Work and Wages

This page was last updated on: 2021-09-01

Minimum Wage

In accordance with article 48(5) of the Constitution, workers and employees have the right to guaranteed minimum pay. Labour Code as well as separate decrees have provisions on the minimum wage.

There is a single national minimum wage in the country determined by a decree. There are no sectoral, occupational or regional minimum wages in the country.

The regulation of industrial relations (and all related matters including the minimum wage) by the State is carried out in cooperation and after mandatory consultations with workers' and employers' representative organizations. The National Council carries out the above cooperation and consultation at the national level for Tripartite Cooperation.

The Council has two representatives each of the Council of Ministers, representative organizations for workers (and employees) and employers.  The Council of Ministers works towards fixing of the national minimum wage, types and amounts of additional labour remuneration and of the benefits under an employment relationship in so far these are not fixed under the Code.

The criteria for determining and updating minimum wage includes needs of workers and their families, cost of living, level of wages and incomes in the country, social security benefits, economic development, productivity, level of employment and relevant living standards of other social groups.

During the training period of 6 months, apprentices receive labour remuneration in proportion to the work done but not less than 90% of the national minimum wage.

Minimum wage is adjusted automatically as rates are indexed to the cost of living. In addition, the social partners enters into a national inter-sectoral agreement after every 02 years. This agreement sets the maximum margin within which labour costs can increase.

Labour inspectors assure the enforcement of collective agreements. They may enter workplaces and inspect the records and documents necessary to ensure compliance. Failure to pay a minimum wage rate as set in a mandatory collective agreement entered into within a National Labour Council or joint committee results in an employer or their agent being liable to a penalty of either imprisonment for between 8 days and 1 month, or a fine, or both.

Sources: §48(5) of the Constitution of Bulgaria 1991, last amended in 2015; §03, 218 & 244 of Labour Code 1986, last amended in 2018; Decree No. 129 concerning the transition towards negotiations on wages; §04 & 56 of the Collective Agreements and Joint Committees Act 1968; §06 of the Act Concerning Employment Promotion and Competition

Regular Pay

Wage payment is regulated under the Labour Code. Basic monthly remuneration is paid for the work performance within one month. Besides, it is the basis for calculating the years of service. The monthly basic remuneration is part of the monthly gross remuneration. It includes the basic remuneration and the additional remunerations that are contributed for the payment of the social security contributions and the flat tax rate of 10% made by the employee. Agreed remuneration is the remuneration agreed upon by the parties in the employment contract or according to the Labour Code.

A contract is required to specify the basic and supplementary labour remuneration of permanent nature and the frequency of its payment. The labour remuneration has to be paid in cash however additional remuneration or part thereof may be paid in kind if it is provided in an act of Council of Ministers, a collective agreement or an employment contract.

Labour remuneration is paid at the enterprise where work is performed. Wages are paid in advance or twice a month as a final payment unless otherwise agreed. The labour remuneration is paid to the factory or office worker in person under a payroll or against a receipt. Wages can be paid to the relatives of a worker upon the written request by a worker. At the written request of a worker, wages are deposited to a bank named by the employee.

Generally, no deductions may be made from a worker's wages without worker's consent. Certain deductions have been allowed which include deductions for advance payments received, amount overpaid as a result of technical error, deductible taxes, social insurance contributions and other deductions allowed under the law.

During COVID 19, the Bulgarian government started a 60/40 wage subsidy program to avoid worker layoffs. The program allows Bulgarian authorities to finance 60% of the wage costs, including social security contributions. The program was extended twice and was last extended till 31 December 2020. 

sources: §66 & 269-272 of the Labour Code 1986, last amended in 2018

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • Конституция на Република България 1991 г., последно изменена през 2007 г. / Constitution of Bulgaria 1991, last amended in 2007
  • Кодекс на труда 1986 г., последно изменен през 2017 г. / Labour Code 1986, last amended in 2017
  • Постановление № 249 от 31 октомври 2013 за определяне на нов размер на минималната работна заплата / Decree No. 249 of 31 October 2013 setting the new amount of minimum wage
  • Постановление № 129 за изменение на наредбата за заплатите / Decree No. 129 concerning the transition towards negotiations on wages

<!-- /15944428/ --> <div id='div-gpt-ad-1604915830963-0'> <script> googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1604915830963-0'); }); </script> </div>