Nina Boteva Law Office

Bill on amendment and supplement of the Employment Promotion Act

In May this year, a Bill on amendment and supplement of the Employment Promotion Act was submitted to the National Assembly of Bulgaria. The legislative changes aim: to improve the regulations regarding the integration into labor employment of persons from groups who are in a disadvantaged position on the labor market; specifying the provisions of the Law on the Promotion of Employment and the Access of Jobseekers to Intermediary Services; and the transformation of the State Enterprise "Bulgarian-German Center for Vocational Training" (DP BGCPO) in an administrative structure.

A substantial part of the proposed measures concern the increase of labor shortage, requiring actions to be taken with respect to activating the inactive persons and to ease the requirements for employers, but also to prevent the transition of the unemployed persons into persons who fall into the group of the inactive, as well as to shorten the period of transition from unemployment to employment status. As a result, the following specific measures have been proposed:

1. Changing the sanction for persons whose participation in subsidized employment has been terminated by disciplinary dismissal, from a ban on registration at the labor office to a ban on participation in employment or training financed by the state budget. In this way, individuals will not be excluded from jobseekers, they will be able to use employment services, which will be a prevention for moving into the group of the economically inactive, as well as for participation in undeclared employment. In addition, it is envisaged that unemployed persons who have started working in subsidized jobs will remain registered as jobseekers. In this way, they will continue to use employment services, which increases their chance of finding a permanent job in the primary labor market.

2. Reducing the period after which individuals are entitled to re-register as unemployed. Currently, the term for new registration in the labor offices is 6 months, counted from the moment of termination of their previous registration as unemployed. The changes foresee that this period will be reduced to 3 months.

3. Opportunities for jobseekers to use the regulated mediation services for referral to appropriate programs and measures for employment and training, referral to adult education and referral to a procedure for validation of professional knowledge, skills and competences in all Directorates of the "Labour Bureau" regardless of the place of registration.

4. The requirement for employers applying for subsidies under employment promotion measures to hire unemployed persons in workplaces for positions for which they have not terminated employment relationship with workers in the last three months is waved away.

5. The intermediary services provided by the Employment Agency are regulated as an inseparable part of its public functions and tasks for the implementation of the state employment policy.

6. The Employment Agency will certify the circumstances regarding required public obligations, with the exception of obligations under acts that have not entered into force, as well as rescheduled, postponed or secured obligations in accordance with the Tax and Insurance Procedural Code.

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