Social security system of Turkey is governed by Social Insurance and Universal Health Insurance Law (Law no. 5510, Enactment 16.06.2006), bilateral and multinational social security agreements to which Turkey is party. Under Turkish legislation, in regard to social security coverage of the foreign employees, so called “The Law of the place of work principle” (Lex Loci Laboris) has been accepted. Accordingly unless otherwise provided in the reciprocal international social security agreements to which Turkey is a party, foreigners working in Turkey within a labor contract are deemed as insurance holders within Turkish social security system.
FOREIGN EMPLOYEES ON TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT IN TURKEY
Only exception to the so called “The Law of the place of work principle” is applicable to those foreign employees sent to the Turkey for a temporary assignment by and on behalf of an employer established abroad. At this point, article 6 of Social Security Law (no: 5510) stipulates that;
The foreigners who are sent to Turkey with a mission by and on behalf of an institution established abroad and can certify subjecting to insurance in their own country won’t be regarded as insured in Turkey.
Accordingly in the case of temporary assignments, a foreign employee may remain subject to social security scheme of the origin country and will not be covered by Turkish social security scheme.
However the duration of the temporary assignment is important for the application of social security law. In determining applicable law, Turkish social security system while confirming the “The Law of the place of work principle”, limits the duration of temporary assignment exception.
Maximum durations for the temporary assignments and their extension periods are agreed in the bilateral and multi-national social security agreements. Within this context, this duration and its extension period varies according to whether the foreign employee’s country of origin has a social security agreement with Turkey.
FOREIGN EMPLOYEE NOT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENTS
In the case that, when a foreign employee, posted to Turkey for a temporary assignment from a country where Turkey has no reciprocal social security agreement, on the condition of providing a confirmation for his/her social security coverage in the origin country and after satisfying necessary conditions for international secondment to Turkey, might be subject to social security scheme of origin country for maximum 3 months period.
FOREIGN EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENTS
When the foreign employee is assigned form a country where Turkey has a multi-lateral or bilateral social security agreement, provisions of that international agreement will be applicable in determining the social security status of the foreigner. Turkey is a party to European Convention on Social Security (Paris, 14.12.1972) and has concluded several bilateral social security agreements with various countries.
A. EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON SOCIAL SECURITY
For foreign employees who are assigned form a member state of the European Convention on Social Security, the maximum duration for the temporary assignment shall be 12 months. Foreigners, after providing a confirmation related to their social security coverage in the origin countries, may be subject to social security scheme of the origin countries. In exceeding 12 months period, unless otherwise is agreed by Turkish social security institution, the foreigner will be subject to Turkish social security scheme.
STATE PARTIES OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON SOCIAL SECURITY
Czech Republic 21/6/2002
The Netherlands 5/11/1975
At this point, article 15/a of the European Convention on Social Security declares that;
“Employed persons who are employed in the territory of a Contracting Party by an undertaking which is their regular employer and who are sent by that undertaking to work for it in the territory of another Contracting Party shall remain subject to the legislation of the first Party provided that the expected duration of the work does not exceed twelve months…if the work to be carried out continues because of unforeseeable circumstances for a period longer than originally intended and exceeding twelve months, the legislation of the first Party shall remain applicable until the work is completed, subject to the consent of the competent authority of the second Party or of the body designated by it.”
B. OTHER BILATERAL AGREEMENTS
Social security status of a foreign employee who is assigned from a country which Turkey has a bilateral social security agreement is determined by the provisions of that agreements. Maximum durations for the temporary assignments and their extension periods are agreed in the specific bilateral agreements. (See table below) Within those period of time specified in the bilateral agreements, foreign employee may subject to social security law of origin country. Foreign employees exceeding specified periods shall become subject to the social security law of Turkey.