COVID-19 and Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion Programmes

UNHCR TURKEY COVID-19 Preparedness and Response of Government of Turkey – Support for the Private Sector

The Government of Turkey has announced support packages for the private sector in order to prevent further unemployment and shrinkage of the private sector. These packages will have direct positive effect on refugee livelihoods.

TAX SUPPORT FOR THE EMPLOYERS

The Revenue Administration published a General Communiqué on 24.03.2020 for taxpayers who are affected by the measures taken against coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic upon the instructions of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.

With this Communiqué, below sectors were identified as the most affected sectors:

  1. Retail and Shopping Centers
  2. Iron Steel and Metal Industry
  3. Automotive Industry
  4. Logistics-Transportation
  5. Cinema and Theater Activities
  6. Accommodation
  7. Food and Beverage Services
  8. Textile and Apparel
  9. Event and Organization
  10. Health Services
  11. Furniture Manufacturing
  12. Mining and Quarrying
  13. Construction
  14. Industrial Kitchen Equipment
  15. Car Rental
  16. Printed Publishing and Printing
  17. All the Income Taxpayers

Moreover, taxpayers operating in sectors such as swimming pools, Turkish baths, spas, sports, games and wedding halls, barbershops and hairdressers, whose activities were temporarily stopped within the scope of the measures taken by the Ministry of Interior, can also benefit from force majeure provisions during this period.

Additionally, approximately 1.9 million taxpayers working as farmers, tailors, greengrocers, lawyers, financial advisors, architects, engineers, pharmacists, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, physiotherapists, software developers are also included to the context of the force majeure.

In the General Communiqué prepared by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, it has been deemed appropriate to consider all taxpayers mentioned above within the scope of force majeure as of December 1, 2020, until they start operating. The period for filing the withholding and value added tax returns is until the end of the 26th day of the month following the date when the force majeure situation will end. Taxes derived from these submissions should be paid at the end of the month of following period


NOVEL CORONAVIRUS MEASURES TO BE PUT INTO PLACE BY OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PROFESSIONALS IN WORKPLACES

Protect yourself first!

Practice social distancing at work, pay strict attention to personal hygiene and remember to use your personal protective equipment!

 

Use of shuttle vehicles

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Implementation of frequent cleaning and hygiene practices on shuttle vehicles, and particularly the frequently contacted surfaces,
  • Ensure all staff who are using shuttle vehicles have minimal contact with vehicle surfaces,
  • Planning of carrying capacity of shuttle vehicles in compliance with social distancing requirements,
  • Placement of hand disinfectants at vehicle doors,
  • Use of surgical masks by the drivers and all passengers on their commute to and from work.

 

Travels

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Taking necessary steps for the cancellation or minimization of all non-essential travels,
  • Ensure all staff who have returned from abroad avoid going to work and follow the 14-day rule of thumb established by the Ministry of Health and are referred to the Coronavirus Hotline (184) for information if and when required,
  • Prevent staff who have returned from a domestic travel from going back to work without undergoing health screening and continuously monitor their health conditions during working hours.

Entry and exit to the workplace

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Make necessary arrangements for placement of hygiene products for use by the staff,
  • Use of contact-free access control systems in workplaces having access control systems that require contact or non-use of such contact-based systems for a temporary period of time reduce the risk of infection,
  • Install social distancing markings to ensure social distancing is followed and overcrowding is prevented,
  • Use of contact-free thermometers to check the temperature of staff before they enter the building,

Referral of staff with fever, cough, difficulty breathing or similar conditions to the healthcare provider at work, or, if not available, to health institutions.

 

Working environment (I)

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Perform a risk assessment and update emergency plans by taking the novel coronavirus outbreak into consideration,
  • Review the working methods and practices in view of the social distancing guidelines and ensure the working environment is organized in line with this principle to the greatest extent possible,
  • Schedule the working hours, including breaks and lunch breaks, in a way to ensure minimum interaction between staff members,
  • Make plans to keep minimum staff at a work area at the same time, and implement remote working and similar practices where possible,
  • Ensure the proper and sufficient ventilation of the workplace.

Working environment (II)

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Frequent disinfection of all equipment, including screen terminals and peripherals (keyboard, mouse, shared phone, intercom, microphone, etc.), after use by different users to ensure hygiene in the working environment,
  • Select and use personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of infection in a way that does not impede the operations,
  • Avoid use of elevators to the greatest extent possible, if essential, limit the number of passengers according to social distancing rules and ensure regular disinfection of frequently contacted surfaces,
  • Avoid handshakes, hugging and other close contact in line with social distancing rules and avoid touching the face.

Working environment (III)

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Place a sufficient number of contact-free waste bins in the workplace,
  • Keep a sufficient supply of personal hygiene products at toilets and bathrooms, ensure observance of personal hygiene rules before and after the use of toilets and bathrooms and ensure regular disinfection,
  • If available, referral of staff with fever, cough, difficulty breathing or similar conditions to the healthcare provider at work for health screening before they start working, if not available, referral of staff with these conditions to health institutions.

Working environment (IV)

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Take necessary measures to ensure work clothes do not contact other clothes and are kept separately,
  • Ensure the staff in charge of cleaning and waste disposal pay strict attention to their personal hygiene and use suitable PPEs,
  • Avoid use of waster dispensers and tea machines in common areas to the greatest extent possible, supply bottled water to staff,
  • Identify staff who have come into contact with suspected COVID-19 cases, keep a record of the contact details of individuals who have come into contact with the suspected case, follow the course of action advised by the Provincial/District Directorate of Health.

Meetings and training sessions

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Postpone meetings and training sessions until the outbreak is over,
  • Conduct meetings and training sessions which cannot be postponed due to legal obligations through the use of remote learning, teleconferencing and similar methods,
  • In cases where it is not possible to switch to remote learning, ensure minimum attendance in compliance with social distancing and hygiene rules,
  • Engage in awareness-raising activities with staff to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, share digital messages, media or use remote learning tools to this end.

Cafeterias and rest areas

Occupational health and safety professional shall make recommendations to the respective employer and/or the employer’s representative to put the following measures into practice:

  • Ensure queue and table setting is properly organized in cafeterias and rest areas according to the social distancing and hygiene rules,
  • If possible, provide a one-time ration of food and drinks,
  • Frequent disinfection to ensure hygiene in cafeterias and rest areas,
  • Take necessary steps to allow staff to follow personal hygiene practices, including cleaning hands before and after meals for at least 20 seconds with plenty of water and soap and use of disposable towels,
  • Provide single-use materials, including spices, toothpicks, salt, spoons, forks, knives, glasses, etc.
  • Ensure cafeteria personnel observe personal hygiene rules and use suitable personal protective equipment.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE

Measures listed in this document show the minimum requirements for efforts to be undertaken in workplaces in combatting the novel coronavirus outbreak. Depending on the area of activity, the number of staff, the working environment, shift working and methods of operation of the workplace, additional measures should be taken and announcements by competent authorities should be closely followed.

 

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