Employment conditions in Bulgaria
- The probation period is agreed upon between the employer and the employee but cannot be more than six months;
- The probation period can be to the benefit of the employer, the employee or both (if the employment contract does not contain this provision, it is assumed that the probation period is in favour of both parties);
- The party to whose benefit the probation period has been agreed may terminate the contract without notice during the probation period.
An employment contract with a probation period may be concluded only once regarding the same employee in the same company for the same position.
Non-compete clauses in an employment contract restricting employment with competitors’ companies after terminating employment are considered void.
The employer is required to keep an employment record for every employee. This includes everything from commencing work through to any employment relationship amendments and its termination.
The employment record includes:
- A copy of the signed employment contract signed and any other document that is needed to certify the employment’s start (such as documents for medical examination (if required), criminal record (if required), etc.)
- Documents required for hiring the employee (such as a duly certified copy of the notification to NRA and the relevant confirmation from NRA; documents proving initial health and safety instruction has been conducted, etc.)
- Documents related to the employee’s level of education
- Job description
- Additional agreements/Annexes to the employment contract
- Requests and orders for using paid annual leave and other types of leaves
- Sick leave documents
- Documents about disciplinary sanctions
- Written consent for working overtime
- Request/Order for termination and other documents related to the end of employment (hand-over protocol, duly certified copy of the notification to NRA for the termination and the relevant confirmation from NRA, etc.).
Employees' records are kept by the employer – in most cases in the Human Resources Department and are updated regularly. The employment record may also contain electronic documents. The procedure and special requirements are indicated in an Ordinance of the Council of Ministers.
The employer needs to keep some of the employment record documents for 50 years. Those include any payroll documents, employment contracts and any additional agreements, orders for appointment and re-appointment, used unpaid leave, and termination.
The labour book is an official document certifying the employee’s work experience circumstances. It is issued in a standard form/template, and the employee hands it to the employer upon employment commencement. However, if this is the employee’s first job, the employer issues the employee’s labour book within five days of starting work. The employer should keep a ledger of the newly issued labour books.
The labour book is kept by the employee. It may also be kept by the employer, but only if the employee has given written consent. The employer can ask for the labour book if they need to fill out work-related information.
The author of an intellectual work owns its exclusive IP rights. Ownership of the copyright can be assigned to the employer by written agreement. However, employers have the exclusive right to use the copyright of the work the employee created when under an employment contract. The employers may exercise this right in a manner and to an extent corresponding to their normal business activity.
When it comes to software and databases created within the scope of the employment relationship, the copyright belongs to the employer unless otherwise agreed in the employment contract. Employees always retain moral rights to their work.