HR Solutions & Employee Relations in Bulgaria with IRIS  

IRIS HR Consulting has experience helping businesses grow in Bulgaria. Without expert guidance, it can otherwise be risky and costly to leave local laws and legislation open to interpretation. For a scalable, compliant operation, IRIS can manage your HR in Bulgaria to help businesses hire, recruit, and pay staff overseas in new, unfamiliar countries. As an economy that is stable, IRIS can navigate local barriers – from culture to compliance – to arrive at a rewarding opportunity for your business to thrive in this exciting marketplace.  

Take your business to Bulgaria with IRIS HR Consultancy.  

HR in Bulgaria

Global expansion in Bulgaria  

Bulgaria is a small and stable economy with the strongest currency in Eastern Europe. It boasts a population of seven million, where various skills and knowledge are available within its labour market.  

Known as the biggest producer of certain perfumery oils, as well as mining and agricultural industries, Bulgaria is strong destination for companies wanting to expand agriculturally or in the private sector.  

Establishing your business in Bulgaria 

Embarking on a global expansion is a strategic move to gain extra value from exciting foreign markets, which are constantly evolving and full of opportunity. But the international stage isn’t always easy to navigate.  

Before entering the Bulgarian market, you will need to honour labor regulations, which have developed over the years. Establishing a business in Bulgaria will require local knowledge – everything from establishing your operation based on location, to understanding the ‘employees’ market’.  

Complying with these procedures can be easier when you partner with IRIS HR consultants – we can help you reach Bulgarian markets. 

Employment laws in Bulgaria   

When first expanding your business into Bulgaria, navigating local laws, legislation and rules of employment laws is no mean feat, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the country’s strict labour focused policies. Throughout the world map, these laws are almost never universal. Rather, employment is dynamic and reflects the country social, economic, cultural opportunities.  

For example, the Bulgarian Labour Code governs the employment of anyone, regardless of nationality.  

Did you know?

Bulgaria has been steadily becoming a freer economy ever since 1990.  

HR in Sofia

Employment rights & contracts in Bulgaria 

Written employment contracts are required under the Bulgarian code, and it must include legally governed sections such as employee termination, including protection on unfair dismissal. 

Upon signing of an employment contract, it must be filed with the tax office within three working days.  

Hiring & recruitment in Bulgaria  

When getting your first hire overseas, you will need to negotiate terms of employment. But that requires local knowledge, strict compliance, and an understanding of what to include in an offer and thereafter – including before, during and after the commencement of an employment contract. 

What are the working hours in Bulgaria?  

In Bulgaria, the work week is established at a 40 hours, with a maximum of eight hours daily, or five days a week.   

Overtime in Bulgaria 

Overtime is permitted only when the work relates to public security, emergency repair or work safety. Both parties must agree to overtime. Employers must remunerate employees for overtime, rather than provide additional leave or other alternatives. During overtime, employees receive an additional 50% of their salary on weekdays, 75% for holidays and 100% for public holidays.  

Maternity Leave in Bulgaria 

Bulgaria has a generous parental leave scheme. Pregnant employees are entitled to 410 days of paid maternity leave, 45 of which must be taken before the delivery of the baby. This is paid for by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), which is 90% of the employees’ gross salary.  

Once this has expired, the employee is entitled to paid parental leave until the child reaches two years of age. For the first three children this has a maximum of two calendar years, and six months for each additional child.  

Paternal leave 

Paternity leave is 15 days of paid leave after the birth of the child. Once the child has reached six months old, the paternity leave recipient may use any unused maternity leave with consent from their employer.  

Adoptive parental leave 

Adoptive parents are given the same rights as working mothers and fathers, with the strict exception of the pre-birth allowance.  

Public Holidays in Bulgaria

Bulgaria celebrates 11 public holidays, including: 

  • New Year’s Day 
  • Liberation Day 
  • Orthodox Good Friday 
  • Labour Day /Solidarity Day 
  • Orthodox Easter Monday 
  • Culture & Literacy Day 
  • Unification Day 
  • Independence Day 
  • Christmas Eve 
  • Christmas Day 
  • Second Day of Christmas 

If any of the public holidays fall on a Saturday and/or Sunday, the following business days after that public holiday shall be taken as non-working days. 


Employees in Bulgaria receive 11 days off for public holidays, as well as a minimum of 20 days of paid vacation.  

If the employee does not take all their entitlement within a calendar year, they must receive compensation for any unused leave within two years from the date they first got the entitlement.  

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End of Service 

HR in Bulgaria requires compliance not only during an employee’s service, but also at the end of it. End of service might include severance, termination, redundancy, and leaving packages. Or, for globally mobile companies with teams in foreign markets, this could be repatriation services for those returning from an assignment overseas.  

For these more complicated matters, you will need expert HR guidance to navigate Bulgarian labour laws and remain compliant.  

HR in Bulgaria

Termination (including Severance) in Bulgaria 

Depending on the type of contract, the statutory notice period will be different. Indefinite contracts have a minimum 30-day notice period. Yet, fixed-term contracts have a notice requirement set at three months, but no more than the remaining period of the contract.  

There is no statutory severance, but there are some circumstances where pay is required.  

Pensions in Bulgaria 

Instead of a specific pension fund, all Bulgarian employers and employees must contribute to the National Social Security Fund, and upon retirement, indemnities are paid out.  

The amount paid is set by the government and is a combined total of 30.3% of gross salary, 60% of which is paid by the employer.  

Social Security Coverage  

As the social security system provides pensions, health and most other services centrally, paying into it is essential.  

Social security contributions are calculated as follows: 

  • Basic Social Security (unemployment, etc.): 17.3% of gross salary. 
  • Pension Insurance: 5% of gross salary. 
  • Health Insurance: 8% of gross salary. 

Supplemental benefits

Health Insurance  

Bulgaria has a national health insurance fund, and private insurance is not commonly provided.  

Expansion into Bulgaria.

Why Partner With IRIS?

When entering up and coming countries like Bulgaria, you will need an employment specialist to navigate the parts of local laws that are mandatory and those that are not. Delivering a compliant solution, IRIS can help your business arrive into new marketplaces whilst protecting your workforce – our partners can discover power and protection through us.  

Overseas expansions can seem risky to those who dare it alone. Understanding the complexity of a fully compliant solution, IRIS can help businesses reach Bulgaria.  

Our cost-effective, knowledgeable approach to HR in Bulgaria makes us an ideal partner to commence your overseas plans.