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-2019-36/2722 – Updated – measures in Bulgaria
|Country||Bulgaria , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 September 2019 – 01 March 2022|
|Context||Restructuring Support Instruments|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
|Author||Ekaterina Markova (IPS-Bas) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||23 June 2022 (updated 07 November 2022)|
Employer and employee organisations as well as individual enterprises and employees.
The project Project BG05M9OP001-1.051-0003 "Improving the adaptability of employed persons and strengthening collective labour bargaining, through joint actions of social partners at the national, sectoral and branch level", is financed by the Operational Program "Development of Human Resources", co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund.
It is carried out by the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) in partnership with the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIB), the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce (BCC) and the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria (AICB).
It was developed entirely within the scope of the target area "improvement of social audit, social dialogue, improvement of working conditions and collective labour agreement". The project is a response to the challenges of the labour market caused by the development of economic processes and directly contributes to increasing the skills and adaptability of the workforce, reflecting the specific needs of target groups.
The project is implemented under Article 6 of Regulation 1304/2013 and represents joint actions of the social partners (trade unions and employer organisations).
The project 'Improving the adaptability of employees and strengthening collective bargaining through joint actions of the social partners at national, sectoral and sectoral level' is funded under Human Resources Development Operational Programme, project ref. no. BG05M9OP001-1.051-0003.
The programme responds to the challenges of the labour market caused by the development of economic processes and directly contributes to increasing the skills and adaptability of the workforce, reflecting the specific needs of target groups.
The main goal of the project is to improve the protection of labour, social and social security rights of employees and their equal treatment at the workplace through the development and introduction of new practices and tools for adapting enterprises and employees to change. The main tool to be used is the expansion of the (thematic) scope of collective bargaining by improving human resources management systems and health and safety at work, improving the dialogue between worker organisations and employers at all levels - national, sectoral and industrial level. For that, all participating social partners will be continuously consulting with each other on economic, social, ecological and labour law matters throughout the project.
The project's acts encompass activities promoting greater cooperation between social partners and the evolution of industrial relations in Bulgaria, research activities (including instruments development and adaptation of international practices in collective bargaining), training activities for employers and employees, and pilot testing activities. Training activities are open to all interested parties, who can register on the projects' website.
The majority of activities are led by the Confederation of Trade Unions of Bulgaria and are designed to address practical needs with respect to collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), such as compiling handbooks and collecting good practices on: * how to draft CBAs; * how to protect workers in atypical employment through CBAs; * how to introduce non-discrimination clauses or GDPR clauses in CBAs.
Two of the project activities are in tight collaboration with the partner organisations, i.e. employer organisations. These are developing partner relations between employee and employer organisations at the national level and developing them at the sectoral and industry level. The former activity will include, among other things, the preparation of proposals for legislative changes with respect to bipartite dialogue when concluding sectoral CBAs and the preparation and social partner discussion of a conceptual proposal for a directive on the development of collective bargaining.
A number of analytical project outputs are available on the project website. Some of these are: * analysis of ILO Convention no. 154/1981 * analysis of ILO Convention no. 151/1978 * analysis of [good practices and main issues in the dialogue and collective bargaining by municipalities * annual report on the results of collective bargaining in 2020 and early 2021.
Total value of the project is BGN 2 309 121,50, of which BGN 1 962 753,28 by European and BGN 346 368,22 national co-financing. The final conference, as the project successful closure, has been held on 21st of June 2022 at Confederation of Labour 'Podkrepa'.
Collective bargaining is an underused instrument in employment relations in Bulgaria. A project like the one presented here has the potential to promote collective bargaining in the country.
A considerable number of social partners in Bulgaria are involved in the project, which means project activities will be recognised by a number of stakeholders who have business relations with the participating social partners.
All activities described above are project based, thus their sustainability is questionable. Other weaknesses may be identified during the project implementation.
It is worth noting that only one-tenth of the €2.3 million project budget is designated to the employer organisations participating in the project.
Employees in standard employment
||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The main project partner is Confederation of Trade Unions of Bulgaria (one of the two major trade unions in Bulgaria). Project partners are the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association, Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian Industrial Association.
Eurofound (2022), Enhancement of employees’ adaptability and strengthening the collective, measure BG-2019-36/2722 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BG-2019-36_2722.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.