Updated last 26.03.2021
The Bulgarian legislation recognises many different grounds for the termination of an employment relation, depending on who initiates the termination and the type of the employment contract in place.
What are the different ways to terminate an employment relation?
- Employment termination without notice
- Employment termination with notice
- Employment termination associated with a mutually agreed compensation
|Employment termination without notice
Termination by mutual agreement
|Termination in a hypothesis at which the dismissal of an employee is found unlawful and she/he is reinstated at the job, but does not appear to take it
Termination after expiry of a previously agreed term
Termination upon completion of a specified job
Termination of employment relation upon the return of an employee who was absent
Termination when the position is to be taken by a pregnant woman or an employee with disability
|Termination of employment legal relationship at work commencement of a worker or employee, who has been selected or who has won the competition
Termination due to sickness of the employee
This is only possible if all of the conditions listed below are met:
|Termination of ELR due to determination of the position to be held by a state servant
|Termination as per employee’s initiative
On these grounds an employment legal relationship may be terminated only in the hypotheses, expressly stipulated in the Labor Code:
|Termination, initiated by the employer
The employment relation may be terminated by the employer without notice due to reasons related to the personality and conduct of the employee. The law recognises several options:
|Employment termination with notice
Termination with notice, initiated by the employee
The employee may terminate the employment contract unilaterally, without having to justify his / her request, by giving the employer a notice, which should: be in writing, addressed to the employer, sets out a specific term upon the expiry of which the employment contract will be terminated. The notice period should be stated in the employment contract. At the permanent employment contracts, such term shall not be less than 30 days and longer than 3 months. The term of the termination notice of a fixed-term employment contract is 3 months, but not more than the remainder of the contract’s term.
Termination with notice, initiated by the employer
The employer may terminate the employment contract unilaterally. As oppose to a notice by the employee, at termination of the employment contract with an advance notice by the employer, the employer shall provide reasoning for the termination. The employer shall be entitled to terminate an employment legal relationship only on the grounds, stipulated in the Labor Code.
The employer’s decision may be justified either with reasons, related to the employee or the employer:
– Closure of the company;
– Closure of part of the company;
– Reducing the number of full-time staff;
– Decrease in the volume of work;
– Suspension of the work for more than 15 days;
– When the position held should be vacated for reinstatement of unlawfully fired employee
– Conclusion of management agreement.
– The employee is lacking the skills and ability to perform the assigned tasks;
– The employee is lacking the required level of education and professional qualifications;
– The employee refuses to move with the company when it moves to a different location (settlement or area);
– Vesting of the right to retirement due to insured length of service and age;
– When the employment legal relationship has occurred after the employee has obtained and exercised the right of pension for social security length of service and age
– Objective reason which makes it impossible for the employee to perform the assigned job (legal obstacle, intolerance to immunisations required to carry out the work);
– Change in the requirements for performing the job (if the employee does not meet the new requirements).
The notice period should be set out in the employee’s employment contract, where for fixed-term contracts it should be minimum 3 months (but not more than remainder of the contract’s term), and for indefinite employment contracts it may be between 30 days and 3 months.
Employment termination associated with a mutually agreed compensation
The following conditions should be in place in order for the employer to terminate an employment contract on these grounds (for which no notice is required):
- You have to have made written proposal to the employee;
- You have to have made a proposal for compensation which may not be lower than four times the last gross monthly salary received by the employee;
- You have to have obtained the employee’s written consent that he / she accepts the proposal (the consent should be given within 7 days after the receipt of the proposal);
- You have to pay the compensation within 1 month after the termination of the employment contract, because otherwise it will not be deemed terminated and the employee may return to work.
What are the compensations the employer owes after the termination of an employment relation?
Liabilities to pay compensations arise for the employer as a result of the terminated employment relation depending on the grounds for the termination. Generally, such liabilities may include:
- Compensation for termination of an employment legal relationship without advance notice (the indemnification is in the amount of the gross wage for the term of the advance notice – in case of permanent employment legal relationship, and in the amount of the actual damages – in case of a fixed-term employment legal relationship);
- Compensation for not keeping the term of the advance notice – the indemnification is in the amount of the gross wage of the worker/ employee for the term of the advance notice that is not kept;
- Compensation in case of firing (laying-off) as a result of closing the enterprise or a part thereof, reducing the number of the full-time employees, decrease of the work’s volume, suspension of the work for more than 15 business days, in case of a refusal of the worker or employee to follow the enterprise or its unit, in which she/he works, when it moves to another place or area, or when the held by the employee position should be vacated for reinstatement of unlawfully fired worker or employee, who has held previously the job position, the worker or employee shall be entitled to an indemnification from the employer (such indemnification is in the amount of the gross wage for the time, during which she/he has been left without a job, but for no more than 1 month);
- Compensation at termination of the employment legal relationship due to sickness (the indemnification is in the amount of the gross wage for a term of 2 months, if the employee has at least 5 years of employment length and during the last 5 years employment has not received any indemnification on the same grounds);
- Compensation at termination of the employment legal relationship, after the worker or employee has acquired right to pension for social security length of employment and age, irrespective of the termination grounds (the indemnification is in the amount of 2 months gross wage, and if the employee has at the same employer or in the same group of companies 10 years employment length of service during the last 20 years – she/he is entitled to indemnification in the amount of her/his gross wage for 6 months. For some professions the law provides for higher amounts of the indemnification);
- Compensation for unlawful firing (the indemnification is in the amount of the gross wage for the time, during which the employee has been unemployed as a result of such firing, but not more than 6 months);
- Compensations for unused paid annual leave.
Which employees are protected by law in case of termination? (i.e. which employees may be terminated only with the prior permission from the Labour Inspectorate):
- Employees with disabilities;
- Employees suffering from certain diseases (such employees should have been certified by a medical board);
- Pregnant women or women on leave due to pregnancy or birth;
- Employees – mothers of children of up to 3 years of age;
- Employees on leave;
- Trade union activists or employees appointed to represent the employees or representatives of the workers concerning health and safety at work;
- An employee who is a member of a special negotiations body of a European worker’s council or representative body in a European commercial / cooperative entity;
Worker or employee, who is selected as the employees’ representative on the health and safety issues.
|Important to know
To terminate the employment relation with a protected employee, the employer must obtain a permission in writing by the District Labour Inspectorate, on the territory of which the registered address of the employer is. Such a permission is requested and given or refused for each individual case, i.e. for each employee. The opinion of the medical board and / or trade union must be requested for the termination of certain categories of employees.
|For more information
Additional information related to the various options for the termination of the employment relation and more specific requirements thereto is available here.