Bulgaria: Law Requires the Hiring of People with Disabilities

 

By Nelly Parvanova © Eurofast March 22, 2019
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Bulgarian companies with staff exceeding 50 employees must hire people with disabilities, according to the new Disability Act, which took effect Jan. 1.

In order to ensure the employment of people with permanent disabilities in the normal working environment, the legislator has foreseen that employers with personnel headcount ranging from 50 to 99 employees must provide work for at least one person with permanent disabilities. Employers with 100 or more employees and workers must provide work to people with permanent disabilities in a number equal to 2 percent of their current headcount (e.g., a company employing 100 employees must provide work to at least 2 employees with permanent disabilities). Work positions established under Article 315 of the Labor Code are not taken into account when calculating the quota.

In order to meet its quota for recruitment of employees and workers with permanent disabilities, the employers follow a procedure whereby they inform the territorial divisions of the Employment Agency about the vacancies, the required employee profiles, and the necessary qualification and professional skills. Within three months of being notified, the employer is required to employ people with permanent disabilities who meet the requirements for employment at the workplace.

Under the law, persons with permanent disabilities are defined to include "persons with permanent physical, mental, intellectual and sensory impairment who may impede their full and effective participation in public life and to whom the medical expertise has established a degree of disability of 50 and over 50 percent."

In case of noncompliance with the obligation, the employer will be liable to pay a monthly compensation contribution in the amount of 30 percent of the minimum wage for each vacancy for a person with permanent disability that has not been filled.

It is worth noting that the General Labor Inspectorate may decide to exempt employers from this obligation provided there are specific factors in the working environment that prevent the recruitment of people with permanent disabilities or in case of an absence of persons with permanent disabilities.

Nelly Parvanova is head of accounting and tax with Eurofast in Sofia, Bulgaria. © 2019 Eurofast. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission of Lexology.

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