Employment termination

The Bulgarian legislation recognises many different grounds for the termination of an employment relation, depending on who initiates the termination and the type of the employment contract in place.


What are the different ways to terminate an employment relation?

  • Employment termination without notice
  • Employment termination with notice
  • Employment termination associated with a mutually agreed compensation


Employment termination without notice

Key principles

Termination by mutual agreement

  • May be initiated by the employee or by the employer.
  • If the employee initiates it, the employee has to agree to or reject the request.
  • If the employee initiates it, the employer has to agree or not.
  • In both cases, there must be a response within seven days. If the other party does not respond, the employment relation is not terminated.

Termination after expiry of a previously agreed term

  • It is applicable in the case of fixed-term contracts where the date of the last working day of the employee is stated.
  • It is recommended that the employer expresses his desire to terminate the employment contract under the provision of “Termination by mutual agreement”, in order to avoid the transfer of the fixed-term contract into a contract for an indefinite period of time.

Termination upon completion of a specified job

  • The moment at which the employee, hired on the basis of fixed-term contract, executes the agreed volume of work with the required quality, is considered the end of the employment relation.

Termination of employment relation upon the return of an employee who was absent

  • It is applicable for fixed-term contracts signed for the substitution of an employee who has been absent.
  • Upon the signing of this kind of contracts it should be stated clearly that the substitute employee is hired to work in the place of a specific absent employee and during the time of absence of that employee. The final date of the contract is the date when the employee holding the position permanently returns to work.

Termination when the position is to be taken by a pregnant woman or an employee with  disability

  • The law provides for specific positions which are to be taken by pregnant women or employees with disabilities. There are cases when the respective position is taken by an employee who does not fall in this category, but an applicant meeting the criteria comes. Then the employee taking the position should be transferred to another position and to that end, his / her current employment contract has to be terminated.

Termination due to sickness of the employee


This is only possible if all of the conditions listed below are met:

  • The employee is unable to carry out the work assigned due to sickness, resulting in permanent disability or increase health risks;
  • The employee’s condition is certified by a labour medical board that that sets out the illness and proves the employee’s inability to perform the current work;
  • The company has no other suitable position that the employee may carry out despite his/ her sickness.
Death of the employee
Termination, initiated by the employer

The employment relation may be terminated by the employer without notice due to reasons related to the personality and conduct of the employee. The law recognises several options:

  • The employee has been detained by the authorities to serve a sentence (serving effective sentences, not other punishments or suspended sentences);
  • The  employee is stripped of the right to take the position he/she was hired into – the dismissal represents fulfilment of a sentence / penal pronouncement;
  • The employee refuses to take a new suitable position – it is only applicable when the decision of a medical board is related to a transfer of the disabled/sick employee to another more suitable position.



Employment termination with notice

Key principles

Termination with notice, initiated by the employee

The employee may terminate the employment contract unilaterally, without having to justify his / her request, by giving the employer a notice, which should: be in writing, addressed to the employer, sets out a specific term upon the expiry of which the employment contract will be terminated. The notice period  should be stated in the employment contract.

Termination with notice, initiated by the employer

The employer may terminate the employment contract unilaterally. The employer’s decision may be justified either with reasons, related to the employee or the employer:

  • The law recognised several reasons for termination, related to the employer:
- Closure of the company;
- Closure of part of the company;
- Reducing the number of full-time staff;
- Decrease in the volume of work;
- Suspension of the work for more than 15 days;
- Change in the requirements for a specific position;
- Conclusion of management agreement.

  • The law recognised several reasons for termination, related to the employee:
- The employee is lacking the skills and ability to perform the assigned tasks;
- The employee is lacking the required level of education and professional qualifications;
- The employee refuses o move with the company when it moves to a different location;
- Vesting of the right to retirement due to insured length of service and age;
- Objective reason which makes it impossible for the employee to perform the assigned job (legal obstacle, intolerance to immunisations required to carry out the work).

The notice period should be set out in the employee’s employment contract, where for fixed-term contracts it should be minimum 3 months, and for indefinite employment contracts it may be between 30 days and 3 months.


Employment termination associated with a mutually agreed compensation

The following conditions should be in place in order to terminate an employment contract on these grounds (for which no notice is required):

  • You have to have made written proposal to the employee;
  • You have to have made a proposal for compensation which may not be lower than four times the last gross monthly salary received by the employee;
  • You have to have obtained the employee’s written consent that he / she accepts the proposal within 7 days after it was made;
  • You have to pay the compensation within 1 month after the termination of the employment contract, because otherwise it will not be deemed terminated and the employee may return to work.


What are the compensations the employer owes after the termination of an employment relation?

Liabilities to pay compensations arise for the employer as a result of the terminated employment relation depending on the grounds for the termination . Generally such liabilities may include:

  • Compensations in case of a sudden termination;
  • Compensations  for the unemployment of the employee;
  • Compensations as acknowledgement for the work;
  • Compensations for unused paid annual leave.


Which employees are protected by law in case of termination? (i.e. which employees may be terminated only with the prior permission from the Labour Inspectorate):

  • Employees with disabilities or employees suffering from certain diseases (such employees should have been certified by a medical board);
  • Pregnant women or women on leave due to pregnancy or birth;
  • Employees – mothers of children of up to 3 years of age;
  • Employees on leave;
  • Trade union activists or employees appointed to represent the employees or representatives of the workers concerning health and safety at work;
  • An employee who is a member of a special negotiations body of a European worker’s council or representative body in a European commercial / cooperative entity.


Important to know
Important to know

To terminate the employment relation with a protected employee, the employer must obtain a permission in writing by the District Labour Inspectorate, on the territory of which the registered address of the employer is. Such a permission is requested and given or refused for each individual case, i.e. for each employee. The opinion of the medical board and / or trade union must be requested for the termination of certain categories of employees.


For more information
For more information

Additional information related to the various options for the termination of the employment relation and more specific requirements thereto is available here.

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Ministry of Economy
8, Slavyanska Str., Sofia 1052, Bulgaria
BULSTAT: BG176789453
phone: +359 2 940 7001

fax: +359 2 987 2190
Operational Programme This item is available only in Bulgarian
Contacts: 8, Slavyanska Str. Sofia 1000, Bulgaria tel: +359 2 940 7001 e-mail: e-docs@mi.government.bg
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