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Bulgaria: Employee rights

Original and updating authors: Kalina Tchakarova and Youliana Naoumova, DGKV

See the legal services provided by the author of International > Bulgaria, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • Statutory normal working time for full-time employees is generally eight hours per day, five days per week (40 hours a week). Various rules govern matters such as working time flexibility, overtime, overtime pay and night work. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are entitled to a minimum 30-minute meal break in every working day, plus shorter "physiological" breaks, along with a daily rest period of at least 12 hours and a weekly rest period of at least 48 hours. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • The law does not prohibit Sunday work and such work does not require special authorisation by the authorities. (See Sunday work)
  • Employees have a minimum statutory paid annual leave entitlement of 20 working days. Various rules govern matters such as the taking, deferment and remuneration of leave. (See Holiday and holiday pay)
  • Employees are entitled to take 410 days of maternity leave (during which they receive a social security benefit equivalent to 90% of pay, within limits). (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • After the end of her maternity leave, an employee is entitled to take parental leave until the child's second birthday (generally with entitlement to a flat-rate social security benefit). She may transfer all or part of this parental leave entitlement to the father, or to one of the child's grandparents. (See Parental leave)
  • An employee who is the father of a child is entitled to 15 calendar days of paternity leave after the child's birth, during which he receives a social security benefit equivalent to 90% of pay (within limits). (See Paternity leave)
  • An employee who adopts a child under the age of five is entitled to take adoption leave for a period of 365 days, starting from the date of adoption and ending no later than the date on which the child turns five. (See Adoption leave)
  • The medical authorities may authorise an employee to take sick leave (with social security sickness benefit) to care for a family member who is sick. (See Carer's leave)
  • Employees are entitled to special paid or unpaid leave in a range of circumstances, notably educational leave if they study while in employment. (See Other leave)
  • Part-time employees must not be placed at a disadvantage, compared with full-time employees engaged in the same or similar work at the same enterprise, solely because of the part-time nature of their working hours. (See Part-time workers)
  • Employees on fixed-term contracts must not be treated in a less favourable manner than comparable employees on open-ended contracts engaged in the same or similar work at the same enterprise solely because of the fixed-term nature of their employment relationship. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Employees who work remotely are entitled to the same rights and benefits as employees who work on the employer's premises. Further, remote workers enjoy additional rights. (See Remote workers)
  • During an assignment, a temporary agency worker is entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as those provided to employees of the user organisation performing the same or similar work in the same or a similar position. (See Temporary agency workers)
  • Foreign employees posted by their employer to work temporarily in Bulgaria are, for the duration of their posting, covered by various provisions of Bulgarian employment law. (See Posted workers)
  • In the event of the transfer of an undertaking, business, or part thereof, the employment relationships of the employees affected are automatically transferred from the transferor to the transferee under the same terms and conditions of employment as provided by the transferor. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • If an employer is declared bankrupt, employees are privileged creditors in respect of any sums due to them arising out of the employment relationship. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • An employer is obliged to have in place "internal work rules" and internal salary rules, setting out the rights and obligations of the employer and the employees under the employment relationship, and regulating the organisation of work. (See Internal work rules)
  • Various statutory rules govern the disciplinary sanctions that employers may apply to employees, and the related procedures. (See Disciplinary and grievance procedures)
  • Employers must observe statutory requirements when processing employees' personal data. (See Data protection and privacy)
  • Certain employers are required to establish internal reporting channels. (See Whistleblowing)