Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, Republika Bŭlgariya, is a country occupying the eastern portion of the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. Founded in the seventh century, Bulgaria is one of the oldest states on the European continent. The country is remarkable for its variety of scenery. Its rugged mountains and relaxing Black Sea resorts attract many visitors. Ethnically, the population is fairly homogeneous, with Bulgarians making up more than four-fifths of the total population. Bulgarians are the fastest shrinking nation in the world. In the last 30 years after the fall of the totalitarian regime, Bulgaria has lost 2.4 million people or nearly 28% of its population.

Almost two-thirds of all exports are capital goods such as machinery and equipment, and one-fourth are consumer goods mainly of agricultural origin (such as fruit, wine, cigarettes, dairy products, and meat). 

 

*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Bulgaria.

Hauptstadt :
Sofia
Währung :
Bulgarian Lev (BGN, Лв)
Gesprochene Sprachen :
Bulgarian
Einwohnerzahl :
6.5 million (2021 est.)
Mindestlohn :
€332.34 monthly
Lebenshaltungskostenindex :
$$ (88 of 139 nations)
Payroll Frequency :
Monthly
Mehrwertsteuernormalsatz :
20%
reales BIP-Wachstum :
-4.4% (2020)

Statutory Holidays

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2022.

Date
Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day
March 3
Bulgaria’s Liberation from the Ottoman Empire
April 22
Orthodox Good Friday
Movable - As per the Orthodox Calendar
April 23-25
Orthodox Easter Holidays
Movable - As per the Orthodox Calendar
May 1
Labor and International Worker’s Solidarity Day
Given on May 2 in 2022 (in lieu)
May 6
Gergyovden (St. George’s Day), and the Bulgarian Army’s Day
May 24
Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavic Script Day
September 6
Unification Day
September 22
Independence Day
November 1
Day of the Bulgarian Enlighteners
Holiday for all educational institutions
December 24
Christmas Eve
December 25-26
Christmas Days

Onboarding Time


When hiring new employees in Bulgaria through WorkMotion, the approximate onboarding time is only 4 business days. 

 

Our team ensures compliance with local employment legislation, as well as a quick and efficient onboarding process. The minimum onboarding time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee. 

 

For more complex onboardings, this time may increase depending on the selected bouquet of contract inclusions and the right-to-work status of the employee.

What You Need To Know


  • The rate of minimum wage is the lowest in Bulgaria among all EU countries.
  • It is possible to create open-ended working hour contracts where employees are obligated to work outside regular working hours though they are compensated with additional paid leave.
  • Study leave is to be provided for employees preparing or appearing for examinations.

Labor Conditions


Working Hours

The duration of a working week in Bulgaria is five days, with the normal amount of weekly working time not exceeding 40 hours. The normal length of the working day may not exceed eight hours. For operational reasons, employers may extend the working hours on certain working days by a written order and compensate for that extension by reducing working hours on other days. Extended daily working time may not exceed 10 hours. 

Overtime

The duration of overtime work cannot go beyond 150 hours in one calendar year, 30 hours for a day’s work, and 20 hours of night work in a calendar month. The rate of payment for overtime work can be agreed upon between the employer and the employee but it should not be less than 50% for work on working days, 75% on weekends, and 100% on public holidays. 

Probation Period

The probation period may last up to six months. During the probation period, both parties are entitled to the same rights and subject to the same obligations as parties that concluded an unlimited employment contract.

Termination Notice Period

The employer must provide the employee with a written notice regarding the termination.

Contracts with a trial period may be terminated without prior notice.

If the employee or employer terminates an indefinite employment contract with notice, at least a 30-day notice is required. 

The notice period for a fixed contract is three months but not more than the remaining period of the contract.

No notice is required if the employment contract is due to expire (as in the case of a fixed contract).

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

In 2021, the minimum required length of service for acquiring the right to use paid annual leave is reduced from eight to four months for employees who commence work for the first time. Each worker or employee is entitled to a minimum of 20 days of paid annual leave.

Sick Leave

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to paid sick leave. 

  • The employer pays 70% of the basic income for the first three days of sickness.
  • Social security provides 80% of the basic income from the fourth day of sickness until full recovery or 90% of the basic income for workplace-related sickness or injury.

Parental Leave

Beneficiaries are given leave for up to 60 calendar days in one calendar year in total for taking care or urgent accompanying for a medical check-up, examination, or treatment in the country or abroad of a sick child up to 18 years of age.

