The Bulgarian Labour Code governs all of the labour legislation in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian labour legislation is related to the labour acts of the European Union. In case of any dispute between Bulgarian law and the EU provisions, the latter will govern.
The main principles that are included in the Bulgarian labour law (and the ones generally applicable in the EU) are: labour protection and freedom, social dialogue among the state, employer and employees, a ban on discrimination, equal pay for men and women, fixed working hours, limitation of overtime work and many others.
Types of employment contracts in Bulgaria
According to the Bulgarian Labour Code, there are two types of employment contracts:
- temporary employment contracts;
- permanent employment contracts.
Temporary employment contracts are concluded for a limited period of time and they are usually used for seasonal, temporary or short term activities. This type of contract cannot last for more than three years. The employee has the same rights and obligations as in the case of a permanent employment contract. Temporary employment contracts/fixed-term contracts are used:
- for jobs that are temporary;
- to replace a permanent worker that is on maternity or sick leave;
- for seasonal work or for a certain mandate.
Permanent employment contracts have no expiration date. A trial period usually precedes a permanent employment contract. This trial period has a maximum duration of six months and the rights and obligations of both parties are the same as in the case of a permanent contract.
In order to be valid and legally binding, an employment contract must be done in writing. It should be concluded before the employee begins his/her work and it should contain information such as: identification details for the employer and employee, job title and description, type of contract, length of the trial period, the salary and daily work hours.
The maximum number of work hours per week (without overtime) is 40. Limitations apply to overtime hours. Each worker is entitled to a paid annual leave. Regarding contract termination, the employer may not terminate the employment contract without a reasonable cause. The notice period for contract termination is established according to the type of contract: 1 month for permanent employment contracts and 3 months for fixed-term contracts.
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