The judgment handed down by the Social Affairs Chamber of the Supreme Court on 20 April 2018 rectifies earlier case-law and resolves that as of January 2008, the new legal system for replacement employee contracts provided for under Article 12.6 of the Workers’ Statute must be applied gradually, based on the following conclusions:

Pursuant to Article 166.2 of the General Social Security Law, after January 2008 an employee may partially retire and benefit from a workday reduction of more than 75% only if a replacement is hired full-time for an open-ended term. In turn, Article 12 of the Workers’ Statute, in force since January 2008, requires that in order to replace a worker who is partially retired and whose workday has been reduced by more than 75% (up to 85%), the enterprise must sign a full-time open-ended employment contract with the replacement employee.

According to Transitional Provision 17 of the General Social Security Law, as of 2008 an employee may partially retire and benefit from a workday reduction of more than 75% (up to 85%) even if the replacement employee is not hired full-time for an open-ended term. In turn, the Transitional Provision 12 of the Workers’ Statute provides that the new regulation of the replacement employee contract must be applied gradually and refers to the provision of the aforementioned Transitional Provision of the General Social Security Law.

It can be inferred from the foregoing that lawmakers wanted the rules laid out by the General Social Security Law to be consistent with the employment regulation insofar as hiring someone as a replacement employee in order to make partial retirement possible.

This reasonably means that the progressive entry into force of the limits to the workday reduction of anyone who retires translates into the possibility of hiring replacement employees.