Annual Leave in German and Turkish Labor Law

Summer vacation has started. All employees  ask the same question on these days: How many days of annual leave do I have in a year? What are my rights? HR department is busy. The question is the same  all over world but the regulations are different. I was surprised when I heard that I can already plan my holidays even I have been employed less than one year in Germany.

However, in Turkey, according to the Labor Law No. 4857, employees are entitled to an annual leave, who have been employed more than one year.  This one year time includes the probation period as well. Below you can find the duration of the legal annual paid vacations:

  • 14 working days per year for service period from 1 year to 5 years,
  • 20 working days per year for service period over 5 years but less than 15 years,
  • 26 working days per year for service period over 15 years.

In Germany, after 6 months probation period employees have rights to plan their vacations and minimum annual leave is 24 working days per year. For example for young people under the age of 18 or disabled people apply special rules. Collective agreements guarantee leave of 30 working days for most employees. In case of good understanding with your boss and your team, they are no regulations in German law about the timeline and planing your holidays. On the other hand, Turkish labor law says; one part of the annual leave can not be less then 10 days and then the rest can be divided into 3 days.

Another interesting and important thing in Germany is that when you have overtime, in other words, if you have worked more than 8 hours in a day, you can convert these hours as a holiday.  My chef told me that if Thursday is an official holiday in Germany, some companies close on Friday (Brückentag) as well and employees should take this day free from their time account. This flexibility gives the possibility for employees to consider their work-life balance.

In both regulations the main things you should know about annual leave rights are that:

  • Your employer can control when you take vacation. You should however make your yearly holiday plan and agree this with your boss.
  • Your salary here continues to be paid in full during annual leave period.
  • If you quit your job you will get paid for any holiday you have not taken.

I think that the workers rights in Germany has still the top position in comparison with Turkey and even with many European countries. I am going to compare other labor law topics in my following articles.

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