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лв (BGN)

Work Hours


Bulgaria is in southeastern Europe. A Soviet satellite during the Cold War, Bulgaria began its transition from Communism to a free market economy in 1990 and became a member of the European Union in 2007, although it is still working towards joining the eurozone. Bulgaria’s economy produces both resources and finished products for export. Oil and petroleum products are its leading exports, along with metals, particularly refined and unrefined copper. It also has deposits of coal, lead, zinc and bauxite. The industrial sector produces electrical equipment and machinery, auto parts, and pharmaceuticals. Bulgaria’s strategic location allows it to trade with many countries, and it has developed its infrastructure accordingly. The Bulgarian port of Burgas, on the Black Sea, is the center of a free economic zone which allows rapid movement of goods to southeastern Europe, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia via water, air, rail and road.

Employment contracts in Bulgaria must be in writing and the employer must send a notification to the National Revenue Agency within three days of the contract’s execution. The employer must provide the employee with a copy of the notification to the National Revenue Agency and a copy of the contract, signed by both parties, before the employee begins work. Employment contracts must identify:

  • both parties,

  • place of work,

  • job title,

  • type of work,

  • date of contract execution,

  • starting date of performance,

  • duration of the contract (if applicable),

  • information about leave,

  • notice period for termination,

  • compensation, and

  • normal working hours.

Employment contracts may be permanent or for a fixed term. Permanent employment contracts have a defined start date but no end date and may have a probation period of up to six months. Fixed-term employment contracts are for a defined period of time. The term must be stated in the written contract, and the term may not be longer than three years. Normally, the term cannot be less than one year, but it may be less than one year if the worker requests a shorter term in writing. In these cases, the contract may be renewed once, for not less than one year. It is also possible to have a fixed-term contract that is in effect until certain work is completed, until an absent employee returns to work, or other conditions.

The standard workweek in Bulgaria is eight hours per day, five days per week. Overtime is limited and only allowed in certain circumstances. The workweek may be extended to 48 hours, but no more than 60 workdays may be extended per year, and no more than 20 of these days may be consecutive. Before requiring additional hours, the employer must consult with the employees’ representatives, provide a written instruction, and notify the government labor inspectorate. Employees under 18 years old may not work more than 40 hours per week. Employees who work overtime are normally compensated with time off on other days as well as overtime pay. The rate of overtime pay is a sliding percentage on top of the basic rate. Employees who work at night are entitled to additional pay at a rate agreed on by the employer and the employee.

Employees receive three days of sick leave in Bulgaria paid at a percentage of their salary by the employer. After this, if the employee has a minimum of six months of work experience recognized by social security, the employee is paid a social security benefit for up to 18 months. Employees must submit a doctor’s note to receive sick pay.

Female employees receive 410 days of maternity leave in Bulgaria with 45 days to be taken before the birth. The mother qualifies for social security payments at a portion of her salary during her leave if she has one year of work experience recognized for social security purposes and has paid the appropriate contributions. A female employee who adopts a child two years old or younger is entitled to leave as well. The father or male partner of a child’s mother, whether biological or adoptive, receives 15 days of paternity leave and can use any of the mother’s unused maternity leave after the child is six months old.

Bulgaria has a minimum wage. Bonuses are common and often paid in December.

Employees in Bulgaria receive a minimum of 20 days of paid annual leave once they have worked for an employer for eight months. Employees who work under dangerous conditions are entitled to a minimum of five additional days. Other categories of employees may also be entitled to additional leave by law or by the terms of a collective agreement or employment contract.

In Bulgaria, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Labor Day - Solidarity Day

  • Liberation Day

  • St. George's Day - Day of Valour and of the Bulgarian Armed Forces

  • Good Friday

  • Easter Monday

  • Day of Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture and the Slavic Letters

  • Bulgarian Unification Day

  • Bulgarian Independence Day

  • Christmas Eve

  • Christmas (two days)

Bulgaria has national health care. Private health care and insurance is available.

In Bulgaria, an employer may terminate an employee on an indefinite contract with 30 days of written notice. The employer and employee may agree on a longer notice period, but no longer than three months. Employees on fixed-term contracts may be terminated with three months of notice, or the remaining time before the expiration of the contract, whichever is sooner. Employers may terminate employees if the business is closing or reducing its operations or if the employee is unable or unqualified to perform their job tasks. An employer may terminate an employee without notice due to misconduct or because the employee has lost or been stripped of their license or other professional qualifications. Employees may terminate an indefinite contract with 30 days of written notice unless the employee and employer have agreed on a longer notice period, with the maximum notice period being three months. Employees are not required to have cause to terminate an employment contract.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

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