Night shifts in Turkey extend to 12 hours

A law clearing the way for shifts up to 12 hours long in the tourism, private security and health sectors is published in the Official Gazette of Turkey
Monday, 18 September 2017 23:32

The 'Regulation related to the Labour Act on extra work and overtime work' was published on August 25, 2017, as a continuation of the anti-labour policies imposed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The bag bill in the Labour Law that regulates night shift hours had been changed on April 23, 2017. The new bill allows for working hours for workers in tourism, private security, and health care be extended up to 12 hours, provided the written consent of workers be obtained. But a new regulation published in the Official Gazette brings an exception to a regulation that previously limited night shifts to 7.5 hours. The exception is that in the three sectors as mentioned earlier, employers can 'demand' their workers work up to 12 hours at night as well.

According to statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD), Turkey has the longest shifts in Europe and among all the other member countries of the OECD, with over %43.3 of people working over 50 hours a week. According to recent surveys conducted by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), working hours in Turkey have raised significantly between 1988 and 2012, and illicit working hours are increasingly legalised under the name of 'exceptions.' Labourers in Turkey work 15 hours more compared to Denmark and Norway.

The AKP continues to impose anti-labour policies in favour of the capitalists with these new regulations. Thus, the AKP continues to not only ignore poor working conditions but legalise it. The intense conditions of both the health and private security sectors’ are encouraged and recognised by the government.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s "Regulation for Working Conditions for Women Workers in Night Shifts" was changed to; "Women workers cannot be worked for more than 7.5 hours in night shifts. But in the tourism, private security sectors, and health care services, they can work more than 7.5 hours with the employee's written consent" as required by law. With the recent changes, provisions of the regulations have been synchronised with the law.

Following the failed coup attempt, Turkish government declared a national state of emergency, facilitating waves of its attacks on working class. In July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that the state of emergency in Turkey protects capitalists. "We do declare the state of emergency to allow the businesses work smoothly," Erdoğan said.