Employment & Labour



Gender equality in the work place and the need for work-life balance for employees are becoming increasingly important. Relatedly, there are some important benefits that employers should offer to their employees. In order to support the family lives of employees, an employer’s obligation to open a nursery and provide a breastfeeding room are protected by the Article 30 of the Occupational Health and Safety Law No. 6331 and the Regulation on the Conditions of Employment of Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women and Breastfeeding Rooms and Childcare Facilities published in the Official Gazette dated August 16, 2013.

Is Every Employer Obligated to Provide a Nursery and a Care Room?

Only employers who meet the conditions specified in the law will fall under this obligation. The legislation requires a worklpace to employee 100-150 female employees to provide a breastfeeding room, regardless of their age and marital status, while more than 150 female employees are required to open a nursery. 

  • In workplaces with 100-150 female employees, regardless of their age and marital status, a breastfeeding room meeting the conditions specified in Annex II must be established by the employer for breastfeeding employees to breastfeed their children, separate from the workplace and at a maximum distance of 250 meters from the workplace” 
  • The law also regulates that “Employers with more than 150 female employees, regardless of their age and marital status, it is mandatory for the employer to establish a dormitory that meets the conditions specified in Annex-IV, separate from the workplace and close to the workplace, for children aged 0-6 years to be dropped off and cared for and for breastfeeding employees to breastfeed their children, and the obligation to open rooms and dormitories can also be fulfilled through agreements with dormitories authorized by public institutions”. 

It is important to take into account the total number of women working in the workplace when making the calculation for the total number of employees in need.  In addition, according to the regulation, the calculation of the number of female employees required for the establishment of a dormitory should also include male employees, whose childeren’s mothers are deceased or whose custody have been given to fathers.

Can male employees also benefit from this practice? 

According to the regulation, male employees, who have children with deceased mothers or who have been given the custody of their children, will also be able to benefit from this practice. Breastfeeding rooms will admit 0-1 year old children and nurseries will admit children up to 66 months of age, who are not enrolled in primary school, upon the request of their parents. 

What conditions must the employer meet after opening a nursery and breastfeeding room? 

Occupational Health and Safety Law No. 6331 requires that employers must send a report to the Ministry of National Education and the Provincial Directorate of Labor and Employment Agency within 30 days of opening care rooms and dormitories in their workplaces. Nursery and breastfeeding rooms must be separate from the workplace and at most 250 meters away from the workplace. If a nursery opened by the employer is more than 250 meters away from the workplace, the employer is also expected to provide transportation in accordance with the regulation. It is forbidden for anyone other than children and staff to care for the children to be present in the nursery and rooms. Utilisation of care rooms and nurseries for purposes other than their intended purpose is alos forbidden. Children must be separated from each other by classification on the basis of age (month). It is mandatory to employ managers, health personnel and other staff in the  care rooms and day-care centers. In addition, medicines and medical equipment will be made available in the workplace, and how these will be organized will be determided by a physician in charge of the facility. Children admitted to nursery and breastfeeding rooms must first undergo a health check. Children who are accepted will be monitored regularly by the workplace physician and their parents will be informed in case of any adverse situation. In order to support the development of children in day-care centers, regular meals must also be provided. 

Is the employer obliged to provide a nursing home and a breastfeeding room? What are the sanctions for failure to comply with this obligation?

Employers can avoid this obligation through contractual agreements with authorized daycare centers. In addition, joint nurseries and breastfeeding rooms can be established with the agreement of more than one employer. In the case of establishing a joint breastfeeding room or a day care, employers or employers’ representatives shall meet at least once a month to make decisions on the management of these places and monitor the implementation of these decisions. Employers who are obligated to provide a day-care center and a breastfeeding room services to their employees have to provide these free of charge, and are also obligated to pay the wages of the employees who benefit from these services when these services are provided within the framework of the institutions with which they have an agreement. In practice, it is observed that employers provide some additional payments to their employees under the name of nursery aid. However, this is not in accordance with the law and does not relieve the employer from its obligation. 

In the workplaces that are within the scope of the obligation to open daycare centers, if this obligation is not fulfilled, an administrative fine will be imposed in accordance with Article 26 of Law No. 6331. In addition, if this obligation is not fulfilled, the employee may terminate the employment contract for just cause in line with the decisions of the Court of Cassation and in accordance with Article 24/II-(f) of the Labor Law.


The obligation of employers to provide daycare centers and breastfeeding rooms plays a critical role in supporting employees’ family life, ensuring gender equality and increasing the workforce productivity. Considering that daycare is a professional service, factories and production facilities are not suitable places to have daycares interms of children’s health. Moreover, the limit of 150 female employees may have a negative impact on women’s employment. Resultantly, it is clear that this obligation in the labor legislation should be reconsidered. Finally, in fulfilling these obligations, it is important that employers comply with legal regulations and respect the needs of employees. At the same time, creating a family-friendly workplace culture can have long-term benefits for both employees and employers. 


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