To succeed in your expansion into Bulgaria, employers and employees must have a strong understanding of the Bulgarian work culture. The Republic of Bulgaria’s expanding and increasingly diversified economy, interaction with its regional neighbours and membership in global institutions have many attractions for foreign companies and international investment.
Bulgaria has a Black Sea coastline and includes the River Danube, which marks most of its border with Romania, a mountainous interior and sprawling lowlands. Bulgaria also has borders with Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. At the eastern end of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria is at the crossroads of north-south routes to the Mediterranean basin and from the west and central Europe to the Middle East. Culture and heritage include Greek, Ottoman, Persian and Slavic influences, and it is one of the oldest nations of continental Europe. There is a mix of east and west as displayed by its heritage, architecture, cuisine and religions. Bulgarians comprise 80% of the population, with Turks the most significant minority, plus Armenians, Russians, Greeks and Romanians.
Bulgaria joined the European Union (EU) in 2007, NATO in 2004 and the International Monetary Fund in 1990. It is also a member of the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. Bulgaria is pursuing membership in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and is part of the OECD’s South East Europe regional program. Membership of the EU’s ‘free market’ means incoming companies and workers will be part of a varied employment market likely to feature several nationalities.
As a global Professional Employment Organisation (PEO), we aim to be familiar and updated with the business culture in the country we work with and in. By sharing our knowledge about the Bulgarian work culture, we want to support your Global Expansion plans.
The 2022 minimum remained at BGN 645 (€332, US$349) per month, as set by the Council of Ministers. However, there were proposals in April 2022 from the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation to increase the minimum to BGN 710 (€363, US$382) per month.
Trial periods are a maximum of six months. If the probation exceeds the fixed-term trial period, the arrangement becomes permanent and indefinite.
The regular working week is 40 hours based on five eight-hour days, as ruled in the Labour Code. The permitted 30-minute break is not considered working time. Employers can increase working hours by written agreement or consultation with workers’ representatives to 10 hours daily.
Working extra hours cannot exceed 150 annually or 30 in a calendar month, six hours a week or more than three hours on two consecutive days. Remuneration above basic hourly pay is 50% on regular work days, 75% for working on holidays and 100% on public holidays.