Types of employment contracts

Updated last 26.03.2021

This section provides information on:

  • The differences between employment contracts and civil contracts;
  • Different types of employment contracts;
  • Different types of fixed-term employment contracts;
  • Required elements of the employment contract.

What is the difference between labour contracts and civil contracts?

The table below summarises the key differences between a labour contract and a civil contract. It is important to note that there are two types of civil contracts: a civil contract to provide a final product and a civil contract for services.

Employment contract Civil contract

Subject matter of the contract

Delivering a certain job – the employee obliges to provide their wok force.

Civil contract to provide a final product: the objective is to achieve a specific result

Civil contract for services: the objective is to perform specific legal actions

Internal relations

The employee works under the control of the employer and in accordance with the established by the latter internal rules and work discipline

The assignee is independent

Repetition of the work

Contract for continuing performance of the job

One-off execution is assumed

Allocation of the risk

The employee / worker bears no risk of the economic activity – such risk is assumed by the employer

The risk is borne by the assignee

Location of the job

Agreed between the employer and the employee and is most often at the registered address of the employer

Determined by the assignee

Performance of duties and obligations The duties and obligations are performed personally by the employee / worker It’s not mandatory for the obligations to be performed by the assignees themselves
Form of the contract The contract shall be mandatory in written form The contract may also be an oral contract

Legislative framework

Labour code Obligations and Contracts Act

What are the various types of employment contracts?

  • Fixed-term employment contract;

Employment contract for a probation period (signed before the signing of a final employment contract; its main purpose is to ensure that the intended employment contract is aligned with both parties’ interests);

Important to know
Important to know

When you are drafting an employment contract for a probation period, do not forget

  • To define whom the defined probation arrangement is beneficial for;
  • To clearly state the duration of the probation period;
  • The maximum duration of a probation period is 6 months;
  • An employment contract for a probation period may be signed only once with one and the same employee, for one and the same type of work, in one and the same company.

  • Employment contract for an indefinite period of time;
  • Employment contract for additional work with the same employer;
  • Employment contract for additional work with another employer;
  • Employment contract for work during specific days during the month;
  • Employment contract for short-term seasonal agricultural work;
  • Employment contract with an on-the-job training term;
  • Employment contract for an internship;
  • Employment contract for home work;
  • Employment contract with an enterprise, providing temporary work.

For more information
For more information More information on the types of employment contracts is available here.

What are the different types of fixed-term employment contracts?

  • For a specific term – the specific period of time for which the contract is signed should be explicitly stated; it may not exceed 3 years.
  • For completion of a specific task – the term of the contract is determined by the time required for the completion of the agreed task; therefore, the specific task (and the expected result) should be explicitly defined in the contract; there is no limit as to the maximum duration of this type of fixed-term contact.
  • For the substitution of an employee who is currently absent – the contract may be signed for the substitution of an employee who is employed either under an employment contract for an indefinite period of time or under a fixed-term contract; the term of this contract is determined based on the return date of the absent employee – holder of the position. Therefore, this fixed-term employment should specify explicitly the holder of the position who is currently absent.
  • For the duration of a job contest – a job contest is announced for the respective position. During the duration of the job contest, the respective position should be filled. This fixed-term contract may be signed at any time during the job contest procedure;
  • For set mandate – when the worker or employee, in the performance of her/his activity, provides assistance to certain mandate body for the term of the mandate thereof (mandate bodies are, for example, the President, the Mayor, the Council of Ministers, etc.);
  • For the term of a long-term mission in a consular, diplomatic or other representation of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad – when an employee from the diplomatic service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or from other governmental institution is sent to a long-term work abroad.

Important to know
Important to know
  • A fixed-term employment contract may be transformed into an employment contract for an indefinite period of time if after the expiration of the agreed term, the employee continues to work for 5 or more working days without written objection by the employer.
  • Employment contract for an indefinite period of time may turn into a fixed-term contract with the explicit consent of the employee.
  • The fixed-term employment contract for a set time is concluded for the performance of temporary, seasonal or short-term activities.

For more information
For more information
  • Additional information on fixed-term employment contracts is available here.
  • Additional information on the regulatory framework related to the different types of employment contracts is available on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

What are the required elements of the employment contract?

Every employment contract must include the following elements:

  • Place of work;
  • Position and type of the work assigned;
  • Date of execution of the employment contract and working starting date of the employee;
  • Term of the employment contract;
  • Duration of the basic, extended and additional (if applicable) paid annual leave;
  • Duration of the notice period in case of termination of the employment contract, which should be identical for the employer and the employee;
  • Gross monthly remuneration and fixed additional benefits (such as remuneration for length of service and professional experience) as well as the periodicity of the payment thereof;
  • Duration of the working day or week.

At each change of the employment legal relationship the employer shall, as soon as possible, (but not later than one month after the change’s entry in effect) provide the worker or employee with written information for the changes made.