Termination of the employment contract by the employer in Bulgaria

I. Reasons for termination according to Article 328 of the Labour Code

The Bulgarian labour law provides several reasons for termination by the employer that, if they are present, allow the employer to terminate the employment contract with a written letter of notice according to the time limits of Article 326 (2) of the Labour Code:

  1. Closing down the enterprise;
  2. Partial closing down or personnel reduction;
  3. Reduction of the volume of work;
  4. Work stoppage for more than 15 working days;
  5. When an employee lacks the qualities for efficient work performance;
  6. When an employee does not have the necessary education or vocational training for the assigned work;
  7. When an employee refuses to follow an enterprise or a division thereof, in which he is employed, when it is relocated to another community or locality;
  8. If an employee that had been dismissed unlawfully must be reinstated to his old position;
  9. Upon reaching 65 years of age for professors, lecturers and doctors;
  10. If the employment relationship has been founded after the employee acquired and exercised the right on pension for retirement age;
  11. If the requirements of the work amended to a level that the employee cannot fulfil due to lacking qualification;
  12. In case of objective impossibility to fulfill the employment contract.

The notice period in Bulgaria is 30 days if not otherwise agreed. The agreed notice period may not exceed 3 months.

In case of termination due to partial close down of the company, personnel reduction or reduction of the volume of work, the employer obtains, according to Article 329 of the Labour Code, a right (that can be seen as an obligation as well) of selection and may dismiss employees whose positions have not been made redundant, in order to retain employees of higher qualifications and better performance.

II. Extraordinary termination without notice by the employer (Article 330 of the Labour Code)

The employer is entitled to terminate a contract without notice according to Article 330 (1, 2) of the Labour Code under the following circumstances:

  1. If the employee is detained for the execution of a sentence; The following cases provide an obligation for the employer to terminate the contract;
  2. Whenever an employee has been divested by sentence of the court or by an administrative order of the right to practice a profession or to occupy the position to which he has been appointed;
  3. Whenever an employee is divested of his academic degree, if the contract of employment has been concluded in view of his holding the degree;
  4. If the employee has been deleted from the respective professional register (regarding pharmacists, doctors etc.)
  5. Whenever an employee refuses to take a suitable job offered to him in case of medically prescribed reassignment;
  6. In cases of disciplinary dismissal.

III. Termination of the contract against compensation by initiative of the employer (Article 331 of the Labour Code)

In Bulgaria, the employer may offer the employee the termination of the employment against the payment of compensation. If the employee does not comment on this offer within a time period of 7 days, it is considered as a refusal of the offer.

If the employee accepts the offer, the employer is obliged to pay compensation no less than the quadruple size of the last received monthly gross remuneration.

IV. Termination of a contract for additional work (Article 334 of the Labour Code)

The contract for additional work as described in Articles 110, 111, and 114 of the Labour Code may be terminated with a 15 day notice. The protection regarding irregular dismissal (Article 333) is not applicable.

V. Moment of the termination (Article 335 (2) of the Labour Code)

Article 335 (2) provides the following options:

  • Regarding termination with notice: upon expiry of the notice period;
  • In case of non-observance of the notice period: with the expiry of the respective obligatory period;
  • Regarding cancellations without notice: with the receipt of the written unilateral statement for the termination of the employment contract.