The employment record book and seniority
I. The employment record book
In Bulgaria, the employment record book is an official certification issued by the employer according to a form approved by the state. The employment record book certifies the truthfulness of the recorded data related to the employee’s work life.
The legal regulations regarding the employment record book may be found in the Articles 347 to 350 of the Labour Code, in the Regulation regarding the employment record book and seniority, in Instruction N° 7 regarding the registration of execution notifications into the employment record book and passport (from 1987).
In Bulgaria, the employment record book is an official document and holds a certification function. The registrations into the employment record book may be done by specific persons – the employer or a person authorized by him (e.g. accountants, tax advisers), respectively by the Bulgarian Labour Inspectorate in case of loss or by the employment office in case of termination of the contract.
In Bulgaria, the employer must issue the employment record book with the start of the employment. The employee is entitled to store the employment record book (Article 348 (3) of the Labour Code). The employee may give his employment record book to the employer for safekeeping. If the employer requests the employment record book or if new data must be registered, the employee must hand the employment record book over to the employer.
According to Article 349 of the Labour Code, the employment record book contains the following information:
- Name, date and place of birth;
- Facts and circumstances regarding the professional qualification of the employee (education, professional education etc.);
- Information regarding the job of the employee (enterprise, remuneration);
- Information regarding the beginning and the end of the employment relationship (date of the start of the employment, reasons for the employment and reasons for the termination);
- The time recognized as performed working time;
- The compensation paid in case of termination of the contract;
- Notifications regarding distraint notices measures according to Article 512 (4) of the Civil procedure code.
II. Professional experience (Length of Employment Service)
The legal regulations regarding what is considered to be length of employment service may be found in Articles 351 to 356 of the Labour Code, in the Regulation regarding the employment record book and seniority and the Enactment from 1961 regarding the assessment of professional experience through judicial procedures.
Professional experience is the time that the employee performed his work and – if not provided otherwise by law – also the time that the employee was employed as a civil servant. For that purpose, an employment contract needs to have been concluded. Professional experience is measured by days, months and years. One day counts as a whole working day if the employee did not work less than half of the legally provided daily working time (meaning not less than 4 hours). Regarding part-time work, one day of seniority is acquired when the part-time amounts to half of the full time. One month is accounted to the professional experience if the employee did not work less than 21 days within one month and a working week of 5 days; one year - if the employee worked for 12 months.
In the following cases the professional experience is recognized in Bulgaria also for the time that the employee did not perform his work but an employment contract had been concluded:
- Periods of time during which the employee is entitled to other rights than those provided by law (e.g. vacation, holidays);
- If the employee cannot perform his work due to reasons for which he is not responsible;
- In cases defined by the council of ministers.
The law provides some cases as well where there is no employment relationship per se but the time is accounted to the seniority (Article 354 of the Labour Code).