Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure BG-2014-1/2637 – measures in Bulgaria
|Bulgaria , applies nationwide
|Open ended, started on 01 January 2014
|Restructuring Support Instruments
|Legislations or other statutory regulations
Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
|Ekaterina Markova (IPS-Bas) and Eurofound
|23 June 2022 (updated 28 October 2022)
The Working Conditions Fund was established on the basis of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, with the task to finance activities and events for the improvement of working conditions, in accordance with the current legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria under a program adopted by the National Council on Working Conditions. Projects of national, sectoral, branch and regional importance are financed.
The eligible applicants are the following:
Individual and legal entities, branch, regional and district councils for working conditions - with projects and programmes for improving working conditions with industry relevance and applicability of the results as well as for development and publication of educational and informational materials and conducting courses in the area of health and safety issues; individual and legal entities who meet the requirements set out in Regulation №1 of 23 March 2006 on the terms and conditions for financing of projects and programmes from the Working Conditions Fund could apply for funding up to 30% of projects about improving working conditions in companies with specific practical feasibility;
Medical institutions that meet the requirements stipulated in Regulation № 8 of 26 November 2007 about the terms and conditions for financing the diagnosis of occupational diseases from the Working Conditions Fund are able to apply for financing activities for diagnostic of occupational diseases;
Ministries and state institutions are eligible to apply with projects for development of regulations, rules, standards and requirements.
The Working Condition Fund provides financial support for projects and programmes addressing the following: * Improvement of working conditions in projects with industry relevance and practical applicability of the results;
Projects improving working conditions in individual companies with specific feasibility (financing up to 30% of the project cost) related to reconstruction and modernisation of existing facilities;
Introduction of new and modernisation of existing technologies and/or facilities;
Construction or improvement of the system for the prevention of workplace hazards; construction or improvement of the system in order to ensure the quality of work;
Improving the sanitary conditions; safety of machines and equipment; other projects related to the improvement of working conditions;
Diagnosis of occupational diseases;
Development and publishing of educational and informational materials; organising and conducting courses in the area of health and safety at work;
Development of regulations, rules, standards and requirements.
The funding comes from an annual subsidy from the state budget, the Social Security Fund, voluntary contributions, donations and bequests from Bulgarian and foreign citizens and legal entities, interest on account of the fund, as well as income from charitable activities.
The deputy minister of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy is the general manager of the fund. The Ministry of Health and the National Insurance Institute are also represented in the fund's governing board.
'Microinvest' Ltd. has purchased and delivered collective means of protection (e.g. protective anti-reflective goggles for working with a computer) for 92 workers.
The fund's budget for 2020 and 2021 is BGN 4 million (approximately €2 million). In 2021, the Working Conditions Fund concluded 68 contracts, 53 of which were for providing financial support to companies, 7 contracts were for health and safety at work education, 3 contracts for professional diseases, 2 contracts for analyses, survey and information materials, and 3 for technical assistance.
According to the 2019 Activity report of the Ministry of Labour an Social Policy, the Working Conditions Fund (WCF) implemented 68 contracts signed in 2019 and previous years. Thirty-eight of these contracts were with individual enterprises – 1 signed in 2017, 10 signed in 2018 and 27 signed in 2019. The increase of financed projects is 36% compared to 2018. Thanks to these projects 2,439 employees enjoy better working conditions. The WCF contribution for these projects was approximately BGN 1.74 million (nearly €900,000). In 2020 some 26 of the contracts will continue being implemented.
In 2017, according to the Activity Report, the WCF implemented 42 contracts in total, some of which have started in 2016. In 2018, 19 contracts will continue being implemented. The fund's budget for 2017 was BGN 4.21 million (€2,152,539). The projects financed aimed at improving working conditions of individual enterprises; training in safety and health at work of nationally representative employee and employer organisations, individual enterprises and working conditions committees. In 2017, the total number of people trained was 7,497, while in 2016 this number was 59% lower. The budget allocated for training was BGN 910,000 (€465,276).
For 2013, the overall WCF budget was more than BGN 4 million (€2,045,167). According to the Annual Report of Ministry of Labour and Social Policy for 2013, WCF signed 46 contracts.
In 2015, WCF financed projects and programmes to assist employers in addressing specific issues related to improving working conditions in individual enterprises; training in safe and healthy working conditions of representatives of national organisations representing employees and employers, as well as ministries and departments; and activities for diagnosis of occupational diseases. 100 contracts have been signed, 48 company projects for improving working conditions for 7,398 employees were financed with a total of BGN 2,156,843 (€1,100,430). The training in safe and healthy working conditions funded by the fund covered 4,700 employees at the total amount of BGN 630,000 (€321,428). The fund covered group medical examinations for early detection of occupational diseases for 1,545 employees with a total of BGN 833,219 (€425,111).
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP), in 2014, WCF signed contracts with 13 companies and funded modernisation of the work places for BGN 0.5 million (€255,597) (23 July 2014). Executing these projects will assure better work places for 1,871 workers.
Employees in standard employment
|Applies to all businesses
|Does not apply to citizens
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Eurofound (2022), Working Conditions Fund, measure BG-2014-1/2637 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BG-2014-1_2637.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.