On 12 June 2015, a bill containing changes to the Labour Code was adopted at first hearing by the National Assembly.
The key changes include:
- enabling registered farmers to enter into one-day employment contracts with workers for short-term seasonal agricultural work such as harvesting fruit, vegetables and pink blossom, for up to 90 business days in total per calendar year per worker. Detailed rules for registering and reporting these contracts will be set by ordinance;
- extending paid maternity leave for the fourth child to match that available for the first, second and third children (ie for two years from birth rather than 6 months, as it is at present);
- reducing ‘red tape’ by measures such as: extending the period within which the National Revenue Agency has to be notified when an employment contract is concluded or amended, removing the requirement to prepare annual leave schedules and removing the requirement for micro-businesses and small companies to produce internal work rules;
- removing the provided for certain categories of employees and workers protection in case of disciplinary dismissal;
- restoring the employer’s right (revoked in 2012) to terminate the employment of anyone who has reached the social security retirement age and become eligible for retirement.
The bill is likely to change as it continues its passage through the legislature – first, the National Assembly must adopt it at second hearing, then the President of the Republic of Bulgaria must issue a decree for its promulgation; and finally it would come into force 3 days after its promulgation in the State Gazette.