The New Amendments in the Labour Code

New amendments in the Labour Code were published in issue No. 105 from 30.12.2016 of the State Gazette. We present some of the most important amendments which are applicable as of 30.12.2016, respectively as of 01.01.2017.

Rights of employees or workers who are on business trips or who are sent to work in other countries

A fine line of differentiation is introduced between workers or employees on business trips and workers or employees who have been sent to provide services on the territory of the EU, a state – party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or the Swiss Confederation (EU, EEA or Switzerland).

A business trip is when a Bulgarian employer, respectively a foreign employer, sends an employee or worker in another country (EU, EEA or Switzerland), respectively Bulgaria, at his expense and under his supervision. This is done on the basis of a contact, signed by the employer and the service user or in a company from the same group of companies.

Being sent abroad is when a Bulgarian company, respectively a foreign company, which provides temporary sends an employee or worker in a service user company on the territory of another state (EU, EEA and Switzerland), respectively Bulgaria.

According to the new amendments workers or employees in both of the above mentioned cases will be provided with at least the minimal work conditions, which are established for workers and employee performing the same or a similar job in the host state.

It is now explicitly pointed out in the definition of labour disputes that labour disputes are also disputes between workers or employees on business trips or who have been sent on the territory of Bulgaria and their employer when they have suffered damages due to non-observance of the work conditions which are established for workers and employees performing the same or similar job in Bulgaria.

If the employer is a directly subordinate subagent of an executor, minimal remunerations can be brought against the executor with the claims for failure to fulfil obligations form workers or employees. The claim can be brought against the subagent and the executor jointly. The executor’s liability is limited to the rights of the workers or employees, which derive from the contractual relations between the executants and the subagent.

The above mentioned claims are admissible in the court of the place where the worker or employer temporarily works or has worked.

Opportunity for keeping and storing documents from the employee or worker record in an electronic form

Another important amendment is about the appeasing of the employer’s administrative burden regarding the keeping of employee records/files.

In accordance with the amendments part of the documents regarding the occurrence, validation, change and termination of the labour relationship can now be created and stored as electronic documents.

Amendments connected with determining days off

When official holidays, except the Easter holiday, coincide with the weekend, the first workday or workdays after them are days off.

Amendments regarding the procedure for the imposition of disciplinary sanctions

According to the amendments the submission of a notice from an employee or worker to the Financial Supervision Commission for a violation of the Law on the Application of Measures against Market Abuse of Financial Instruments cannot be interpreted as a misuse of trust, nor as lowering the company’s prestige or spreading confidential information, unless there is a deliberate submission of false information.

Amendments regarding the administrative cooperation between Bulgaria and other member states of the EU, EEA and Switzerland

The rules for administrative cooperation via the internal market informational system and the cross-border enforcement of imposed financial administrative sanctions and fines, including fees and charges, are an important part of the amendments.

The changes introduce rules and procedures for cooperation between member states of the EU, EEA and Switzerland. One of the most significant consequences is the possibility of collecting fines and sanctions imposed on Bulgarian or foreign employers who fail to comply with the labour legislation.