Women and family employment draft bill could backfire, TİSK head says

Women and family employment draft bill could backfire, TİSK head says

Hacer Boyacıoğlu ANKARA
Women and family employment draft bill could backfire, TİSK head says Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK) Head Yağız Eyüboğlu and Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) Head Ergün Atalay have both expressed concerns over the women and family employment draft bill, which was announced by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and is currently being debated in parliament.

The bill is aimed at increasing women’s participation in the workforce, Eyüboğlu said the bill could be counterproductive, dissuade businesses from employing women, and harm their efficiency.

“If the draft bill passes, women with three children will be able to work part-time for 18 years, and employers will not have the right to dismiss them,” said Eyüboğlu.

“The bill is well-meant and we are working hard to increase the number of women employees in different sectors, but some of the regulations will increase the financial burden of employers, which may cause some negative results,” the TİSK head added, saying the fundamental obstacles preventing women from being able to participate in the workforce should be analyzed more thoroughly.

Türk-İş also concerned

Türk-İş head Atalay also expressed his concerns, saying it would dissuade companies from employing women.

“What this code proposes is suitable for the public sector but not for the private sector. Because of this bill employers will not want to hire women workers, as it enables them to work part-time for five years. What’s more, with this bill they will create a legal framework that encourages a kind of slavery,” Atalay said.

Law as a ‘reaction’

Meanwhile, Eyüboğlu also touched on a new code on safety in construction sites, saying that although TİSK finds some of the regulations quite constructive, it criticizes the way the bill was prepared.

“We lost 301 people in the Soma mining disaster. This new code on safety is actually a reaction to that. Tomorrow when we meet with another disaster, they will come up with another code. Obviously those who are guilty should be sentenced, but this issue will not be resolved by only increasing the sentences. We should develop certain standards for workers’ safety,” he said.

“This draft bill also proposes a direct increase of sentences depending on the number of employees in a corporation, which we fear could eventually lead these corporations to be divided into different branches,” he added.