Nina Boteva Law Office

Legislative amendments to the Labor Code

The recent legislative amendments to the Labor Code ensure a higher degree of transparency regarding working conditions. The European legislation in this area has also been amended, with the adoption of Directive 2019/1152/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union (Directive 2019/1152/EU). The new Directive introduces new elements of the employment relationship whereby employees must receive information in writing from the employer. In order to ensure compliance with the requirements of the European legislation Bulgaria has an obligation to supplement the rights of the employees with regard to the information provided by the employer when concluding an employment contract.

In this regard, below are pointed out some of the most significant changes related to the obligation for notification of the employees.

There is a new obligation of the employer in connection with any change to the employment relationshipis to provide written information on the latter to the employees. The information is to be submitted at the latest before the entry into force of the amendment, contrary to the previous provision – at the earliest opportunity or no later than one month after the entry into force of the amendment. The aim of the legislative changes is that the employees are informed in a timely manner in order to be ensured an appropriate degree of transparency regarding working conditions and also to avoid eventual labor disputes.

Another amendment enables the employees to offer the employer a change in the employment relationship in writing, in order to switch from a fixed-term employment to permanent employment and/or from part-time employment to full-time employment. In case the employer does not accept the offer, the latter is obliged to notify the employee in writing within 1 month, giving sufficient grounds for the refusal. The aim is to create transparency and clarity in the relations between the parties to the employment relationship and to promote more predictable employment in case this is justified and made possible in the respective company. When the offer is made more than twice in a period of one year, the employer is not obliged to provide a motivated written response to the employee.

Notwithstanding the above, additional obligations for the employer are provided- to acquaint the employee with the internal salary rules, to provide information on the terms and conditions for terminating the employment contract in accordance with the possibilities provided for in the labor legislation, as well as for the training organized by the employer, related to maintenance and promotion of professional qualification and improvement of professional skills. The changes guarantee the right of the employees to receive complete information about the employment relationship, which is a prerequisite for a greater job satisfaction, as well as for avoiding labor disputes.

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