Labour Code

Labour Code, Employment contract, Working Time, (last amended in December 2015/ extract)

Subject Matter and Purpose

Labour Code – Art. 1 (1) This Code shall regulate the industrial relations between the workers and the employer, as well as other relations immediately associated with them.

Law Applicable to Employment Relationships

Labour Code, Article 10 (1) This Code shall apply to the employment relationships of Bulgarian citizens, citizens of Member States of the European Union, of the Contracting Parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or of the Swiss Confederation with employers in Bulgaria, as well as with Bulgarian employers abroad, save as otherwise provided for in a law or in an international treaty which is in force for the Republic of Bulgaria.

(2) This Code shall furthermore apply to the employment relationships of Bulgarian citizens, of citizens of Member States of the European Union, of Contracting Parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or of the Swiss Confederation, sent by a Bulgarian employer to work abroad in a foreign enterprise or joint venture, as well as of foreign citizens working in Bulgaria, save as otherwise provided for in a law or in an international treaty which is in force for the Republic of Bulgaria.


Labour Code – Art. 61 (1) An employment contract shall be concluded between the worker and the employer before beginning of work.


Labour Code Artic. 62 The employment contract shall be concluded in writing.

(3) Within three days after the conclusion or modification of an employment contract and within seven days after its termination, the employer or a person authorised thereby shall be obligated to send a notification of this to the relevant territorial directorate of the National Revenue Agency. The National Revenue Agency shall provide empowered persons of Labour Inspection Directorates with electronic access in real time to the register of employment contracts and, upon request, shall send a copy of the relevant notification as certified within three working days.

(4) After the term under paragraph (3) a notification of concluded employment contract shall be sent only after a statutory prescription of the labour inspectorate supervisory authorities has entered into force.

Commencement of Performance

Labour Code – Art. 63 (1) Before beginning work, the employer shall be obligated to provide the worker with a copy of the employment contract as concluded, signed by both parties, as well as with a copy of the notification under Article 62 (3), certified by the territorial directorate of the National Revenue Agency.

(2) The employer shall not allow the worker to begin work, before providing the worker with the documents under Paragraph (1).


Labour Code – Art. 66 (1) The employment contract shall contain particulars of the parties and shall specify:
1. the place of work;
2. designation of the position and the character of the work;
3. the date of its conclusion and the starting date of its performance;
4. the duration of the employment contract;
5. the amount of basic and extended paid annual leave and of additional paid annual leaves;
6. equal length of the period of notice to be observed by both parties upon termination of the employment contract;
7. the basic and supplementary labour remunerations of a permanent nature, as was as the frequency of their payment;
8. the duration of the working day or week.

(4) The designation of the position shall be specified in accordance with the National Classification of Professions and Positions, endorsed by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy following co-ordination with the Chairperson of the National Statistics Institute.

Employment Contract for Trial Period

Labour Code – Article 70 (1) Where the work requires testing of the ability of the worker to perform it, his or her final appointment may be preceded by a contract providing for a trial period of up to six months. Such a contract may also be concluded where the worker wishes to verify whether the work is suitable for him or her.

(2) The contract under Paragraph (1) shall specify the party to whose benefit the trial period is agreed. Where this is not specified in the contract, the trial period shall be presumed to be agreed to the benefit of both parties.

Termination of Contract for Trial Period

Labour Code – Art. 71 (1) Until expiry of the trial period, the party to whose benefit it has been agreed may terminate the contract without notice.

(2) The employment contract shall be presumed finally concluded if it is not terminated under the foregoing paragraph prior to the expiry of the trial period.

Employer’s Obligation to Charge and Pay Labour Remuneration

Art. 128 The employer shall be obligated, within the prescribed time limits:
1. to charge in payrolls the labour remunerations of the workers for the work performed thereby;
2. to pay the labour remuneration agreed for the work done;
3. to issue, at the request of the workers, abstracts from the payrolls on the labour remunerations and any compensations, whether paid or unpaid.

Working Time

Normal Duration of Working Time

Art. 136 (1) Working Time – The working week shall consist of five days, with a normal duration of the weekly working time of up to 40 hours.

(3) Working Time – The normal duration of the working time during the day shall be up to eight hours.

(4)) The normal duration of the working time under the foregoing paragraphs may not be extended, except in the cases and according to the procedure provided for in this Code.

OVERTIME WORK. Definition and Prohibition

Art. 143 (1) Working Time. Work done on the order of, or with the knowledge of and with no objection from, the employer or the respective superior, by a worker beyond the working time fixed for him or her shall be considered overtime work.

(2) Overtime work shall be prohibited.

TYPES OF LEAVES. Basic and Extended Paid Annual Leave

Art. 155 (1) Each worker shall be entitled to paid annual leave.

(2) In case of beginning work for the first time, the worker may use his or her paid annual leave after acquiring at least eight months’ length of employment service.

(4) The amount of basic paid annual leave shall be not less than 20 working days.

Unpaid Leave

Art. 160 (1) Upon the request of the worker, the employer may grant him or her unpaid leave, regardless of the fact whether the said worker has used his or her paid annual leave or not, and irrespective of the duration of his or her length of employment service.

Deductions from Labour Remuneration

Art. 272 (1) No deductions may be made from a worker’s labour remuneration without the worker’s consent, except for:
1. advance payments received;
2. amounts overpaid as a result of technical error;
3. taxes deductible from the labour remuneration under special laws;
4. social insurance contributions, which are for the account of the factory or office worker who is insured against all social insurance risks;

Standard Grounds for Termination of Employment Contract

Art. 325 (1) An employment contract shall be terminated without either party being obligated to give notice to the other party:
1. by mutual consent of the parties, expressed in writing. The party who has been approached with the offer shall be obligated to take a stand on the said offer and to inform the other party within seven days after receipt of the said offer. Upon failure to do so, rejection of the offer shall be presumed;
2. where the dismissal of a worker is pronounced wrongful, or where the worker is reinstated to the previous work thereof by the court, but the said worker fails to report to work within the time limit under Article 345 (1);
3. upon expiry of the agreed term;
4. by the completion of the work as specified;
5. upon return to work of the replaced worker;
6. where the position has been designated for occupation by a pregnant woman of an occupational rehabilitee, and an applicant who is entitled to occupy the said position appears;
8. upon the beginning of work of a worker who has been elected or who has won a competitive examination;
9. if the worker is unable to execute the work assigned thereto by reason of illness which has led to permanently reduced working capacity or because of health contraindications on the basis of a conclusion of the medical expert board for working capacity certification. In such case, termination shall be inadmissible if the employer can provide another work suitable to the state of health of the worker and the said worker agrees to take it;
11. upon the death of the worker;
12. owing to the designation of the position for occupation by a civil servant.

Termination of Employment Contract by Factory or Office Worker with Notice

Art. 326 (1) An worker may terminate the employment contract by giving the employer a written notice.

(2) The period of notice of termination of an employment contract of an indefinite duration shall be 30 days, unless the parties have agreed on a longer period, but not longer than three months. In a collective agreement, the period of notice upon dismissal under Items 1 to 4 and Item 11 of Article 328 (1) may be made contingent on the duration of the length of employment service of the worker for the same employer. The period of notice of termination of a fixed-term employment contract shall be three months, but not more than the remainder of the term of the contract.

(4) The notice period shall begin to run on the day succeeding the receipt of the said notice. A notice may be withdrawn if the worker communicates this fact before or simultaneously with the receipt of the said notice. With the consent of the employer, a notice may furthermore be withdrawn before expiry of the notice period.

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