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Bulgaria

Staff welfare

Updated 12/2012

Legal requirements

The main requirements for employment relations are laid down in the Bulgarian Labour Code (KT) and special regulations governing working time, breaks and leave, job transfers, and the structure and organisation of salaries.

Social security and health insurance in Bulgaria are mandatory, while provisions also allow for supplementary voluntary social and health insurance. Health and social insurance contributions are determined based on the the insurable income of employed people and are borne by the employer.

Employers are obliged to provide healthy and safe working conditions.

The Employment Promotion Act (ZNZ) regulates the rights and obligations of jobseekers and employers, who wish to use employment agencies to recruit staff.

Staff welfare

Non-discrimination, equal opportunities and gender equality

The Anti-Discrimination Act (ZZD) sets the fundamental standards on protecting the right to work. It prevents employers from discriminating when selecting employees; provides for the mandatory provision of equal working conditions; equal payment for equal or equivalent work; and the provision of equal opportunities for training and career development;

The Integration of People with Disabilities Act (ZIHU) obliges employers to provide and adapt working places for the needs of people with disabilities, and provides for measures to promote employers who employ people with disabilities.

Healthy and safe working conditions

The Bulgarian Healthy and Safe Working Conditions Act (ZZBUT) obliges employers to ensure healthy and safe working conditions. It also outlines general preventive principles and measures to promote the health and safety of the workforce.

The minimum requirements for healthy and safe working conditions are also laid down via several regulations transposing EU directives on health and safety at work.

Control to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation is carried out by the Central Labour Inspectorate Executive Agency.

Labour legislation

Contract law

Labour relations are governed by the Labour Code (KT).

Employment relations

The Bulgarian Council of Ministers decides on the minimum monthly wage and the minimum hourly rate of pay. Working time, breaks and leave are set in a regulation issued by the Council of Ministers.

Since 1 May 2012, the minimum wage in Bulgaria has been set at BGN 290 for full-time employees, and the minimum hourly pay at BGN 1.72.

The Central Labour Inspectorate Executive Agency is responsible for ensuring compliance with employment legislation.

Labour protection

The Social Security Code (KSO) regulates issues dealing with:

  • state social security provision in general sickness, workplace accidents, occupational illness, maternity leave, unemployment, old age and death;
  • supplementary social insurance.

Health insurance in Bulgaria is regulated by the Health Insurance Act (ZZO).

DISPUTES

The Bulgarian Settlement of Collective Labour Disputes Act (ZUKTS) lays down methods for settling collective disputes between employees and employers on work, social security and living standards issues. This act also applies to foreign employers or businesses and joint enterprises operating in Bulgaria.

In disputes, both parties should seek a mutual settlement via mediation and/or voluntary arbitration by trade union and employers' organisations, and/or by the National Conciliation and Arbitration Institute.

Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Non-discrimination, equal opportunities and gender equality

The Bulgarian Anti-Discrimination Committee is an independent, specialised government body for discrimination prevention, anti-discrimination and equal opportunities provision. Cases are brought to the committee by way of:

  • complaints made by affected people;
  • the committee's own initiative;
  • alerts made by individuals or legal entities and state and local authorities.

Employers are obliged to provide full details about the persons, who are claiming that their rights have been infringed, and to cooperate with the Committee during their inquiries by producing any requested documents or information, and by providing any clarifications.

Healthy and safe working conditions

Advice on the basic procedures relating to employers' obligations to ensure healthy and safe working conditions can be obtained from the Labour Inspectorate:

An employer's main obligations in this respect are to:

  • assess risks to health and safety at work (written procedure);
  • plan measures or programmes to avoid and prevent risks;
  • appoint a health and safety officer or or set up a special department to organise prevention activities and to ensure healthy and safe working conditions;
  • ensure the participationof employees or their representatives in discussing, planning and implementing healthy and safe working conditions (setting up committees/ working conditions groups);
  • providing workers or their representatives with the necessary information,training and instructions on health & safety at work;
  • declare to regional labour inspectorates on working conditions;
  • investigate into every workplace accident at the enterprise;
  • ensure the provision for employees of the services of a registered occupational health service.

Have a register of work discipline services in place:

Social security

State social security provides compensation, assistance and pensions in the case of:

  • temporary incapacity; temporary reduced work capacity; invalidity due to general sickness; workplace accidents or occupational illness;
  • maternity leave;
  • unemployment;
  • old age;
  • death.

The National Revenue Agency keeps a register of insurers and insured persons, and administrates insurance contributions.

Employers/insurers are obliged:

  • to regularly provide the National Revenue Agency with the full details of insured persons
  • to issue documents free of charge, showing the contribution history and income of insured persons upon termination of employment contracts and at the request of persons.
  • to report to the local department of the National Social Security Institute of any workplace accident (within 3 days; report forms are available on the Institute's website)
  • in case of occupational illness, to provide the local department of the National Social Security Institute with all documents related to the working conditions and the health of the patient within 30 days of this request being made. These documents should include a job description, the person's health file, a risk assessment and opinion made by the occupational health service, laboratory test reports, etc.

Social security in Bulgaria is regulated by the Social Security Code (KSO).

Programmes

The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy conducts various programmes and a whole range of projects to provide help to both employers and jobseekers.

To support people who want to rejoin the labour market, and to fulfil the annually approved National Employment Action Plan, a range of measures and programmes have been implemented to help the unemployed, people at work and employers.

Further information on the options currently available can be obtained from:

Help & advice

Help & advice

Advice and answers to questions, complaints and applications can be obtained from all main government institutions involved in implementing labour and social security legislation.

Personalised assistance can also be obtained from national representative employers' organisations.

National representative employers' organisations:

You can find other useful information at:

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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