Remote’s guide to employing in Bulgaria.
(Mar 7 2021)
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Bulgaria is a country in Southeast Europe with Romania, Serbia and North Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey as its bordering countries. Its capital and largest city is Sofia while other major cities include Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas.
Bulgaria is a founding state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and is a member of NATO, the European Union, and the Council of Europe. The country's economy revolves around services industries, in addition to mining and agriculture. Even though Bulgaria has the lowest GDP per capita and joint-lowest Human Development Index in the European Union, it is a developing country with an upper-middle-income economy.
6,912,730 (Mar 7 2021)
Ease of doing business
Cost of living index
$$ (91 of 139 nations)
VAT - standard rate
GDP - real growth rate
Employing in Bulgaria requires employers to own a legal entity in the country and manage payroll, tax, benefits and compliance through their own in-country resources. The complex nature of employment law in Bulgaria makes full compliance with employment laws a tricky task to manage without in-country support.
Through Remote’s Global Employer of Record solution, your Bulgarian team members can be employed by our local legal entity. Any other globally distributed employees can be employed through Remote’s owned entities across the world. We take care of payroll, tax, benefits and compliance so you can focus on what matters most - your people.
Companies that are looking to hire people in Bulgaria must ensure they have a deep understanding of the Bulgarian Labour Code. Legislation in Bulgaria is also closely linked to the labour laws of the European Union. Companies that are looking to employ people in Bulgaria must understand the specific Bulgarian laws around equal pay for men and women, the limitations of overtime, bans on workplace discrimination, and the specific legislative requirements of managing sick leave for Bulgarian employees.
Common questions that could come up during the hiring process may be about overtime rates, health insurance, and parental leave. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in Bulgaria.
Below are national public holidays applicable for all regions in this country. Remote customers have access to a detailed list of regional public holidays within the Remote platform. Sign up now to access all public holiday information.
|Saturday, January 1, 2022||New Year’s Day|
|Thursday, March 3, 2022||Liberation Day|
|Friday, April 22, 2022||Orthodox Good Friday|
|Saturday, April 23, 2022||Orthodox Holy Saturday|
|Sunday, April 24, 2022||Orthodox Easter Sunday|
|Monday, April 25, 2022||Orthodox Easter Monday|
|Sunday, May 1, 2022||Labour Day|
|Friday, May 6, 2022||Saint George’s Day|
|Tuesday, May 24, 2022||Culture and Literacy Day|
|Tuesday, September 6, 2022||Unification Day|
|Thursday, September 22, 2022||Independence Day|
|Saturday, December 24, 2022||Christmas Eve|
|Sunday, December 25, 2022||Christmas Day|
|Monday, December 26, 2022||Second Day of Christmas|
From January 2021, the minimum working salary and monthly social security income were increased from BGN 610 to BGN 650. The maximum monthly social security income remains at BGN 3,000.
Salaries in Bulgaria are paid mid-month for the previous month. For example, salaries for April are paid in mid-May.
We can help you get a new employee started in Bulgaria fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 17 working days.
Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.
For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.
Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.
At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practicing “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).
Our benefits packages in Bulgaria are tailored to fulfill the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:
Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Bulgaria.
The following statutory benefits are made as employment deductions through payroll:
10.92% - State Social Insurance contributions (disability, disease, maternity, old age pension)
2.80% - Supplementary Compulsory Pension Insurance
4.80% - Healthcare contributions (mandatory medical insurance)
0.4-1.1% - Accident at Work and Occupational Diseases Fund
The contributions to the State Insurance System are based on the gross salary of the employee, but the total is limited to a monthly maximum of BGN 3,000 as of 2020.
8.38% - State Social Insurance contributions (disability, disease, maternity, old age pension)
2.20% - Supplementary Compulsory Pension Insurance
3.20% - Healthcare contributions (mandatory medical insurance)
10% flat rate (personal income tax is taken from the gross salary minus all contributions)
In Bulgaria, four weeks of leave is granted every year. It is also interesting to note that in the scenario where a public holiday falls on a weekend, the following Monday becomes a paid holiday.
Expecting mothers are entitled to 58 weeks at 90% of the maximum social security income (capped at 3,000 BGN in 2021, raised to 3,400 BGN in April 2022). This income is paid by the government, not the employer. Forty-five days of maternity leave are usually taken before the birth of a child. With the mother's consent, when the child reaches six months, the leave can be transferred to the father for the rest of the period.
In Bulgaria, paternity leave is for 2 weeks with 90% pay.
The parental leave is for 104 weeks out of which there will be a flat-rate of income fixed for 52 weeks while the remaining period will be unpaid leave.
The employer pays 70% of the basic income for the first three days of illness or general injury. Social Security provides 80% of the basic income from the fourth day of sickness until full recovery.
The employee needs to provide a sickness leave document from a medical practitioner within 2 days of issue and the employer must register this document to the authorities. The doctor is also responsible for sending a separate document to the authorities.
According to the Bulgarian legislation the employer has an obligation to maintain a sick leave register and keep the sick leave documents presented by employees for a period of three years. The documents have to be kept in their original form. This data must be submitted to the National Social Security Institute (NSSI) and the deadline for this reporting is the 10th date of the following month after the sick leave documents are presented by the employee.
In Bulgaria, there are various laws to be followed by both employers and employees in the case of a termination. For example, if there is a mutual agreement between the parties to terminate the employment contract, it is easily dealt with, by communicating it in writing. However, if the employee is part of a union, then the employer will have to take permission from the union before terminating the employee.
Employers face significant complexity managing any form of termination, as there are so many specific types of terminations specifically outlined in the labour code and other employment laws.
Potential reasons for terminations:
In Bulgaria, the notice period is usually 30 days. However, the employer and employee can negotiate a longer duration (up to 90 days) in some cases.
There is no statutory severance pay unless in the following scenarios:
In Bulgaria, the probation period cannot exceed 6 months.