Employment: Your rights and obligations

Employment: Your rights and obligations

Statistics show that many international young people from different fields of employment find great job opportunities in Bulgaria and often move here for work.

Are you looking for employment in Bulgaria?

Whether you are in the role of the employer or the employee, you need to know some basic aspects and terms of the Bulgarian labour law first.

What is an employment relationship?

This is the relationship between an employer and an employee. It is regulated by the labour law, according to which:

  1. The employer is obliged to provide an appropriate work environment and conditions and to pay the employee’s agreed remuneration.
  2. The employee is obliged to perform the agreed work tasks and to maintain the established work discipline.

Here, there is a characteristic difference compared to the civil contract for services. Within a labour relationship, the employee does not owe specific results but has to diligently perform a specific job.

The Labour Code is that which precisely states what the grounds for the emergence of such a relationship are. They can be the following:

  • employment contracts;
  • competitive examination;
  • elections;
  • administrative acts. 

The content of the relationship defines the rights and obligations of both the employer and the employee.

Employers: Rights and obligations

Employers can be any natural person, a legal entity or a division of it, or any other organizationally and economically autonomous entity that employs personnel independently.

An employer has the following rights:

  • administrative power (organisational power);
  • specific power of authority (sets the internal code of conduct);
  • disciplinary power (imposes disciplinary measures on employees who fail to comply with their obligations).

Employers have the following obligations:

  • provision of normal working conditions so that employees can perform their job;
  • payment of labour remuneration;
  • making payments for the social security contributions for each employee for all social security risks.

Moreover, employers issue instructions and regulations, which can be done orally or in writing. They are binding for the employees (if they are lawful).

Do you need legal advice and assistance? Contact our experienced lawyers.


Employees: Rights and obligations

Those doing mainly physical labour are classified as employees, while persons doing mental labour are called clerks.

Employees are obliged to:

  • perform their job during the specified work time;
  • maintain the established work discipline.

For a natural person to enter into an employment relationship, two conditions must be fulfilled:

  1. The person must be in an appropriate state of health, which is verified with a medical certificate.
  2. The person must not be under a specific age.
  • In Bulgaria, the required minimum age for entering into a labour relationship is 16 years. Otherwise, the contract will be invalid.

However, there are some exceptions.

  • The minimum age is 18 years for positions involving difficult, dangerous or harmful work, for example one related to biological, physical or chemical threats. See Article 304 of the Labour Code for more information.

There are 3 cases in which the minimum age can be lower than 16:

  • 15 years for jobs that are easy, safe and harmless to one’s health and normal, mental and moral development;
  • 13 years for boys and 14 years for girls for work in the circus;
  • No minimum age required regarding art activities.

However, note that those under 15 years of age are subject to a specific regulation. They can be employed in artistic fields only with their parent’s or representative’s written consent and the labour inspectorate’s agreement.

The employers’ age must be verified by means of their identity card or birth certificate.


The labour market shows that Bulgaria can offer numerous employment opportunities, both short term and long term.

However, always make sure to collect information about a company before you accept its job offer.

If you need any help regarding the labour law and documentation in Bulgaria or require a consultation with a good labour lawyer, contact us. We will help resolve all your legal issues.


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