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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case BG-2020-11/499 Updated – measures in Bulgaria

COVID-19: Assistance for parents taking unpaid leave due to a state of emergency

КОВИД - 19: Помощ за родители, които ползват неплатен отпуск поради извънредното положени

Country Bulgaria , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 13 March 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Support for parents and carers (financial or in kind)
Author Tsetomila Sabcheva and Luboslav Kostov (Citub) and Eurofound
Case created 12 April 2020 (updated 23 September 2020)

Background information

Parents of children up to 12 years of age, who due to the declared state of emergency, are taking unpaid leave of at least 20 working days for childcare at home are entitled to an additional single childcare allowance. The assistance has an allocated budget of BGN 20 million (€10 million) allocated. They could reach approximately 55,000 families, according to the Minister of Labour and Social Policy. The one-time assistance amounts 375 BGN (approx. €200).

Income tested benefit: the monthly income of a family member for the month preceding the use of unpaid leave does not exceed BGN 610 (€305) (minimum working salary for 2020).

Content of measure

The family aid, which amounts to BGN 375 (approx. €200), is granted if:

  1. Both parents / a single parent enjoy continuous unpaid leave of at least 20 working days due to the inability to provide the employer with remote home work;
  2. Both parents / single parent do not receive: a) Social assistance benefits under the LPA (Labour Policy Assistance), b) any other income (such as from contract work);
  3. Both parents / a single parent are not entitled to paid leave, or it has already been realised;
  4. The two parents / a single parent are not included in the 60/40 compensation scheme (under Decree No. 55 of the Council of Ministers of 30 March 2020 laying down the conditions and procedure for payment of compensation to employers in order to maintain the employment of workers and emergency workers, announced by a decision of the National Assembly of 13 March 2020);
  5. Both parents / single parent have been insured in the last six months;
  6. If only one parent is on unpaid leave, the other parent shall not receive: a) unemployment benefit, temporary disability benefit or pension (excluding disability pension), b) compensation for use of parental leave up to two years;
  7. The child is not placed outside the family in accordance with the Law on Child Protection;
  8. The child attended kindergarten / day nursery / school before 13 March 2020;
  9. There is no possibility of taking care of the child from other relatives and relatives.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

04 May 2020

In May 2020, the Social Ministry included parents of students who have reached the age of 14, as well as families in which one or both parents have lost their jobs but are not entitled to unemployment benefits, in the one-time benefit programme of BGN 375 (€190) per family.

The one-time allowance will be paid to families who have not received assistance on the same grounds in 2020. Applicants must not have income from a second employment contract, rent, lease and others.

Use of measure

Between 13 April 2020 and 30 May 2020, 5,231 family applications were submitted. However, only nearly 2,000 families or fewer than the half who have applied for the allowance since COVID-19 outbreak, were approved for state aid. The cabinet expected about 55,000 families and single parents to benefit from it.

According to the media, the measure does not have much coverage due to the strict conditions set for its receipt - both parents had exhausted their paid leave and had accumulated at least 20 days of unpaid leave between them, which was almost impossible in the first month of the state of emergency. The amount also barely covers the poverty line for one person of BGN 363 (€180) for 2020, although it is intended for the whole family.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Parents in employment
Single parents in employment
Does not apply to businesses Children (minors)

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

No information available.

Views and reactions

No information available.

Sources

  • 12 April 2020: Родители в неплатен отпуск ще получат еднократна помощ от 375 лева (www.investor.bg)
  • 14 April 2020: Родители в неплатен отпускт ще получат 375 лв. еднократна помощ (www.mlsp.government.bg)
  • 04 May 2020: More families will receive a one-time allowance of BGN 375 (nova.bg)
  • 13 May 2020: Another measure in the crisis stumbled upon strict criteria (www.segabg.com)
  • 29 May 2020: Nearly 2,000 parents on unpaid leave because of Covid-19 with assistance of BGN 375 (www.mediapool.bg)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), COVID-19: Assistance for parents taking unpaid leave due to a state of emergency, case BG-2020-11/499 (measures in Bulgaria), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.