Employment law in Bulgaria

Employment Law in Bulgaria

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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The Bulgarian Labour Code governs all employment relationships in Bulgaria. It applies to all employment contracts concluded between Bulgarian employers and employees and between Bulgarian citizens and foreign legal entities in Bulgaria.
Our lawyers in Bulgaria can help you with all the necessary information about the employment laws in Bulgaria, if you are planning to do business and hire employees in Bulgaria.
A Bulgarian employment contract must be concluded in writing and it should, at the very least, include specific information such as: 
- a job description;
- a description of the work place and conditions;
- duration of the employment contract and the notice period;
- remuneration and other benefits for the employee.
Employees in Bulgaria are protected against unlawful dismissal and they are entitled to certain benefits. The Bulgarian Labour Law observes some general principles, applicable throughout the European Union: labour freedom and protection, social dialogue, equal rights for man and women and general non-discrimination laws.

Types of employment contracts in Bulgaria

There are two types of employment contracts in Bulgaria - fixed term and with an indefinite period. Fixed term employment contracts in Bulgaria can only be concluded for a maximum period of three years or for a shorter amount of time until the work stipulated in the contract is completed. This type of employment contract can be concluded for seasonal work and short-term activities.
Employment contracts concluded for an indefinite period of time cannot be transformed into fixed term contracts. This type of contract is less risky for the employee and it can be terminated under certain circumstances, by observing the appropriate notice period. 

Working conditions in Bulgaria

The normal working day in Bulgaria has eight hours and the working week has a usual duration of 40 hours. Special provisions apply for night work and overtime. Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to an annual paid leave (no less than 20 working days). Upon request, the employee may be granted unpaid leave of up to 30 days per year.
According to the Bulgarian Labour Law, mothers are entitled to maternity leave and they can use a number of days before the child is born. The father is also entitled to paternity leave once the child is born, subject to the mother’s consent and according to the remaining days of the available maternity leave.
Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to the minimum wage in Bulgaria. Our Bulgarian lawyers can offer you more information about the rights of the employees and about the liability of the employers if these rights are not observed.

Termination of an employment relationship in Bulgaria

Employers can only dismiss employees in Bulgaria if they have a valid legal cause. The grounds for dismissal can be personal and economic. Contract termination can be by mutual consent or unilateral. The unilateral termination occurs when one of the parties has breached the agreement or when current conditions make it impossible to continue the employment relationship.
The applicable notice periods are: one month for employment contracts concluded for an indefinite amount of time (unless otherwise specified in the contract, but no more than three months) and three months for fixed term contracts.
Social security contributions in Bulgaria are divided between the employer and the employee. The total social security insurance contribution is between 30.7% and 31.4% of the total income (the employee must pay 17.8%-18.5% and the employee 12.9%).
Our law firm in Bulgaria can offer you detailed information about doing business in Bulgaria and the legislation for foreign investments. Please contact our lawyers for a personalized offer.