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-2020-31/1086 – Updated – measures in Bulgaria
|Country||Bulgaria , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 August 2020 – 30 June 2022|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
|Author||Eva Dimitrova (for Eurofound)|
|Measure added||10 September 2020 (updated 01 April 2023)|
The Bulgarian government approved a series of measures that shall support and motivate employees, working at the front-line during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Core pillar of the programme is a support bonus of BGN 1,000 (€500) monthly for medical staff.
The support has been paid since March 2020 and will be available until the end of 2020. For this purpose an initial budget of BGN 120 million has been secured. The resources come from operational programme 'Human Resource development' 2014-2020 co-funded by the EU. Nevertheless, during the second COVID-19 wave the budget has been expanded with an additional BGN 60 million (€30 million).
The following occupational groups are also entitled to additional payments ranging from BGN 610 (€310) up to BGN 1,000 (€500), depending on the sector and individual level of involvement:
Medical staff is entitled to a bonus payment of BGN 1,000 (€500) in accordance to quantitative criteria:
In the emergency centres, the criteria are 12 hours of work, which is directly related to monitoring and treatment, as long as it is carried out until entering the hospital's admission department.
Specialists, working on COVID-19 tests in independent laboratories, are also entitled to bonuses.
As of October 2020, 7,200 medics received additional bonuses.
In August 2020, 7,287 medical and non-medical staff from 83 hospitals received additional payments.
According to media information, around 15,000 employees at the Ministry of Interior and the National Toll Management have also received bonuses of BGN 650 (€325) as well.
GPs have been added to the front-line doctors, and they are also entitled to the additional remuneration. GPs will receive the full amount of money for the months of November and December - BGN 1,000 will be given to about 5,000 people - general practitioners and persons employed by them.
The COVID-19 risk group at the workplace
Workers in care facilities
Workers in essential services
Sector specific set of companies
Companies providing essential services
|Does not apply to citizens|
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|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:
At the beginning of the crisis, the unions demanded measures to support the most affected industries, part of which is the health sector.
During the first couple of months of the measure, some medics express criticism towards the condition of carrying out a 12-hours shift to get a bonus, as many of them have shorter shifts, but still work with COVID-19 patients and are exposed to the virus. Representatives of the health sector organised protests and demanded amendments of the criteria and the resignation of the Minister of Health. This tension led to a change of the minister and better adaptation of the bonus criteria.
The bonus programme is welcomed by the medical workers, but not the criteria. They want more inclusiveness.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities||Q86 Human health activities|
|Q87 Residential care activities|
|Q88 Social work activities without accommodation|
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Health associate professionals|
|Protective services workers|
Eurofound (2020), COVID-19: Assistance for frontline workers in health care services, measure BG-2020-31/1086 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BG-2020-31_1086.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.