Constitutional Court Decision affecting Press Workers

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The decision of the Constitutional Court dated 4 May 2023 (basis number 2021/62 decision number 2023/89) on “the provisions of the law that have consequences for press workers in terms of the seniority indemnity calculation compared to workers subject to Labour Law No. 4857 are contrary to the property right and the equal protection of law” was published in the Official Gazette (No. 31815 dated 14 June 2023).

  1. The Provisions of Law requested for annulment and the Appropriate Comparisons

Paragraph 1 of Article 6 titled Termination of the Contract by the Employer and Seniority Indemnity of the Law No. 5953 on the Regulation of Relations between Employees and Employers in the Press Profession: and the request to annul “Journalists who have worked in the profession for at least five years are entitled to seniority indemnity.

Second sentence of the seventh paragraph of Article 6: “However, less than six months of annual service shall not be taken into consideration.”

Labour Law No. 4857 and Article 14 of the Labour Law No. 1475, which are still in force and appropriate for comparison, one year is deemed sufficient for the seniority period for seniority indemnity, and all periods included in seniority are included in the calculation when calculating seniority indemnity.

II- The Decision of the Constitutional Court and Conclusion

In the evaluation made by the Constitutional Court it has been accepted that:

1- The rule regarding the entitlement to seniority indemnity upon the expiry of five years from the date of the first entry into the press profession and the liquidation of the previous period by receiving the said compensation causes an excessive burden by creating a clear imbalance against press workers,

2- The non-observance of press workers’ service periods of less than a certain period in the calculation of seniority indemnity is not based on an objective and reasonable reason.

3- The provisions of the law requested for annulment are contrary to the principle of equality in terms of property right.

As a result, the Constitutional Court decided that the rule containing the conditions necessary for journalists to be entitled to seniority indemnity is within the scope of property right, and that the first paragraph of Article 6 and the second sentence of the seventh paragraph of the Law No. 5953 dated 13.06.1952 on the Regulation of Relations between Employees and Employees in the Press Profession are contrary to the Constitution and is to be annulled.

For the decision of Constitutional Court please see: https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2023/06/20230614-6.pdf

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