Live & Work in Bulgaria. Live & Work in Bulgaria. Live & Work in Bulgaria. I. Summary Area - 110 994 sq. km Population - 7 974 000 Capital - Sofia Official language - Bulgarian Government type - Parliamentary republic
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II. EURES network in Bulgaria
1. National structure of EURES in Bulgaria:
2. Typical tasks of EURES advisers in Bulgaria
III. Labourmarket inBulgaria
RepublicofBulgariaisdevidedinto 6 economicregions /North-Western, North-Central, North-Eastern, South-Western and South-Eastern/ and 28 administrative districts.
During February 2007 theaveragerateofregisteredunemployment was 9.48%. The regional unemployment rate varies within wide range but there is a lower rates tendency shown in several districts as: Sofia (2.08%), Bourgas (5.53%), Gabrovo (4.87%), Varna (7.225%), Blagoevgrad (7.84%) and Pernik (7.76%). Sofia, Burgas, Gabrovo and Varna districts have reached a rate of unemployment lower than the average for the EU-27 which is 7.9% in 2006. Districts with highes unemployment rates are: Turgovishte (20.56%), Montana (17.77%), Vidin (17.23%), Razgrad (16.32%) and Shoumen (17.22%).
Unemployment rate in February 2007 by administrative districtsPicture 1
Country average rate 9,48%
2. Labour market shortages
During 2006 jobvacancesinthemanufactureindustrywerethemostlyopened, followedby tradeandrepairsofautomobileandhouseholdappliances, education, agriculturebranch, construction – housebuilders, casingworkers, house-painters, carpenters, roadconstructors etc. In Bulgaria tourism is one of the most rapidly developing sectors. Yet we need workers in hotel and restaurant services - waiters, chefs and cooks, chambermaids.
Recently the Bulgarian labour market suffers from asignificantlackofhighly-skilled professionals in the engineering and technical field - engineers, IT specialists, information and communication technology specialists, technicians. We also suffer shortage of welders, electricians, expertsinlaboursafety, nurses and professionals speaking foreign languages.
3. Labour market surpluses
In 2006 thebiggestshare of unemployed were people withqualificationinthefieldofengineeringandtechnology,followedbypeoplespecialized in field of economics, law, socialsciences, agriculture, educationandhumanities and art. Alittlebitlessarespecialistsinservices, transportation, securityand life guard, health care and exact sciences.
IV. Finding job in Bulgaria
1. How to find work
Bulgaria has fully opened its labour market for all the EU/EEA citizens. They may register in the Local Labour Office Directorates in Bulgaria where they will be provided with job matching services. One may check for vacancies on the NEA web site www.az.government.bg.
Other possibility is to look for a job through the newspapers /there are advertisements every day/, through Internet – www.job.com, http://jobs.gbg.bg, www.jobtiger.bg or by personal contacts.
2. How to apply for work
When applying for a job one should prepare a CV – in most cases the standart European template is used. Often a motivation letter is enclosed. Other documents needed: diplomas /translated into Bulgarian/, documents proving vocational training /if any/, documents proving length of service, Medical sertificate, Police report /wheter the candidate has been charged with some kind of crime or has been given a sentence/.
3. Kinds of employment
The oficial minimum age for starting work in Bulgaria is 16 years. As an exception people aged 15 and 16 may be hired with a special permission from The Labour Inspection Office.
Employees in Bulgaria can be hired for a limited period of time or for a permanent work , for a full time /in the most cases/ or for a part time work. The full time working day is 8 hours per a day. Usually the employers prefer to first hire workers with a contract with a probation period /the probation period may not be longer than 6 months/. No matter for what perion the worker is hired, a labour contract is obligatory. The contract should be concluded before the worker starts work. Within a 3-day period the employer is obliged to send a Notification for each contract to the National Revenue Agency /NRA/. The worker should be provided with copies of the contract and of the NRA Notification.
If an employee wants to leave he/she may terminate a contract of employment by giving the employer a notice in writing. The notice period for terminating a contract /either by the employee or the employer/ is 30 days.
4. Minimum and average salary
At present the guaranteed minimum salary per month in Bulgaria Is 180 lv (about 95 Euro). The average salary is 397 lv per month (about 200 Euro). Tis is the main reason that motivates Bulgarians to look for a job out of our country.
5. Annual leave
Any worker has the right for a paid annual leave. The duration of the basic
paid annual leave is no less than 20 work days /if the worker has completed 6 months length of service/. Bulgarian employees didn’t work on the official public holidays which are: January 1 – New Year, March 3 – National day , May 1 – the day of labour, May 6 – St. George day /the day of bravery and Bulgarian armed forces/, May 24 – the day of the Bulgarian education and creating of the Bulgarian and slavic alphabet , September 6 - Unification day, September 22 – Independence day,December 24 – Christmas Eve, December 24 and 25 – Christmas, Easter.
The workers should use their annual leave in the year it belongs. They may delay it onli with a permission from the employer.
6. Illness leave
If illness occurs, the employer may use leave due to illness – in that case he/she should present to the employer a medical document. During the leave due to general sickness the worker receives daily cash benefit which is calculated as 80 per cent, and for temporary incapacity due to work injury and occupational sickness as 90 per cent of the average daily gross wage.
The benefit for temporary incapacity due to general sickness, for temporary incapacity due to work injury and occupational sickness and for pregnancy and maternity are paid by the National Social Security Institute through a bank account, designated by the ensured person. Only for the first day of the incapacity the insurer /employer/ pays the employee the average daily gross wage for the month in which the incapacity has occurred.
7. Maternity leave
Female employees are entitled to pregnancy and childbirth leave of 315 days for each child. 45 days of these leave are used obligatory before giving birth. During this leave the mother receives a cash benefit that is 90% of her average daily remuneration.
