in a working year, are again defined as micro jobs.

Considering that they provide small earnings, micro jobs are a good opportunity for those entering the job market for the first time. Since working hours are generally short and flexible, 40 percent of those employed in micro jobs in Germany are housewives and 20 percent are students.

TİSK chair Akkol stated that they put dialogue at the center for the future of working life amid major and swift changes in conditions.

“The goal of ‘Promoting Secure Flexible Working Models,’ which we wholeheartedly believe will create benefits for all workers, employers and the public, is not a choice but a necessity for the transformation of working life in our country with the focus of ‘The Future of Our Business,’” he said.

“We believe that the goal of ‘Proliferation of Secured Flexible Working Models’ will create significant benefits in the long-run in terms of increasing the competitiveness of our country, supporting the creation of new employment, strengthening especially vulnerable groups and putting forward a sustainable fight against unregistered employment,” Akkol added.