Isolation due to a contagious disease, and thus quarantine or isolation, according to the Labour Code, means work incapacity and interrupts leisure leave. Under articles 165 and 166 of the Labour Code:
Therefore, an employer cannot grant leisure leave to an employee in quarantine or isolation because of COVID-19, during which the employee is unable to work and receives a benefit for this. However, there is one exception to this situation.
On 31 December 2020, the Ministry of Development, Labour and Technology issued a statement according to which quarantined employees are allowed to perform remote work. Thus, it is possible for these employees to exercise their employee’s rights during the period in which they are performing remote work, including those relating to leisure leave, which constitutes for the employee work stoppage.
The Ministry points out that leisure leave is granted to an employee on days that are working days and therefore an employee who provides remote working during quarantine retains the right to take leisure leave.
However, it should be remembered that an employee who performs remote work during quarantine or takes leave during the period in which he or she performs remote work does not cease to be covered by the isolation and restrictions resulting from it.
This standpoint of the Ministry of Labour is consistent with that of the Chief Labour Inspectorate.