The Compensatory Time Work

Contact: Begüm Taner Huntürk; Erdem & Erdem (Turkey)

In Employment Law “Compensatory time work” means working period of an employee in lieu of the time which had been taken off due to various reason without receiving any over time

emolument for such working period. In the frame of flexible working principle, the Labor Law vested the employers, under certain conditions, the right to require from their employers to perform compensatory time work.


Pursuant to Article 64/1 of the Labor Law, the employer may demand compensatory time work within two months after the actual leave, in cases of where the time taken off the work due to unanticipated emergency circumstances, given time work off in public holidays before or after national feasts and general holidays or having worked for a period, which is substantively less than normal working hours or total shutdown of the workplace due to similar reasons or given time off work to employee upon his demand.

This type of working situation would not be considered as over time work or working for extra hours.

On the other hand, compensatory time work cannot be enforced in return of leaves granted by law or granted pursuant to individual or collective labor contracts between employee and employer and in the legal strikes or lockouts periods.

For example, compensatory time work cannot be enforced in return of leaves up to three days which must be given in the of marriage, birth or death circumstances.

In the same manner, compensatory time work cannot be exercised for the holidays taken pertaining to employment contract. Furthermore , as the National Feasts and General Holidays Law Article 3/a provides that the weekend holiday starts at Saturday 13:00 o’clock and also includes the whole Sunday, compensatory time work cannot be carried out in these days. If the labor contract stipulates that employees will not work on Saturdays or even in the lack of such a provision in the labor contract; if there is such an established practice in workplace then it will not be lawful to carry out compensatory time work on Saturdays. However, pursuant to the labor contract or established customary practice in workplace if the weekly holiday is not used at the weekends on Saturday or Sunday but in the other day of the week instead, then compensatory time work can be enforced on Saturdays and Sundays. Nevertheless, in such cases compensatory time work cannot be carried out in the day established as week holiday in practice.

Pursuant to Labor Law, the authority to make decision whether a compensatory time work is needed, belongs to the employer. The employer, who will enforce a compensatory time work, should notify the employee by specifying, which of the above referred reasons such work is required for and the date the work is to be started to compensate the lost time.

We should mention as a last issue that compensatory time work is limited to the maximum of three hours per day under the condition that the utmost daily working hours, which is 11 hours, is not exceeded.

The compensatory time work is a lawful right vested on the employer in the frame of flexible working principle. However, it has an exceptional nature and should not be abused by the employers to the detriment of employees’ rights.