According to Article 41 of the Labour Law, after a work is determined as overtime work in Turkey as a result of the evaluation made in accordance with Article 41 and Article 63 of the same law, the overtime fee to be found by increasing the wage of that work by 50% must be paid to the worker.

Instead of overtime pay, it is possible to allow the employee to use 1 hour and 30 minutes of paid leave for each hour of overtime work in Turkey that the employee is entitled to. This leave, free time as the law calls it, can be used by the employee within six months, during working hours and without any deduction from his/her wage.

The calculation of the overtime wage in Turkey shall be based on the naked wage of the worker and the benefits provided to the worker shall be disregarded.

In time-based wage systems, overtime wages can be easily calculated. Accordingly, the overtime wage of an employee who performs 1 hour of overtime work shall be calculated by first dividing his/her daily gross earnings by 7.5 hours and then multiplying this amount by 1.5. In the second case, which is a more practical way, overtime wage in Turkey can be calculated by dividing the daily wage by 5 on the same example.

In the works where the time basis is not applied, it is necessary to follow a slightly more complicated way to calculate the overtime wage.

If piecework is performed and there is no difficulty in calculating the piece or work amount, the overtime wage will be found based on the wage that covers the piece or work amount for each hour. For example, the overtime wage of a worker who works at 2 TL per piece and produces 10 pieces in one hour will be determined as 30 TL as a result of multiplying 10 pieces made in one hour first by 2 TL and then by 1.5.

In other cases where the amount of work is difficult to determine, the amount of pieces and work produced in the payment period of piece rate or work amount will be divided by the total of normal or overtime hours worked in that period, and the wage per 1 hour of piece or work amount will be determined and the overtime wage in Turkey will be determined by increasing the 1 hour normal wage by 50%. For example, if an employee who earns 2 TL per piece produces 68 pieces of goods in 8.5 hours, the overtime work fee will be calculated as 24 TL by increasing the amount of 16 TL, which will be calculated by multiplying the number 8, which will be found by dividing the number of pieces produced by the number of hours worked, by the piece rate of 2 TL, by 50%.

Another issue that draws attention in the calculation of overtime wage is the premium wages. At this point, three features draw attention and the overtime wage is calculated according to these features. According to this

- If the wage consists only of premium, the overtime wage should be calculated with 50% more than the hourly rate of the premium paid.
- If the remuneration consists of a fixed wage and target or quota-based premiums, the overtime wage must be calculated on the basis of the fixed wage.

- If the remuneration consists of a fixed wage and premiums based on sales, number of trips, etc., the overtime wage corresponds to the sum of the overtime wage calculated on the fixed wage and the overtime wage calculated on the premium. In this context, the worker’s average premium must first be calculated. It is useful to specify how the average premium will be calculated in the employment contract. Otherwise, how the calculation will be made may be a matter of great dispute. After this is done, the overtime work of the employee over the fixed wage will be calculated by using the formula – gross monthly wage/225*1,5*number of overtime hours-. Then, the average premium/225*0,5*0,5*number of overtime working hours- formula should be used to calculate the overtime wage over the premium and this value should be summed up to find the monthly gross overtime wage that the employee is entitled to.

The overtime wage cannot be taken into account in the calculation of notice and severance pay and annual leave pay, but will be subject to insurance premium deduction upon entitlement.

Calculations to be made in this way are valid for cases where the weekly 45 hours are exceeded. However, as mentioned above, there are some cases where the daily working time is also taken as a basis for the occurrence of overtime work, and in such cases, the calculation of overtime wages involves some differences.

Accordingly, the daily work of the employee, which should be taken as a basis for overtime work, should be included in the total weekly working hours to which it is related. After this stage, it is possible to encounter three situations.

In the first case, if there is a work exceeding 45 hours per week, including this period, overtime wage should be calculated.

In the second case, if the weekly working time does not exceed 45 hours despite the inclusion of this period, only 0-5 times the wage calculation should be made, not 1.5 times, since the wage for the part up to 45 hours for the overtime period of the daily work subject to overtime work will already be paid within the monthly wage.

In the third case, when the daily overtime period is included, if some but not all of this period exceeds 45 hours, the calculation in the first case should be made for the period exceeding 45 hours, and the calculation in the second case should be made for the period that does not exceed 45 hours.

If an example is made;

For the first case, in a case where the worker works 7.5 hours in 5 nights and 10 hours in 1 night in a week, the total weekly working hours will be 47.5 hours and overtime wage in Turkey will be paid for 2.5 hours exceeding 45 hours.

For the second case, in a situation where the worker works 7.5 hours for 4 days, 15 hours for 1 day and does not work for 1 day within a one-week period, the total weekly working hours will be considered firstly.

As in this example, it does not exceed 45 hours. However, the employee is entitled to 4 hours of overtime pay for the day exceeding 11 hours. In such a case, the employee will be entitled to overtime wage with a multiplier of 1.5 for the 4 hours in question. However, since the total working time does not exceed 45 hours and the 45-hour period is included in the monthly wage, the overtime wage will have to be calculated by multiplying the 4-hour period by a multiplier of 0.5 and paid in addition to the monthly wage.

For the third case, in a situation where the worker works 7.5 hours for 4 days, 12 hours for 1 day and 7 hours for one day within a week, the weekly working hours are added up. In this example, it is 49 hours. In such a case, the calculation will be made as in the first case for 4 hours exceeding 45 hours and as in the second case for 1 hour on the day when the daily working time exceeds 11 hours.

Another issue encountered in practice regarding the calculation of overtime wage is the inclusion of overtime wage in the monthly wage.

Normally, overtime wage in Turkey is an additional payment and for this reason, it is essential that the overtime wage is paid together with the wage, but separately calculated and accrued. However, there are also contractual provisions in which overtime wages are agreed as part of the main wage and overtime wages are paid as part of the main wage. While this was initially applied to senior executives, it has started to be applied to all workers over time.

Accordingly, since the determination of the monthly wage of the employee in this way will restrict his rights such as notice and severance payments or annual leave pay in the future, it is necessary to investigate whether the employee has a benefit in this transaction.

Secondly, in a situation where the wage is determined as the minimum wage, the inclusion of overtime wages in this wage will create the result that the minimum wage is underpaid. It will not be accepted that part of the monthly wage of a worker with a low wage level is overtime wages.

Thirdly, such a determination is considered valid for this period at most, since the annual overtime work in Turkey period is determined as 270 hours. If 270 hours are exceeded during the year, overtime wages must be paid separately for these periods.