Social reform offers new hope to Turkey's unemployed
by Hazal Ateş
ANKARAMar 25, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Hazal Ateş
Mar 25, 2016 12:00 am
The government has taken another step regarding social policies and working life and initiated the German model in the employment of people supported by social services. Accordingly, the Turkish Employment Organization (İŞKUR) will accept individuals of working age in families who rely on social services for vocational training and active labor market programs. After a designated period of training, İŞKUR will offer employment to them. If they reject three offers, they will lose access to social financial benefits for one year.
Over the past 13 years, the economy administration has allocated TL 150 billion to the social assistance system. The legislation package offered to Parliament will facilitate the employment of these individuals and provide premium support for companies in the private sector which employ these individuals. Individuals of working age from households which are granted social assistance by the Social Assistance and Solidarity Fund will be registered in İŞKUR through the social relief system to create employment for one person per household.
Providing that they are among the registered unemployed of İŞKUR, the Family and Social Policies Ministry will cover the premiums of those who are employed by companies in the private sector. The Council of Ministers will be authorized to extend this period for one year. Employers who are found to have not informed insured employees will not be able to benefit from this support for one year. Also, employees who are subject to social security support premiums and insured employees who work abroad will not be able to utilize this right. If employers are found to use the support in an unwarranted way, then the utilized support, delay penalties and default interests will be collected from employers.
İŞKUR will offer these people vocational training and other active labor market programs. After a certain period of training, jobs will be offered to them in the cities where they live. The organization will also cover their travel expenses. If they reject three job offers, the social financial benefits which are determined by the Social Assistance and Solidarity Fund Board and regularly paid for them will be cut for one year. Premiums that will be covered by the ministry will not be considered to be an expense and cost element in income and corporate tax practices.
Social assistance recipients are divided into two groups, as work-ready and work-unready individuals. The dependence of work-ready individuals on social benefits will be removed like in Germany whereas work-unready individuals will continue to receive financial assistance.The government is also taking steps to directly help disadvantaged groups, which have so far worked in state institutions for the benefit of society in jobs such as road maintenance, school cleaning and tree planting, find work in the private sector. Employers will be granted special incentives to employ those who have been unemployed for more than one year, women, unemployed people over 35, young people aged 25, former convicts, or those who were harmed during counterterrorism operations, for between six months and nine months. The state will cover 60 percent of wage burden for enterprises which employ people from these segments. This ratio will be kept higher in the east and the state will pay insurance for employees. These people who are temporarily employed by the private sector will be enabled to gain qualifications by receiving on-the-job training and occupational courses once a week. The incentive period will be extended for employers who plan to employ qualified workers for more than nine months.The number of people who benefit from social benefits and active labor market programs has reached 2.5 million. Labor and Social Security Minister Süleyman Soylu said 760,000 people utilized 21 social benefit programs and 1.7 million people benefited from active labor market programs. Nearly 235,000 people joined 9,600 social benefit programs last year. These programs target the unemployed workforce which have no income and receive no social support to prevent them from falling out of the labor market.