Living and working conditions

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Bulgaria


Working conditions

Employment contracts

 

The rules for the employment relations between employers and workers in the Republic of Bulgaria are stipulated in the terms and conditions of employment contracts, which are concluded on a mandatory basis. Employment contracts are concluded in writing prior to the appointment of a worker or employee. They set out the place of employment, the job title, the nature of the work, the date of the contract and the date on which it takes effect, the term of employment, the amount of the basic and any additional paid annual leave, remuneration and the duration of the working day or week.

 

An employer is obliged to notify the conclusion of a contract to the relevant Territorial Directorate of the National Revenue Agency (NAP). The employer is also obliged to provide the worker or employee with a copy of the concluded employment contract signed by the two parties and a copy of the notification sent to the regional office of the NAP not later than 3 days following the conclusion of the employment contract itself.

 

Employment contracts may be concluded for an indefinite or definite period of time (fixed-term employment contracts). Fixed-term employment contracts become indefinite contracts when work continues to be carried out for five or more days after the expiry of the fixed term, no objection is received in writing from the employer and the position is still available. Most contracts also include a trial period of up to six months.

The employer must notify the worker in writing of any changes to the terms of employment not later than one month after these changes become effective.

 

Contracts with a probationary period may be terminated without prior notice during that period (which shall not exceed six months) by the party who benefits from the term of the probationary period. An employment contract is deemed to have been realised in full if it is not terminated prior to the end of the probation period. After this period has ended, the contract may only be terminated on general grounds.

 

Contracts of an indefinite duration (permanent contracts) are generally terminated with one month’s notice and fixed-term contracts with three months’ notice. The notice period cannot exceed the remaining term of the contract. Employment contracts may be terminated without prior notice by mutual consent of the parties or upon their expiry, when a worker or employee whose obligations have been discharged by a substitute returns from a temporary leave of absence, and when the work for which a person has been hired is completed, etc.

 

Employers may dismiss employees who have qualified for retirement based on age and length of service with one month’s notice. Employees may terminate their employment with the employer under the same conditions but without giving prior notice. In 2015, a new type of employment contract was introduced for short-term seasonal agricultural work. Such contracts have a duration of one day and must be certified by the General Labour Inspectorate.

 

The Labour Code published under the heading ‘Documents’ on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy sets out more detailed information about employment relations.

 

Text last edited on: 05/2021