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Bulgaria – Employment Terms and Conditions

Bulgaria is a country located in Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million people. The country has a diverse economy, with industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. If you’re considering working in Bulgaria, it’s important to understand the country’s employment terms and conditions.

Working Hours in Bulgaria

The standard working week in Bulgaria is 40 hours, with most employees working from Monday to Friday. The working day is typically divided into two parts, with a break for lunch in the middle. The length of the lunch break varies depending on the employer, but it’s usually around one hour.

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to at least one day off per week, usually on Sundays. However, there are some exceptions, such as in the case of emergency services and certain industries where work on Sundays is required.

Employment Rights and Benefits

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to a number of rights and benefits, including minimum wage, paid holidays, sick leave, and parental leave. The country’s labor laws are designed to protect workers and ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Bulgaria is currently BGN 650 per month. This rate applies to all employees, regardless of industry or sector.

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Paid Holidays

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to a minimum of 20 days of paid holiday per year. In addition, employees are entitled to 13 public holidays per year.

Sick Leave

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to paid sick leave, which is calculated based on their length of service. For the first three days of sick leave, employees are entitled to full pay. After three days, the pay is reduced to 80% for the next 10 days, and then to 50% for the remaining period of sick leave.

Parental Leave

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to parental leave, which can be taken by either parent following the birth or adoption of a child. The leave entitlement is 410 days, which can be split between the two parents. During this time, the parent on leave is entitled to a monthly allowance from the state.


All employees in Bulgaria are entitled to a pension, which is provided by the state-run National Social Security Institute. The pension is designed to provide income in retirement and is funded by both the employee and employer. The current contribution rate is 19.8% of the employee’s salary, with a maximum monthly contribution of BGN 1,170.

In addition to the government-provided pension, there are also private pension schemes available in Bulgaria. These are usually offered by employers as part of their employee benefits package. Private pensions in Bulgaria can take a number of different forms, including defined benefit schemes and defined contribution schemes.

Retirement Age

The retirement age in Bulgaria is currently 65 years old for men and 63 years old for women. However, the retirement age is set to increase gradually in the coming years, reaching 67 years old for both men and women by 2037.

Overall, Bulgaria offers a range of employment rights and benefits for workers. From minimum wage to paid holidays, sick leave, parental leave, pensions, and health insurance, employees in Bulgaria are well-protected under the country’s labor laws. Whether you’re a local or an expat, understanding these terms and conditions is essential to ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your employment experience in Bulgaria.

It’s worth noting that Bulgaria has a relatively low cost of living compared to some other countries in Europe. This means that salaries may be lower, but expenses such as housing and transportation may also be more affordable.

If you’re an expat looking to work in Bulgaria, it’s important to be aware of the country’s immigration and work permit requirements. Non-EU citizens require a work permit to legally work in Bulgaria, and the process can take several months. EU citizens are able to work in Bulgaria without a permit, but they are required to register with the Bulgarian Employment Agency within three months of starting work.

It’s also important to be aware of the cultural differences and language barriers that may exist when working in Bulgaria. English is widely spoken in the country, particularly in the business community, but knowledge of Bulgarian may be helpful in certain industries or regions.

In conclusion, Bulgaria offers a favorable environment for employees, with a range of benefits and protections in place. However, it’s important to be aware of the country’s immigration requirements and cultural differences before embarking on a career in Bulgaria. With the right preparation and understanding, working in Bulgaria can be a rewarding experience.

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