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Benefits in Bulgaria

Mandatory Benefits in Bulgaria

Medical examination of new hires

The following employees are subject to preliminary medical examination:
  • Individuals starting work for the first time
  • Individuals transferring to another position in the same or different company, which is related to harmful factors and higher risk of occupational accidents and illnesses
  • Individuals who have been unemployed for more than three months
  • Individuals taking positions related to working in a harmful environment
  • Individuals under 18
  • Individuals working at night
 
This medical examination should be organised in the following cadences:
  • Individuals under 18 – yearly
  • Individuals aged 18-40 – once every five years
  • Individuals over 40 – once every three years
 
Certain roles and work conditions require more specific medical examinations. For example, employees working long hours with monitor displays must undergo eye examinations once every three years if under 40 and yearly for those over 40. An eye examination must be scheduled if an employee complains about their eyesight.
 
Examinations are at the expense of the employer.

Occupational safety and health training

The employer must conduct health and safety training at work, and each employee should undergo it. This is done during work hours and at the expense of the employer. The materials provided must be in writing.
 
The types of routine training are:
  • Initial training for new hires, temporary work agency employees, transferred employees and seconded employees
  • Periodic training - every three months for employees working in a high-risk environment and once yearly for everyone else
 
Extraordinary training is conducted in the following cases:
  • Whenever occupational accidents/illnesses, fires, industrial accidents or natural disasters occur
  • Gross negligence and infringement on health and safety rules
  • By order of supervisory authority or administrative body
  • After an employee has been absent for more than 45 days
  • If the employer deems it necessary, due to renovation and construction of new projects requiring exceptional health and safety training
  • Change in work processes, i.e., new machinery and production methods
 
Training should be run by either the direct supervisors in the company or qualified specialists.
 
All documentation regarding health and safety at work is kept in a record for at least five years.
 
Companies employing more than 50 people are obliged to have a committee supervising work conditions Companies employing 5 to 50 people should have work groups tasked with supervising health and safety rules and guidelines.
 
Fines for breaches of health and safety rules (incl. breaches from employees) vary from BGN 100 (around EUR 51) to BGN 500 (around EUR 256).
 
Companies that fail to comply with health and safety regulations are fined between BGN 1 500 (around EUR 767) and BGN 15 000 (around EUR 7 669), while the officials tasked with health and safety duties in the company are fined between BGN 1 000 (around EUR 511) and BGN 10 000 (around EUR 5 113).
 

Non-Mandatory Benefits in Bulgaria

Company social and other benefits

Social, welfare and cultural services (SWCS) are funding provided to employees and their families. Although regulated in the Labour Code, this type of funding is not mandatory for the employer.
 
The decision on how to use such funding is made by the employee general meeting.
 
The funding can be used for the following:
  • Transport to the workplace
  • Support of young/new hires for up to the first full year of employment
  • Supply of work clothing and uniforms
  • Canteens, buffets, or other mealtime providers
  • Establishing holiday resorts
  • Construction of an employee campus
  • Other social or cultural benefits such as library cards, computer clubs etc.
 

Additional days off

The minimum paid leave is 20 days per year. Some companies give 5-6 additional days to their employees (which can be conditional on the length of service with the same employer).
 

Transport

Employers can arrange transport to the workplace at their own expense (see SWCS described above).
 

Supplementary pension

SWCS could be used to the benefit of retired employees. Several big companies offer retirement plans to their employees. This is done by contracting a licensed Insurance company.
 

Supplementary health insurance

Many employers offer additional health insurance to their employees as well as access to medical facilities and specialist examinations.
 

Supplementary life insurance

Some companies offer a life insurance plan to their employees.
 

Cash bonus

Cash bonus is commonly used to encourage employees.
 

Flexibility

Some companies offer flexible working hours. Many tech/IT/outsourcing companies offer part or full-time WFH.
 

Telephone costs

Some companies reimburse telephone costs and/or offer mobile phones for their employees.
 

Hardware

Many employers in the knowledge workspace provide company hardware such as laptops, computers and accessories to employees.
 

Sport allowance

Multisport cards are a widespread benefit for employees.
 

Training budget

The employer is obliged by law to keep employees’ professional skills up to date and to offer improvement of qualification training.
 

Meals

Meals and drinks can be offered at the cost of the employer. Food vouchers are also very popular.
 

Relocation

Some companies cover relocation and/or initial costs in the new location.
 

Referral program

Referral programs are a common way to encourage employees by offering cash bonuses.
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