TURKEY – Minimum wage gets a boost

The new wage minimums mark a significant increase above 2017 levels.

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IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Turkish authorities have increased the minimum wage for foreign employees by 14 percent.

What does the change mean? The gross minimum monthly wage this year will be 2,029.50 Turkish lira (about US$535) and the net minimum monthly wage will be 1,603.12 lira. Employers should also note that the salaries they pay workers must be commensurate with their position and that higher wage minimums apply for some positions, as detailed below.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affect: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing foreign workers.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust their budgets to meet the new wage minimums.   

Additional information: Turkey’s minimum wages are adjusted annually, with some positions requiring higher wages. For example:

  • High-level managers, pilots, architects and some high-level engineers must be paid at least 6.5 times the minimum wage, or 13,191.75 lira gross per month.
  • Most engineers and mid-level managers (e.g., department managers or branch managers) must be paid a least four times the minimum wage, or 8,118.00 lira gross per month.
  • Teachers or workers in positions that are deemed to require “expertise” must be paid at least three times the minimum wage, or 6,088.50 lira gross per month.
  • Sales officers and low-level marketing officers and other general staff cannot be paid less than 1.5 times the minimum wage, or 3,044.25 lira per month.
  • Benefits, housing allowances and bonuses cannot be counted toward the minimum wage requirements.

BAL Analysis: The new wage minimums mark a significant increase above 2017 levels. Employers should be sure to take the new minimums into account when planning their 2018 budgets. Applications that are not supported by the appropriate wage will be rejected. Those with questions about what a certain type of worker should be paid should consult with BAL.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Turkey. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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