What is Notice Period? How is it Calculated? - Sorwe

29 May 2024 | 4 Minute
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What is Notice Period? How is it Calculated? - Sorwe

What is a Notice Period? How is it Calculated?

The notice period holds significant importance in employment relationships, necessitating attention from both employers and employees during the termination of an employment contract. We examine in detail what a notice period is, how it is calculated, and its importance from an employment law perspective, making it easier to understand the differences between notice period and severance pay.

What is a Notice Period?

A notice period is the legally mandated time frame either an employer or an employee must give the other party prior to terminating an employment contract. This period ensures that the termination of the employment relationship is conducted fairly and orderly. During the notice period, an employee's right to seek new employment is protected, while the employer is afforded the necessary time to find a replacement.

How is a Notice Period Calculated?

The duration of a notice period varies depending on the total length of service an employee has with the company. According to the Employment Law, the notice period can range from two to eight weeks depending on service length. For instance, an employee who has worked for up to six months has a two-week notice period, whereas someone employed between one to three years has a four-week period.

How is the Notice Period Calculated for Part-Time Employees?

For part-time employees, the calculation of the notice period follows the same fundamental principles as for full-time employees. However, due to fewer working hours, the calculation of their notice period can be more flexible, varying with weekly working hours and other factors specified in the employment contract.

What is the Duration of a Notice Period?

The duration of a notice period in Turkey typically ranges from two to eight weeks, depending on the length of service, as stipulated by the Employment Law. When either the employer or the employee wishes to terminate the contract, they must notify the other party within this period.

Can Notice Periods Be Shortened in Emergency Situations?

In certain emergency situations and under special conditions, it is possible to shorten a notice period. However, these circumstances must be clearly defined in the employment contract or foreseen by legal frameworks. For example, an employee's health issues or operational necessities of the employer might necessitate a shorter notice period. In such cases, it is beneficial to seek legal advice to protect the rights of both the employer and the employee.

What is the Difference Between Notice Period and Severance Pay?

Notice period and severance pay are two important concepts in the termination of employment contracts but are distinct from each other. The notice period is the notification period that must be given by the employer or employee to the other party when terminating an employment contract. Severance pay, on the other hand, is compensation due from the party violating the notice period requirement. If either the employer or employee does not comply with the legal notice period, they must pay severance to the other party.

How is Severance Pay Calculated?

Severance pay is calculated based on the employee's last gross salary. The calculation is made such that it equals the salary amount that should have been paid during the notice period. For example, an employer who does not comply with a four-week notice period must pay the employee's gross salary for those four weeks as severance pay.

How Does Resignation Affect the Notice Period?

When an employee resigns, they are expected to comply with the legally specified notice period. The resigning employee should continue to serve the employer during the notice period. If an employee leaves the job without observing the notice period, they may be required to pay severance to the employer. However, special circumstances of the employee (such as health issues) may exempt them from the notice period. In such cases, agreement and legal compliance from both parties are crucial.

How are Salary and Other Rights Affected During the Notice Period?

During the notice period, an employee's salary and other rights are protected. The employee continues to receive their salary as usual and can avail of their legal rights (such as annual leave). The notice period should not negatively impact the employee's health insurance, pension contributions, or other social rights. The employer is responsible for fulfilling all legal obligations towards the employee during this period.

When is a Notice Period Not Required?

Certain circumstances exempt either the employer or the employee from the notice period. These situations usually involve serious reasons that justify the immediate termination of the employment contract. For instance, severe misconduct by the employer, such as harassment, or serious crimes committed by the employee, can lead to the termination of the contract without the need for a notice period. Such cases are typically assessed by employment law experts and handled within a legal framework.

How Should the HR Team Manage Notice Periods?

The Human Resources (HR) team should manage notice periods with a focus on legal compliance, fairness, and transparency. Responsibilities of the HR team include accurately calculating the notice period, informing employees about the process, and ensuring that the process is conducted according to the law. Additionally, the HR team should ensure the protection of employees' rights during the notice period and facilitate a smooth transition for all parties involved in a termination.

Key Points to Consider When Communicating a Notice Period

When communicating a notice period, it's crucial to ensure the process's legal framework and accurate calculation are understood. Employers should clearly and understandably inform employees about the notice period, ensuring the process is fair and transparent. Additionally, the notice period should comply with the conditions specified in the employment contract and employment law.

How to Approach Employees During a Notice Period?

It's important to manage the notice period sensitively and respectfully for employees undergoing this phase. Maintaining the employee's morale and motivation, and preventing negative impacts on relationships with other workplace employees, is crucial. Additionally, supporting the employee through their career transition and assisting in potential job searches is vital during this period.

Essential Actions Before the End of a Notice Period

Before the end of a notice period, there are important actions both the employer and the employee need to take. The employer must pay all due rights (salary, leave, etc.) and provide all necessary documents (work certificate, reference letter, etc.). The employee must return all company property and complete or hand over ongoing projects.

Is It Mandatory to Work During the Notice Period?

Working during the notice period is generally mandatory. During this period, the employee continues their duties under normal working conditions. However, it is possible for the employee to spend the notice period without working, with payment for this period, based on mutual agreement between the parties. This situation usually occurs through mutual consent.

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