How to hire and pay employees in Bulgaria

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Before hiring


Before hiring employees in Bulgaria, there are a few important things you’ll need to know. Firstly, in Bulgaria, there’s something called "length of service" pay, which is an incremental increase of 0.6% on an employee’s salary for each year they have worked at a company or in a similar profession.

It’s also important to know that in Bulgaria, post-employment non-compete agreements are invalid and unenforceable.

We know this might sound overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. A solution like Oyster eliminates the barriers for you. With Oyster, you can automate compliance across 180+ countries, easily managing HR and payroll—all in one, easy-to-use platform. 

Get an overview of what you need to know when hiring in Bulgaria below.

At a glance









(based on region;
see here


18.92% - 19.62%

of gross salary

13th / 14th SALARY


Good to know

  • In Bulgaria, there is "length of service" pay, which is an incremental increase of 0.6% on an employee’s salary for each year they have worked at a company or in a similar profession. The most common practice is to offer salaries inclusive of the "length of service" pay amount.
  • An employer in Bulgaria may offer to terminate an employment contract in exchange for a severance payment. If the worker accepts the offer, the employer is obliged to pay severance in the amount no less than four times his last gross monthly salary.
  • Employees must use their annual paid leave (at once or in parts) within the relevant calendar year.

Labor laws in


Working hours and overtime

Employees in Bulgaria work eight hours daily, 40 hours weekly. 

Overtime cannot exceed three hours per day over two consecutive days; six hours in a week; 30 hours in a month; and 150 hours in a year. Overtime work is paid at a rate of 150% for regular days, 175% for weekends, and 200% for national holidays.

Employees can opt out of their standard working time arrangements under an agreement with their employer.

Employment contracts

In Bulgaria, post-employment non-compete agreements are invalid and unenforceable.

Probationary period

The probationary period in Bulgaria is six months.


Length of service pay

In Bulgaria, there is an additional employment remuneration once an employee’s length of service and professional experience exceeds one year. This includes length of service and professional experience an employee gains with:

  • With their current employer
  • In the same or in a similar position with a previous employer

This additional remuneration amounts to at least 0.6% of an employee’s monthly salary for each year of service and professional experience.

When making a salary offer in Bulgaria, the most common practice is to include the length of service pay in the total amount an employer is offering. For example, total amount = base salary + length of service pay.

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Benefits and leave in


Vacation time

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to a 20 days of paid holidays every year after they have worked for at least eight months, irrespective of the employer.

Employees must be paid out all earned but unused annual paid leave from the two years prior to their dismissal.

Sick leave

In Bulgaria, employees are entitled to paid sick leave, of which the employer pays 70% of the basic income for the first three days. The fourth day onwards is paid by the National Social Security Institute (at 80% of an employee’s income).

Employees must have six months' social security insurance history to be eligible for these payments.

Parental leave

In Bulgaria, mothers are entitled to 410 days of maternity leave, paid at 90% of their basic income from the Social Security fund. Maternity leave can begin 45 days before the birth.

Employees are also entitled to 15 days paternity leave paid at 90% basic income rate, also paid from the Social Security fund.

Employees in Bulgaria are paid from the National Social Security Fund if they have at least 12 months' social security insurance history.


View a list of recognized public holidays in Bulgaria here.

Employer tax

In Bulgaria, an employer’s social contributions range from 18.92% to 19.62% and include contributions for social security and unemployment, accident at work and occupational illness fund, and health insurance. 

Individual tax

Employees in Bulgaria pay a flat rate income tax of 10%, no matter their salary bracket. Employees also pay 13.78% into social security contributions. 

Termination in


Employers must provide cause for the termination and provide at least one month's notice. Payment may be made in lieu of notice.

Severance is required and the entitlement varies from one to seven months' gross remuneration.

Termination requirements
Notice period

The notice period for either party is usually one month, but it can be up to three months. All notice periods should be provided in the employment agreement.

Employees in Bulgaria can resign without complying with the notice period but will forfeit any notice payment.

Severance pay

Start hiring employees in


Setting up a business entity everywhere you want to hire a new employee isn’t scalable—it takes too long and the legal fees are high. At the same time, understanding and adhering to the local labor laws and employee expectations can be complex and time consuming. And it’s hard to find reliable information on up-to-date employment information for all the countries where you’re considering hiring. Not to mention tracking down invoices and managing employee contracts over email and spreadsheets—that gets messy fast. 

We can’t afford to take risks when it comes to compliance—we need to make sure we follow the local guidelines, especially when it comes to taxes and legalities. 

With Oyster, you can manage HR and payroll, and automate compliance across 180+ countries—all in one, easy-to-use platform.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this resource is for general educational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice. While Oyster strives to provide current and accurate information, Oyster makes no warranties or representations as to the correctness of the content provided and accepts no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content provided. By using this resource you acknowledge and agree that you do so at your own risk. The content of this resource is subject to change without notice.

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