 

Paid Leave for Two and More Living Children

Where so stipulated in a collective agreement, a female factory or office worker with two living children who have not attained the age of 18 years is entitled to two working days of paid leave for each calendar year (with three or more living children, four working days ). This leave is to be used at a time of the factory or office worker’s choice, and it may not be compensated in cash, except upon termination of the employment relationship.

 

Maternity Leave

The daily pecuniary compensation in case of pregnancy and childbirth is calculated as 90% of the amount of the average daily gross remuneration. The mother insured has the right to cash benefit for a term of 410 days, 45 of which occur before the childbirth. These benefits replace employment income while the mother is on maternity leave. The first 135 days are mandatory.

 

Paternity Leave

New fathers are entitled to 15 days‘ leave paid at 90% of the basic income rate. When the child reaches the age of six months, the father may assume care of the child, and hence the cash benefits from the mother for the remainder of the 410 days.

Other Types of Paid Leave

Care for a Sick Family Member

 

Cash benefit under the conditions and amount of the cash benefit for temporary incapacity due to a general illness is also paid for taking care or urgent accompanying for a medical check-up, examination, or treatment in the country or abroad of a sick member of the family over the age of 18 for 10 calendar days in one calendar year. The daily cash benefit is calculated at the rate of 80% of the average daily gross salary or average daily insurance income on which are paid or payable social security contributions.

 

Leave for Performance of Civic, Public, and Other Duties

The employer is obligated to excuse from work the factory or office worker and pay remuneration as per collective bargaining agreement or contract:

ReasonDuration
Upon contracting marriage2 days
Upon blood donationFor the day of the examination and donation, as well as for one day thereafter.
In the event of death of a parent, child, spouse, brother, sister, and spouse’s parent or other lineal relatives2 days

 

Study Leave

Employees who attend a secondary or a higher school without interruption of employment with the consent of the employer are eligible for 25 working days for each year of study.

 

 

Unpaid Leave

Unpaid Study Leave

Where the employer has not granted their consent, the factory or office worker is entitled to unpaid leave in half of the amounts (where applying for admission to a secondary school: three working days, where applying for admission to a higher school or for enrolment in a doctoral degree course: six working days), which are assimilated to the length of employment service. Also, if the employee fails to clear their examination in the paid leave, they are also entitled to unpaid leave for the succeeding years in half of the amount of the leave.

Statutory Benefits

The total monthly contributions for the employer include:

CategoryEmployer Contribution
Pension Fund14.8%
Additional Pension Insurance5%
General Disease and Maternity Fund3.5%
Unemployment Fund1%
Accident at Work and Occupational Diseases Fund*0.4-1.1%
Health Insurance8%

 

*The percentage varies depending on the economic activity of the company.

Social security contributions are split between the employer and the employee at a 60:40 ratio. 

Health Insurance

Health insurance is provided by the National Health Insurance Fund and it is mandatory that all employees and employers contribute to this fund. The aggregate rate of health insurance contributions is 8%, of which 4.8% is payable by the employer and 3.2% is payable by the employee.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance

 

Invalidity pensions are granted for accidents at work and occupational diseases if the employee has lost 50% or more of their capacity to work due to an accident at work or occupational diseases. The employer contributions include 0.4-1.1 % to Accident at Work and Occupational Diseases Fund (the percentage varies depending on the economic activity of the company).

 

Unemployment Insurance

 

Unemployment benefits are payable to everyone who has paid social insurance contributions into the unemployment fund of the General State Insurance Fund for at least 12 months in the previous 18 months before becoming unemployed. Long-term unemployment benefits have not been payable since 2011. The employer contributions include 1% to the Unemployment Fund. 

Public Pension

In 2021, women become eligible for retirement upon reaching the age of 61 years and 8 months having completed at least 36 years in employment. Men become eligible at the age of 64 years and 4 months, having completed 39 years in employment. Persons not entitled to a pension under the conditions above become eligible for retirement at the age of 66 years and 8 months having completed at least 15 years of insured employment.

Other Statutory Benefits

Relocation Allowance

An employee who is transferred to another nucleated settlement may be paid after an agreement with the employer, the travel expenses for the family, for moving the household furnishings, and for days of their travel plus two extra days. This allowance becomes mandatory if the transfer is not on request by the employee.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

Information provided in this Country Guide is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. WorkMotion Software GmbH periodically adds, changes, improves, updates, or removes information without notice, and assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents of this Country Guide. This Country Guide may contain links to other websites. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

 

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