Minister of Family, Labor, and Social Services Mrs. Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk:
“We Initiate Normalization Support instead of Short-Time Working Pay”
The second session of the Women at the Top event, organized by TOBB Women Entrepreneurs Council in Bursa which carries on the activities under the umbrella of the Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was held with the participation of Mrs. Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Minister of Family and Social Services. Minister Mrs. Selçuk stated that Short-Term Working Pay granted to preserve employment during the pandemic would not continue within the normalization process, however, they would provide normalization support in this period as the Ministry.
In the summit with the motto "There is No Limit to What a Woman can Accomplish", Minister Mrs. Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, who came together with women entrepreneurs, gave information about the pandemic and the works of the Ministry during the normalization process. Minister Mrs. Selçuk emphasized that the world had been going through an unprecedented period, and Turkey had been managing this period much more successfully compared to other countries. "Implementation of antibody tests especially in industrial companies is quite important in terms of the determination of immunity level of the employees and a swift transition to production. I would like to thank Mr. İbrahim Burkay, President of BTSO, for his works," said Mrs. Selçuk, noting that in Bursa, the leading city of Turkish economy, BTSO had been carrying out exemplary works.
257,000 EMPLOYEES BENEFIT FROM SHORT-TIME WORKING PAY IN BURSA
Minister Mrs. Selçuk reminded that precautions were taken for employers and employees at first with the Economic Stability Shield Package during the pandemic, and added: “The Economic Stability Shield rests on four pillars. We have taken multi-directional steps such as working life measures, social security, social benefits, and social services. We have launched Short-Time Working Pay to preserve labor and employment. It has been one of the most effective applications in this period. We have granted 10.5 billion liras of payment to 3.5 million employees all around Turkey. The number of employees benefiting from this payment in Bursa is 257 thousand. We have also provided financial support of 805 million liras to employers in Bursa".
Minister Mrs. Selçuk stated that the normalization process had started in Turkey as of 1 June and it would not be appropriate to continue granting the short-time working pay within the context of normalization, since operations were supposed to partially or completely stop for the provision of the short-time working pay. “Normalization has started on 1 June. So far, short-time working pay has been granted effectively and quickly. All of our employees received their payments. In the normalization process, it may not be possible to preserve this pace because workplaces have started to operate. As the Ministry, we have planned a brand-new support for this period. In this 'Normalization Support Package,' we have devised a similar kind of support for employers who have benefited from the short-time working pay. It will be a much faster system. In the following period, we are planning to proceed with the normalization support instead of short-time working pay,” Minister Mrs. Selçuk said.
RAPID RECOVERY IN ECONOMY
Minister Mrs. Selçuk uttered that there was a quite rapid abandonment of the short-time working pay by employers with the normalization process and such development raised hope on rapid recovery of the economy. Minister Mrs. Selçuk added: “I congratulate all our employers. Currently, there is a rapid abandonment of the short-time working pay. We are very pleased that the employers have taken action voluntarily with the idea of not imposing a burden on the state. We did not expect such abandonment of the short-time working pay program so soon. This shows us that the economic recovery will be rapid".
EMPLOYMENT SHIELD PACKAGE BEING PREPARED
Minister Mrs. Selçuk stated that they increased the compensatory work period from two months to four months in line with the demands of the business world and deferred Social Security Institution (SGK) premiums amounted to 40 billion liras. Minister Mrs. Selçuk also noted that their main goal was to protect employment and said, “We have tried to provide precise and easy support and incentives under the Employment Shield Package. We will continue to provide additional employment support. We will pave the way for youth employment with fixed-term employment contracts. We will provide employees over the age of 50 with transition to part-time jobs and the Ministry will undertake their premium payments. Again, in our country, many of the unemployed citizens remain out of jobs for one to three months. We are planning to cover the long-term premiums of employees who are re-employed before three months. We aim to achieve a rapid recovery in the economy with the contributions of business world after adopting such supports in the Assembly".
NEW PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
Minister Mrs. Selçuk said they took important steps to increase women's employment and also gave the good news that they would launch new programs for women entrepreneurs through Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR) in the post-pandemic period.
RECOVERY WITH MINIMUM DAMAGE
Mr. İbrahim Burkay, President of the Board of Directors of Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO), stated that the novel coronavirus pandemic was an unprecedented global test. President Mr. Burkay also underlined that Turkey showed great success in terms of both medical services and economy during the pandemic, and a strong groundwork had been established for the recovery from crisis with minimum damage thanks to the measures taken and supports given.
APPLICATIONS TO REDUCE THE BURDEN OF EMPLOYERS SHOULD CONTINUE
President Mr. Burkay noted that the priority of business world was to protect employment in the normalization process started on June 1 and added: “We aim for Bursa to have an important role in the new world order with its qualified human resources and production capabilities. Our city, placed among the most important centers of employment with its 17 organized industrial zones, needs to quickly restore its production power. Today, we see that more than 50 percent of our industrial enterprises, 85 percent of which were closed in April, are now operating. There is a significant increase in energy and electricity consumption in our industry. To maintain rapid recovery, we think that employers should avoid practices that will increase their costs during this period. One of the biggest expectations of our industrialists in this period is Covid-19 not getting classified as an occupational disease. We expect the support of our Ministry in this regard". President Mr. Burkay extended his thanks to Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk for the contributions and supports during the coronavirus pandemic.
INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP WILL COME TO THE FORE IN NEW NORMAL
In her speech, Mrs. Sevgi Saygın, President of the TOBB Women Entrepreneurs Council in Bursa, stated that the world entered a new era with the pandemic and innovation and entrepreneurship were essential in such process named “new normal”. "For Turkey to be one of the leading countries of the new era, a new entrepreneurship ecosystem should be built and the potential of women, making up half of the society, should be included in this ecosystem. We believe that Turkey, which has made substantial progress in the inclusion of women in the economy under the leadership of our esteemed Minister, will continue its development initiative thanks to the visions of women,” Mrs. Saygın added.
Following the speeches, second session of the summit was held under the moderation of Mrs. Sevgi Saygın, President of the TOBB Women Entrepreneurs Council in Bursa. During the session, Mrs. Aslı Elif Tanuğur Samancı, Founder of BEE’O, and Mrs. Ebru Baybara Demir, Social Entrepreneur and Chef, shared their inspiring success stories with the participants. In such session, Chief Executive Officers of TOBB Women Entrepreneurs Council from 81 provinces were also present.