New Rules for Remote Work in Bulgaria

8 April 2024

Newsletter - New Rules for Remote Work in Bulgaria

The most recent and long anticipated amendments to the Bulgaria Labour Code were promulgated in the State Gazette on March 29, 2024. The changes aim to supplement the existing legal regime for remote work and establish clear rules on the issues which have appeared in practice.

Requirements for health and safety at work

According to the amendments an employee shall choose the remote workplace to work from and provide the employer with written information about its characteristics. The employer, on the other hand, shall ensure that the remote workplace satisfies the minimum requirements for health and safety at work as set out in the Health and Safety Work Act and the legal regulations on its application.

In the event of a work accident, the employee shall notify immediately the employer, his/her line manager or an authorized person. The employer’s liability may be reduced if it is established that the injured employee is responsible for the accident due to gross negligence but also if the work accident is associated with employee’s failure to comply with the prescribed health and safety requirements for remote work.

Flexibility in determining the workplace

Along with the nature of the remote work and the terms for its implementation, an individual employment agreement shall specify one or more places of work where the employee will work from. According to the amendments an employer is entitled to change the workplace for no more than 30 working days per year upon a written request on the employee side. The mechanics of this procedure must be appointed in the individual employment contract and/or in the internal acts of the company employer.

Right of uninterrupted rest

It is explicitly provided for in the law that an employee is not obliged to respond to any communication initiated by the employer during the daily and weekly rest period, unless exceptions are agreed in the applicable individual and/or collective employment contract. Said communication may include telephone calls, messages via emails, applications, etc.

Reporting and Work Performance

An alternative method for reporting working hours is introduced. En employee may use a time recording system (i.e. is a system that automatically records and stores the relevant information).  Upon request the employer is obliged to grant the employee access to his/her working hours data.

If an information system for making automated decisions is used for the purposes of assignment, report or control over of an employee’s performance, the employer shall provide written information about the type and volume of work-related data that is collected, processed and stored in the system. If the automated decisions affect the rights of the employee, the employee is entitled to request a second review of such a decision by filing a written request to the employer.

This document does not constitute legal advice and it only aims to provide general non-exhaustive information about the legislative landscape to date.

Victoria Marincheva, Senior Associate