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An employer does not have the right to reduce your salary without your prior consent. Photo for illustrative purpose only

Question: I have been working in a private company for two years. Four months ago, my employer asked me to take an unpaid leave. At first, I refused, but the employer threatened to dismiss me if I refused the leave. Currently, I have returned to work and submitted my resignation after my employer asked me to reduce my salary. My question is, am I legally entitled, according to the new labour law, to demand four months’ salary instead of unpaid leave, which was imposed by the employer? Do I also have the right to demand arbitrary dismissal?

Answer: As per new Labour Law, the worker may, after obtaining the approval of the employer, have an unpaid leave, other than that referred to herein. The leave mentioned in this Article shall not be included in the worker’s service term at the employer or in the period of the contribution in the retirement scheme in accordance with the legislation in force in this regard).

Which means that in case you had signed a document of unpaid leave, it will be not easy to request for these salaries unless you prove that you were under threat by the employer who, as per Article 14 of the new labour law, shall not use any means that would oblige or force the worker, threaten him with any penalty to work for it, or compel him to undertake work or provide a service against his will.

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The wage is paid in exchange for work and the employer shall allow the worker to carry out his work. Otherwise, it shall be obliged to pay the wage agreed upon. Article 26 of the law defines the procedures for the worker to quit work if he is not allowed to perform the work agreed upon in the employment contract.

The employer does not have the right to reduce your salary without your prior consent. You have the right to request for arbitrary dismissal on the grounds that your resignation was due to the employer’s violation of obligations and the court will decide whether your case is categorised under Article 47 or not.

The mentioned Article specifies two cases in which the termination by the employer is considered illegitimate and unlawful: If the termination of the worker’s service is due to filing a serious complaint to the Ministry or filing a lawsuit against the employer, whose validity is proven. The employer shall pay fair compensation to the worker estimated by the competent court if it is proven that the termination is unlawful, taking into account the work type and the amount of damage caused to the worker and his service term. It is required in all cases that the amount of compensation does not exceed the worker’s wage for a period of three months, calculated according to the last wage he was obtaining.