The treatment of periods of rest according to Bulgarian labour law

Legal provisions: Articles 151 to 154a of the Bulgarian Labour Code

In Bulgaria the employee is not obligated to perform his work during periods of rest. The period of rest should server recreational purposes.

  1. Breaks during the working day (Article 151 of the Labour Code) – lunch break. The duration of the lunch break is to be defined in the internal regulations. It may not be shorter than 30 minutes. Further, there are physiologically conditioned breaks, regulated in the Enactment regarding physiologically conditioned breaks. These breaks are short and included in the working time.
  2. Daily rest period (Article 152 of the Labour Code) – It may not be shorter than 12 hours. Especially regarding shift work, this period of rest is of great importance.
  3. Weekly rest period (Article 153 of the Labour Code) – this period of rest amounts to two successive days (48 hours) in a 5 day working week. An exception from this general rule is provided by the Labour Code regarding the summarised calculation of the working time. Here, the periods of rest during the week may amount to at least 36 hours. If the summarised calculation of the working time is related to shift work, the period of rest may not be shorter than 24 hours.
  4. Periods of rest after overtime performed during the periods of rest during the week – in this case, the employee may make use of a period of rest of at least 24 hours. The specific day is defined in the employer’s instruction regarding the overtime work.
  5. Legal holdidays (Article 154 of the Labour Code) – there are two different kinds of holidays to be distinguished:
  • Political holidays and holidays according to the calendar: e.g. 1st of January, 3rd of March, 24th of May etc.;
  • Religious holidays: e.g. Easter, Christmas.

In Bulgaria, the work performed on holidays is remunerated according to an agreement between the parties. The remuneration may not be lower than twice of the usual labour remuneration (Article 264 of the Labour Code).

The overtime performed on holidays is remunerated with a bonus increased by 100 % according to Article 262 (1) of the Labour Code.