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02 April 2024

New rules for telework in Bulgaria

Today, 2 April 2024, amendments to the Labour Code are coming into force, giving effect to new rules for telework in Bulgaria that enhance the existing legislation.


The COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid development of telecommunications technology has led to the widespread implementation of telework. However, Eurofound research shows that telework is least common in Bulgaria compared to other EU Member States.

The new regulation aims to change this trend, which is caused by the practical difficulties of organising telework, by providing a higher degree of flexibility and certainty in the relations between employers and employees.

Place of work

Employers and employees can agree on more than one place of work, these being set out explicitly in the employment agreement. At the employee's request, the employer can change the place of work for up to 30 working days per year according to the terms provided in the employment agreement or the employer's internal policies.

This closes the gaps in relations with hybrid employees who work from home and from an employer's office in a different location. Additionally, it allows for occasional changes of the place of work for а limited period without the need to amend the employment agreement.

Working time

The new regulation provides employers with the option to use an automated working time reporting system as an alternative to the current method, which involves employees submitting reports in a form approved by the employer. The employer must inform the employees in advance about the data to be collected, processed and stored, and grant them access to it, upon request.

Teleworkers retain the flexibility to arrange their working hours, provided they adhere to the arrangements with the employer, observe minimum daily and weekly rest periods, and remain available when the employer is in communication with third parties.

An explicit right of the employee to "switch off" and not respond to a communication initiated by the employer during daily and weekly rest is regulated, subject to different arrangements in the employment agreement and/or collective bargaining agreement on the terms where such "interference" by the employer in the employee's private time is admissible.

AI application in the organisation of telework

The previously existing possibility to determine the terms for the assignment, reporting and monitoring of telework (including scope, results, etc.) in the employment agreement or the employer's internal policies, has now become an obligation. 

Under the new rules, employers are entitled to use an algorithmic management information system ("AI") for the purpose of organising telework. This improves work process management and thus the efficiency of the workforce and the competitiveness of the enterprise.

Nevertheless, its use is related to formal requirements towards employers ensuing from the concerns about excessive control by employers and limitation of human intervention in significant decisions concerning employment-related rights. These are mitigated by imposing obligations on employers to:

  • provide employees with information on the decision-making process; and
  • reconsider the AI's decision, if the employee so requests, and to inform the employee about the final decision.

Occupational health and safety

The requirement to explicitly set out the place(s) of telework in the employment agreement enhances the employer's ability to implement its obligation to ensure health and safety at work.

An additional step in this regard is the new statutory definition of "workplace" applicable to telework as a place in the premises and not the premises itself. Previously, the workplace was defined as the employee's home or other premises.

The general concept that the employer is responsible for ensuring occupational health and safety (including for teleworkers) is further developed by obliging the employer to:

  • provide information to the employee on the minimum health and safety requirements applicable to the telework premises and measures to mitigate the inherent risks;
  • ensure appropriate health and safety training in accordance with the specifics of the workplace and the employee's profession; and
  • implement measures to ensure constant compliance of the teleworker's workplace with the minimum health and safety requirements.

For their part, teleworkers are newly obliged to inform the employer in writing of the characteristics of their workplace following the information on the minimum health and safety requirements provided by the employer. Based on this information, the employer will assess whether the specific workplace meets the health and safety requirements, implement measures to bring it into compliance (if necessary) and organise suitable training.

Teleworkers must immediately inform the employer about each workplace accident.

The failure of teleworkers to observe the internal health and safety rules resulting in a workplace accident is now explicitly sanctioned. The employer's liability can be reduced, identically to situations where the workplace accident is due to the employee's gross negligence.


The legislative amendments clarify several significant rights and obligations of both the employer and teleworkers.

Employers must adopt rules for the organisation of telework or amend their current rules in line with the new legislation. The place of work must be set out in the employment agreement or in an annex thereto.

On the other hand, employees will need to exercise increased diligence in terms of health and safety and related issues.


authors: Tereza Shishkova and Diyana Hantova


Attorney at Law