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Turkey bans layoffs, offers salary support in earthquake zone

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Turkey launched a temporary wage support scheme and banned layoffs in 11 cities on Wednesday to protect workers and businesses from the financial impact of the massive earthquakes that hit the south of the country earlier this month, Reuters reported.

The moves are part of the Turkish government’s steps to minimize the economic impact of Turkey’s worst earthquake in modern history that left tens of thousands dead.

Employers whose workplaces were “heavily or moderately damaged” would benefit from support to partially cover wages of workers whose hours had been cut, the country’s Official Gazette said on Wednesday.

A ban on layoffs was also introduced in 11 earthquake-hit provinces covered by a state of emergency.

The Turkish Parliament imposed the state of emergency for three months on Feb. 7, after a request by President Tayyip Erdoğan.

The government also offered salary support and imposed a layoff ban in 2020 in an attempt to mitigate the economic blow from COVID-19.

Business groups and economists have said the earthquake could cost Ankara up to $100 billion to rebuild housing and infrastructure and shave one to two percentage points off economic growth this year.

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