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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-2020-26/1004 Updated – measures in Bulgaria

Measure: 'Employment for you': subsidised employment for hiring unemployed

Мярка 'Заетост за теб'

Country Bulgaria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 26 June 2020 – 31 December 2022
Type Tripartite agreements
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies, incl. subsidised job creation
Author Tsetomila Sabcheva and Luboslav Kostov (Citub) and Eurofound
Case created 16 July 2020 (updated 18 October 2021)

Background information

Employers from all economic sectors, with the exception of agriculture, can hire unemployed under a program, which is financed under the Operational Program 'Human Resources Development'. The measure is primarily aimed at companies in the sectors 'Hotels and restaurants' and 'Travel agency and operator activities; other travel and reservation activities'.

The aim of the project is to provide support for reintegration into employment of unemployed people who lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. In response to the challenges associated with the observed rapid rate of rising unemployment in the country, the project aims to provide timely support to employers for hiring unemployed people by providing employment subsidies.

Content of measure

Unemployed persons can be employed on a full-time or part-time contract for a period of up to three months, during which they will receive funds in the amount of the minimum wage and social security contributions at the expense of the employer.

Persons must not have been employed by the same employer one month before the application was submitted. After the expiration of the three-month period of subsidized employment, employers will be obliged to further employ at least 75% of the supported workers for a period equal to the period of subsidized employment.

The number of employed workers eligible for state aid varies as follows:

  • companies with up to 10 employees will be able to hire up to two unemployed people;
  • companies with up to 50 employees will be able to hire up to 10 unemployed;
  • companies with up to 250 employees will be able to hire up to 30 unemployed;
  • companies with more than 250 employees will be able to hire up to 60 unemployed.

Employers can submit applications to the local Labour Offices.

Updates

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

11 October 2021

The Employment Agency has upgraded its webpage information concerning the measure. Currently the total budget allocated to the measure is BGN 210 million (€107 million). At least 45,000 unemployed are expected to be supported through the measure. The duration of the measure has also been extended until 31 Dec 2022. Furthermore the contract period is prolonged to up to 6 months with the obligation for employers to keep 75% of the employed workers for a further period equivalent to half of the period of subsidized employment. Amendments have been introduced to the number of unemployed eligible to be hired by a certain employer:

  • companies with up to 10 employees will be able to hire up to four unemployed people;
  • companies with up to 50 employees will be able to hire up to 20 unemployed;
  • companies with up to 250 employees will be able to hire up to 50 unemployed;
  • companies with more than 251 employees will be able to hire up to 100 unemployed.

Use of measure

The financial resource amounts to BGN 160 million (approx. €79 million), distributed on a quota basis by municipalities and consolidated by districts. Around BGN 50 million (approx. €25 million) has been set for priority support to employers in the areas of 'Hotel and Restaurant Management' and 'Travel Agency and Operator Activity'.

At least 70,000 unemployed may benefit from the programme.

The preliminary assessment (as of 22 January 2021) of the measure shows that €4 million have been paid to 2,371 employers so far. This has saved the jobs of 8,636 people.

The Employment for You scheme under Operational program human resources development, which started in July 2020 as an anti-crisis measure, has provided employment to a total of 10,080 people, and only in February employment contracts were concluded with 2,273 new unemployed.

As of 30 June 2021, under the procedure, more than 19,643 applications were submitted by employers for the creation of 50,000 jobs.

Contents

  • Income protection
  • Other topics

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Unemployed
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
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:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

The social partners were directly involved in the negotiations and debates on the drafting of the measure within the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation. This measure is part of a whole package of measures that was developed in collaboration with the social partners. The measure is a supplement and extension of an old measure, which currently aims to support specific sectors.

Views and reactions

Both employers and unions unanimously supported the measure. This measure is part of a whole package of measures that was developed in collaboration with the social partners. The measure is a supplement and extension of an old measure, which currently aims to support specific sectors.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Measure: 'Employment for you': subsidised employment for hiring unemployed, case BG-2020-26/1004 (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.