The Bulgarian Labour Code provides different types of leaves for employees in non-profit and private sector.

The most common types of leave from work in Bulgaria are as follows:

Paid annual leave

The amount of paid annual leave is 20 working days.

In case of beginning work for the first time, the employee may use his or her paid annual leave after acquiring at least eight months’ length of employment service.

Employees have the right of additional paid annual leave not less than five working days for work under specific conditions and life and health hazards which cannot be eliminated, restricted or reduced regardless of the measures taken. As well, for work at open-ended working hours the additional paid annual leave is the not less than five working days.

Longer amount of the paid annual leave may be agreed in a collective agreement, as well as between the parties in an employment contract.

The employer authorize in writing the use of paid annual leave.

The employer shall be entitled to grant the paid annual leave to the worker or employee even without the latter’s written request or consent in the case, where the employee, following an invitation by the employer, would have failed to request his/her leave by the end of the calendar year for which it is due.

Where the paid annual leave or a part thereof is not used until expiration of two years after the end of the year for which the said leave is due, regardless of the reasons therefor, the entitlement to use such leave shall be extinguished by prescription.

It is prohibited by the law to compensate in cash the paid annual leave, except upon termination of the employment contract.

Unpaid leave

Upon the request of the employee, the employer may grant him or her unpaid leave, regardless of the fact whether the said worker has used his or her paid annual leave or not, and irrespective of the duration of his or her length of employment service.

The unpaid leave of up to 30 working days within one calendar year is assimilated to the length of employment service.

Temporary disability leave

Employees have a leave for temporary disability through general sickness or occupational disease, employment injury, for sanatorial treatment or for urgent medical examination or tests, quarantine, suspension from work prescribed by the health authorities, attendance of a sick or quarantined member of the family, urgent need to accompany a sick member of the family to a medical examination, test or treatment, as well as for taking care of a healthy child dismissed from a children’s establishment by reason of a quarantine imposed on the establishment or on the child.

Pregnancy and child-birth leave

A female employee has 410 days of pregnancy and child-birth leave for each child, of which 45 days prior to the confinement.

With the consent of the mother, the father may use the balance to 410 days instead of her after the child’s attainment of the age of six months.

Where the mother and father are married or share a household, the father has a 15-day leave upon the birth of a child as from the date of discharge of the child from the hospital.

Such leave shall be assimilated to the length of employment service.

Child-care leave until child’s attainment of 2 years of age

After use of the pregnancy and child-birth leave, if the child has not been placed in a child-care establishment, the female employee has the right of an additional child-care leave until the child’s attainment of the age of 2 years. With the consent of the mother, this leave may be granted to the father or to one of their parents where they work under an employment relationship.

The time of use of such leave shall be assimilated to the length of employment service.

Paid study leave

Employees, who attend a secondary or a higher school without interruption of employment with the consent of the employer, have a paid leave of 25 working days for each year of study.

This leave may be used regardless of all other types of leaves.

Other types of leaves for employees

The employer has an obligation to excuse from work the employee:

  • upon marriage – for two working days;
  • upon blood donation – for the day of the examination and donation, as well as for one day thereafter;
  • in the event of death of a parent, child, spouse, brother, sister and spouse’s parent or other lineal relatives – for two working days;
  • where summoned to appear before a court of law or by other authorities as a party, witness or expert;
  • where the employer has given notice of termination of the employment contract – for one hour daily for the days of the period of the notice.

For more information about the types of leaves for employees or for preparation of all types of employment contracts and job descriptions please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail: or call us on: +359 2 851 72 59.

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