After the leave for pregnancy and childbirth /or adoption/ , the mother is entitled an additional paid leave for rising first, second and third child until the children reach an age of 2 years. The additional leave for each subsequent child is 6 months. The right for this additional leave may be transferred to the father or to one of the parents who work under labour contract. For this 2-yaers paid leave the beneficier receives a cash compensation. After having used the the 2-year paid leave any of the parents, if they work under a labour contract, have the right to use an unpaid leave up to 6 months for taking care of a child before he/she reaches the age of 8 years. This leave is recognized as length of service.
V. Living conditions
1. Entering Bulgaria/Residence Permit
EU/EEA citizens may enter Bulgaria and reside here up to 3 months only with their ID card/passport. After the 3-month period of residing the EU/EEA citizens may receive a long-term Residence Permit up to 5 years if they start work in the country or are self-employed, or are enrolled in an education course /incl. vocational training/. After expiry of the 5-year period the EU/EEA citizens may acquire a permanent Residence permit. The residence permits are issued by the National Police Service – www.mfa.government.bg /the site of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior/.
2. Finding accommodation
In Bulgaria one can freely bye or rent a flat/house. When renting, usually a contract between the tenant and the landlord is concluded. Information both for hiring and buying a flat/house can be found in the national daily newspapers. When buying a flat/house the needed documents include both buyer and the seller’s ID cards as well as documents proving the owner of the housing. One may search for housing through Real Estate Agencies but this way is usually more expensive. The costs considerably vary depending on the city, the location of the housing, its state /old - new, furnished - part-furnished etc/. Country average house market price – 846.5 lv /sq.m
3. Cost of living
The prices of the food products and beverage in Bulgaria are still lower than in the rest of the European countries which makes the country a comfortable place to live in.
The shops which sell food are opened from 7.30 a.m till 8.00 p.m 6 days in week. On Sunday they usually close earlier – at about 4.00 or 5.00p.m
In the bigger cities there are big stores where any kinds of products can be found.
4. Child care and Education
There are kindergartens everywhere in Bulgaria /even in the small villages,
with a very few exceptions/. The children are allowed in the kindergartens when
they have reached the age of 3 years. Anyway there are also crèches where
cares for babies are provided. There is also an alternative for hiring a private
babycare but it is available mainly in the bigger towns and in the cities.
In Bulgaria the education is obligatory for children who have completed 7 years /or if the parents decide – 6 years/ till they reach 16 years. The state school education is free for Bulgarian citizens, for foreign citizens who have acquired permanent residence in Bulgaria or for whom this issue is set by a bilateral agreement, and for children up to 16 years who reside in the country with their parents – EU/EEA and Switzerland citizens who work in Bulgaria. For these children a free training in Bulgarian language is provided as well as a training in co-operation with their country of origin
There are language schools in the biggest cities /German, English – these are the most widespread language schools, there are also Spanish, French, Russian schools/. In almost every big town there is a school where there are classes only for a particular language.
5. Health system
Health care in Bulgaria is conducted by the Ministry of health – www.mh.government.bg . The expenditure of the health insurance contributions is governed by the National Health Insurance Fund - www.nhif.bg. Insured people have the right to profit the services provided by medical professionals and by medical institutions that have sighed contracts with the National Health Insurance Fund.
Every insured person should choose a personal medical specialist -GP. If the personal doctor is not competent about the particular illness, he sends the patient to a specialist. Thease visits are free of charge – only a visit tax is paid and it’s 1% of the minimum salary. For each day spent by an insured patient in a hospital a bed tax is paid and it’s 2% of the minimal salary.
In Bulgaria there are a big number of private hospitals and specialized medical offices that have not signed contracts with the National Health Insurance Fund . The health care they provide is paid by the patient, no matter if heis insured or not.
VI. Taxation and social insurance
According to the Personal Income Tax Acta subject for taxation in Bulgaria are domestic individuals /that means persons whose permanent address is in Republic of Bulgaria, or persons who reside in Republic of Bulgaria more than 183 days in each 12 months, or persons for whom Bulgaria is their vital interests place/ and foreign individuals /all the other persons not included in the list of the domestic individuals/. Domestic individuals are taxable on income earned from sources in Bulgaria and from foreign countries. Foreign individuals are taxable on income earned from sources in Bulgaria.
Wages for labour performed on the territory of Bulgaria are taxable as a source from Bulgaria.
During 2007 tax bases on which taxes are due are defined as follows:
The annual tax base is formed as a sum of the monthly tax bases. The tax on the income
from salary payment is monthly deducted and paid in the National Revenue Agency /NRA/
by the employer. If the salary is the only source of an employee’s income, there is no need a
tax declaration to be filled. If there are other sources of income, a tax declaration should be
filled and rendered to the NRA.
Families who raise children under age of 18 can profit from annual tax
concessions. They have to fill in a tax declaration and the annual tax base is
reduced as follows:
2. Social insurance
According to the Bulgarian legislation insurance contributions are allocated in:
The amount for which contributions are owed includes all kinds of
remuneration and income from labor. The ratio between the employer’s
and employee’s social insurance rates is 65% to 35 % /this is the ratio
for 2007 – in the Social Insurance Code it is written that it is changing in
the fallowing years/ plus the Work injury and occupational sickness
fund at the expense of the employer.
Public social insurance shall provide benefits, assistance and pensions in the
The following groups of persons are obliged to be insured for all social
The following groups of persons are obliged to be insured for disability
due to general sickness, for old age and death:
Social insurance commences on the day the person starts the
performance of labor activity and continues until its termination.
For civil servants all social contributions are paid by the state.
This information is part of the much detailed data about Bulgaria that is going to be published soon at
the Eures Info Portal and probably will endure some changes.