Home / National Industrial Relations / Countries / Bulgaria

Bulgaria  Bulgaria

Key Facts

Population7,327,224
Collective Bargaining Coverage 30%
Proportion of Employees in Unions 20%
Principal Level of Collective Bargaining

company

Workplace Representation

union – but law also provides for the election of other representatives

Board-level Representation

no

Company Board Structure

monistic or dualistic (choice)

Sources: see individual country sections; where a range of figures has been quoted, the lower number has been taken

Trade Unions

Around 20% of Bulgaria’s employees are union members. There are two main union confederations. The larger of the two is KNSB, which emerged from the reformed official trade union movement of the communist period, while Podkrepa came out of the opposition movement. Despite this, they now work together reasonably well.

more ...

Collective Bargaining

Around 30% of employees are covered by collective bargaining in Bulgaria. Bargaining takes place at both industry and company level (municipal level for municipal employees) but company-level bargaining has become more important.

more ...

Workplace Representation

There is no universal structure for employee representation in the workplace in Bulgaria. In many cases the local union is the key body, although the law also provides for the election of other representatives. Employees are also able to elect additional representatives for information and consultation but they can also choose to pass these rights to the existing union organisation or existing employee representatives.

more ...

Board-level Representation

There is no employee participation at board level in Bulgaria, but under certain circumstances employee representatives can have a consultative role in shareholders’ meetings.

more ...

European-level Representation

In most cases Bulgarian members of bodies linked to European Works Councils and the European Company are elected by a general meeting of the employees, or a meeting of employee delegates, where a general meeting is not possible. But the general meeting or meeting of delegates can choose to transfer the choice either to the union or to existing employee representatives. In the case of employee representatives on a European Company board, the legislation is less precise.

more ...

Health and Safety Representation

 

Employee representation on health and safety issues is primarily provided through the employees elected as members of the joint employee/management health and safety bodies, known as working conditions committees and groups, which should be set up in Bulgarian companies. As well as working through the joint bodies, employee representatives themselves have specific rights and can call in the national inspectorate if they feel the employer is not ensuring safety at work.

more ...

Financial Participation

Employee financial participation in Bulgaria is largely a result of the privatization process started in 1990 and its development thereafter. The most important forms of employee financial participation emerged in the course of the mass privatization and the so-called ‘MEBO privatization’ processes. Profit-sharing schemes, as one form of financial participation, are quite rare in practice. Cooperatives, traditionally very strong in Bulgaria, currently represent just 1% of all registered companies.

more ...