Authors: Özlem Aldatmaz Bilge, Ahsen Sadıkoğlu

Since technological developments, competitive environment, sectoral requirements, and some situations arising from the nature of the work require 24 hours of uninterrupted work in the workplace, "shift work", which makes it possible to work 24 hours a day, is frequently applied.

According to Article 69 of Labor Law No. 4857 (“Labor Law”), night work is defined as the period that starts at 20:00 at the latest and ends at 06:00 at the earliest and lasts no longer than 11 hours in any case.


Night work comes up when the daily activity in the workplace continues for twenty-four hours or exceeds the day work and continues at night. In this context, night work cannot be done in other workplaces and occupations where uninterrupted activity 24 hours a day is not required, unless there is an obligation. Thus,  Article 69 of the Labor Law states that "regulations may be established to prohibit night work altogether in establishments where there is no economic necessity for night work".




Night work for employees must not exceed seven and a half hours. However, in the works where tourism, private security, and health services are carried out, it is possible to work more than 7.5 hours at night if the written consent of the worker is obtained.


Work exceeding 7.5 hours on the night shift is considered overtime. If the worker started to work in the day shift and continued in the night, if more than half of this work was carried out in the night shift, all of it would be considered night work.


Ø For example; If the shift starts at 06.00 p.m. and ends at 02:00 a.m., all of them will be considered as night shifts since more than half of them continue in the night shift.


As a result, overtime pay is required for night shift work exceeding 7.5 hours per day, even if the legal limit of working hours, 45 hours per week, has not been exceeded.




This issue is included both in the Labor Law and in the "Regulation on the Conditions of Working Night Shift for Women Workers" and finally in the "Regulation on Special Procedures and Principles Regarding Work in Jobs Conducted by Employees in Shifts " regulated in detail.


In accordance with the provisions; Employment of women workers in night shifts is conditional on a health report stating that there is no obstacle to their work, and control examinations are repeated at intervals deemed appropriate by the workplace doctor.


Employers are responsible for the transportation of female workers to the workplace from the nearest center to their residence with the appropriate vehicles in case the workplace is outside the municipal boundaries or there is difficulty with public transportation although it is within the boundaries of the municipality.


If the husband of a female worker works in the same or another workplace in the shift system, night work will be arranged at the request of the female worker, not coinciding with the night shift that her husband works. If the spouses are working in the same workplace, the demands of working the same night shift should be met by the employer as much as possible.


It is prohibited to work night shifts for a female worker who is pregnant from the detection of the situation with a doctor's report to the birth and for a breastfeeding female worker one year from the birth. The period will be extended for another 6 months for the breastfeeding woman if it is necessary for the health of the mother or child confirmed with the report of the workplace doctor. Also, the shifts of these workers will be arranged within the day shifts, taking into account the provisions of the “Regulation on Working Conditions of Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women, Lactation Rooms and Child Care Dormitories”.We would like to remind you that pregnant or breastfeeding females cannot work for more than seven and a half hours a day. Thus, female workers cannot be employed for more than 7.5 hours in the night shift, under any circumstances.


Apart from these; It is forbidden to employ children and young workers under eighteen in industrial works at night.




Shifts, in workplaces operated day and night shifts in turns, are arranged in such a way that workers who are employed on the night shift for a maximum of one week are employed on the day shift in the second week after that, and the shifts are replaced by each other. However, considering the essence, dynamics, and functioning of the work, the principle of two-week rotation in day and night shifts can also be applied, taking into account occupational health and safety. In any case, the time worked on the night shift should be at most two weeks in a row. In this context; It is possible to apply the principle of rotation in the form of a worker who works a night shift for one week, working in the day shift the next week, or working in the night shift for two weeks and in the day shift for the next two weeks. In addition, in accordance with the decision adopted by the Supreme Court Assembly of the Civil Chamber; the shift order in the workplace can also be based on working 24 hours and resting 24 hours, or working 24 hours and resting 48 hours.


The employer should not change the shifts of workers arranged as stated above unless necessary. However,  the employer should give a suitable job to the worker who certifies that his health has deteriorated due to night work, in a day shift as much as possible, in a manner that will not disrupt the workplace, the essence of the work, and the working order. In addition, workers should not work without rest for at least eleven hours without interruption during shift changes.


According to the provisions of the relevant Regulation; In workplaces where workers are employed non-stop in alternating shifts, the number of shifts should be at least three within 24 hours, depending on the nature of the field of activity. However, in the works where tourism, private security, and health services are carried out and also in these works operated by subcontractors can be arranged in two shifts in 24 hours.


The most important matter to be considered while arranging working shifts is that the daily working time should not exceed 11 hours.


In conclusion;


·      Considering our explanations above, we recommend that you pay attention to the following points in the working principles in the workplace:


·      The worker may work the night shift for a maximum of two weeks in a row. At the end of this period, the worker must rest for at least 11 hours without interruption before starting the day shift.


·   In principle, workers can work up to 7.5 hours on the night shift. In this regard, even if the legal working limit of 45 hours is not exceeded, work exceeding 7.5 hours on the night shift will be considered overtime.


·      Work that coincides with the night shift for more than half of the working time is accepted night work.


·      It should be regulated that workers should work at least three shifts in 24 hours in workplaces where workers are employed in turn shifts due to the subject and nature of the work.


·      It is conditional for female workers to be able to work night shifts, to obtain a health report from the workplace doctor stating that there is no obstacle to their work, and to repeat the control examinations at regular intervals.


·      Female workers cannot work more than 7.5 hours in night shifts under any circumstances.