Measures during the state of emergency in Bulgaria

On 18 March 2020, the Act of measures and reality during the state of emergency announced by decision of the National Assembly of 13 March 2020, was voted in plenary at first reading. Parliament’s second reading of the Act was scheduled for Friday 20 March 2020 and re-voted on 23 March 2020.

With regard to the amendments to the Labour Code, the following major amendments are granted:

  • Employers could, by internal order, organize remote work of its employees without their consent;
  • Employers could provide up to one-half of the paid annual leave without the consent of the employee;
  • For the whole period of the state of emergency or part of it the employers could establish part-time work for employees who normally work on full-time. Part-time work could be applied to the employees in the whole enterprise or in some of its departments;
  • In the event of a state of emergency, the employer may, by internal order, suspend the operation of the enterprise, part of the enterprise or individual employees for the whole or part of the period until the cancellation of the emergency position. When, in the event of a state of emergency, the operation of the enterprise or part of it is terminated by an order of a public authority, the employer is obliged not to allow the employees to their work for the period specified in the order. In these cases, for the duration of termination of the work, the employee is entitled to his/her gross remuneration. (Unpaid leave could be provided only with consent of the employee);
  • In case of suspension of work, because of a declared state of emergency, imposed with an order of the employer or with an order of a state body to part of the enterprise or individual employees, the employer is entitled to grant the full paid annual leave to the employee without his/her consent, including employee who has not acquired 8 months of working experience;
  • The employer is obliged to allow the use of paid annual leave or unpaid leave at the request of certain categories of employees (pregnant worker, as well as in advanced stage of in-vitro treatment; mother or adoptive parent of a child up to 12 years old age or child with disability, regardless of age; permanently reduced employee working capacity 50 and over 50 percent, etc.). During the validity of the State of Emergency Act, but for a period not exceeding three months, the NSSI will pay 60 percent of the amount of the insurance income for the month of January 2020 to employers meeting certain criteria. The criteria will be determined by Prime Ministerial Decree. Entitlement to benefit is expected to include the following industries: Logistic & transport, Retailers, Restaurants, Hotels, Tourism, etc. (Basically, employers who meet certain criteria, extended by MC Decree will be able to receive 60% of January salary of its employees in condition they are able to pay the other 40%. All taxes and social insurances are due accordingly. If the employer is unable to provide and pay his own part, the governmental funding provided is reimbursed.

Taxation and annual closure

  • The deadline for filing annual tax returns for 2019 and payment of tax, including the tax on expenses is extended to 30 June 2020;
  • The deadline for using a 5% discount for the advance payment of annual tax of real estate and / or vehicle tax expenses is extended to 30 June 2020;
  • The deadline for the publication of the annual financial statements, the consolidated financial statements and the annual reports of the business is extended until 30 September 2020;
  • The annual financial statements for 2019 are allowed to be signed by electronic signatures;
  • The deadline of submitting a declaration for nil activity of the entity is extended to June 30, 2020

For Foreigners in Bulgaria:

The period of documents’ validity for residence of certain categories of foreigners in Bulgaria, which expire in the period from 13 March 2020 to 31 October 2020 is extended by 6 months.

New time frames:

With effect from 13 March 2020, until cancellation of state of  emergency, the following deadlines stop running:

  • procedural time limits for court, arbitration and enforcement proceedings, with the exception of time limits for criminal proceedings, under the Extradition Act and the European Arrest Warrant and proceedings relating to coercive measures;
  • limitation periods and other periods provided for in statutory acts, with the expiry of which rights are extinguished or terminated or obligations are created for individuals, with the exception of the time limits under the Penal Code and the Law on administrative violations and penalties;
  • the time limits for implementation of instructions given by the administrative authority to parties or participants in proceedings with the exception to proceedings under the European Structural and Investment Funds Management Act.


The Act has also envisaged a number of other emergency measures and actions, some of which are:

  • Operation of private bailiffs is terminated for the period of state of emergency.
  • During a state of emergency, no enforcement cases are instituted by public contractors of the NRA, except in particularly important cases; Notarial proceedings are limited to urgent proceedings only; Specific powers are conferred on the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds; Amendments to the Penal Code and the Health Act are being made; Rules are introduced to protect consumers from unjustifiably high prices during an emergency and disasters, etc. 

This material and information are for general information purposes only. Making any business, legal or other decisions needs additional professional advice. If you have any additional questions, please contact us

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