Lawyer in Turkey: May 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

(UN)legitimate employment issues?

Last winter I looked several employment matters in which employee’s claimed compensation from their employer’s. The employer in these cases was Home Owners Association and/or the director(s) thereof. During the handling of these cases it became clear to me that, no matter how unfair the employee’s claim was, the evidence that the employer submitted, determined the outcome of the case.

That is why I want to emphasize, to all directors of Home Owners Association, the vital importance of a carefully prepared personnel file for every person employed. The judge will request that the defendant submit the personnel file to the court. If this file is lacking in any detail, the case will be decided in favour of the employee. Now you may be wondering: what is a personnel file and what documents should be contained within it. A personnel file is an employee’s dossier and it should contain the following as an absolute minimum:

  • A full employment contract
  • A work schedule and/ or division of tasks 
  • Certificate of good behaviour
  • Salary information
  • Medical data
  • Education, certificates and references
  • Discharge letters and formal notices

Mostly, employee’s claims are related to financial matters. It is therefore very important to keep salary related information up to date. This should include for example: proof of all salary payments, amount paid, holiday pay, overtime payments, national holiday payments, record of annual leave, employer’s liabilities and most importantly, the employee must sign all documents personally. A husband cannot sign on behalf of his wife for her monthly pay check nor can another staff member on her behalf; this has no legal status in court.

The role and legal expertise of the accountant or company that deals with your payroll administration, is very important. All accountants or management companies engaged by Home Owners Association, must take a full and active role in all aspects of the administration process, it is not enough for them to just be involved in the payment of wages and SGK premiums.

If a Home Owners Association doesn't have the legal expertise in-house, they would be well advised to seek advice from a lawyer, so that the necessary payroll administration can be fully complied with. Ultimately, the Home Owners Association is fully responsible. The board of management has a statutory obligation to ensure that all employment obligations are complied with in full with respect to all employees.