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Database of national-level policy measures

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-2022-9/2281 – measures in Bulgaria

Access to the Bulgarian labour market for citizens of Ukraine

Достъп до пазара на труда в България за граждани на Украйна

Country Bulgaria , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 24 February 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Ekaterina Markova (IPS-BAS)
Measure added 16 May 2022 (updated 20 June 2022)

Background information

Ukrainians and their family members who have registration for temporary protection, asylum or international protection in Bulgaria have the right to work in the country without a labour market access permit.

Temporary protection is introduced for a period of one year starting from 24 February 2022 and may be extended if necessary. Persons displaced from Ukraine on or after 24 February 2022 as a result of military invasion by Russian armed forces are eligible for temporary protection.

Persons from Ukraine who have obtained "temporary protection" / with a nationality permit / can be employed on temporary and permanent contracts.

Content of measure

Ukrainian citizens registered with temporary protection could work in Bulgaria without a necessity to apply for work permit. They could be register as jobseekers at the labour office at their permanent or current address and could benefit from employment and vocational training services. Citizens of Ukraine can access the Bulgarian labour market under simplified procedures:

  • Ukrainian citizens who have Bulgarian origin can start working immediately (before having residence permit) by registering at the Employment Agency. They must have a work contract with a local employer for a minimum period of six months.
  • Ukrainian citizens could start seasonal employment for up to 90 days in agricultural, forestry, fishery, hotel and restaurant sectors in Bulgaria for 12 months without interruption. In order to start such seasonal employment, the Ukrainian citizens need to have registration with the Employment Agency on the basis of a declaration submitted by the employer.
  • Ukrainian citizens who have applied for international protection and whose procedure has not been completed within three months of application are entitled to work in Bulgaria without work permit. The declaration of employment of Ukrainians in these cases is made by the local employer who hired them under an employment contract.
  • Ukrainians and their family members who have asylum or international protection in Bulgaria are entitled to work in Bulgaria without a labour market permit. People who have refugee or humanitarian status can register as jobseekers at the Labour Office at their permanent or current address.

Use of measure

Until 12 May 2022, more than 20,000 Ukrainians have been consulted by the Bulgarian labour offices about opportunities to start working in Bulgaria and 2,400 Ukrainians with temporary protection status have started working with an employment contract.

On 13 May 2022, the Employment Agency launched a national information campaign for Bulgarian and foreign citizens, including those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine who reside in Bulgaria. The campaign under the title "To work in BG" takes place within three weeks and will provide an opportunity for intensive information, counselling and activation of those living in Bulgaria to look for work and use the services of the job centres.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Public employment service
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 Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Regional or local level

Involvement

The Regional Council for Tripartite Cooperation with the participation of the Bulgarian Red Cross and the Regional Employment Service together with trade union CL Podkrepa in Plovdiv raised the question for possibilities for shelter, finding a job and humanitarian aid for refugees and stated that they will present their own plan of action and coordination due to the forthcoming wave of emigrants from Ukraine to Bulgaria.

Trade union CITUB created temporary reception centres for citizens of Ukraine in the cities of Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Dobrich and Haskovo. Those in need will be provided with free of charge information and advice on labour and social security legislation.

The president of the Confederation of Labour "Podkrepa" Dimitar Manolov outlined the war in Ukraine, inflation and the energy crisis as the biggest challenges.

Views and reactions

The Bulgarian Association for People Management (BAPM), which is the only professional organization of human resources professionals in Bulgaria, support the efforts of government and business organizations to facilitate the access of refugees from Ukraine to the labour market. The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) has created temporary reception centres for refugees from Ukraine, providing consultation about the labour rights and job opportunities in Bulgaria.

Sources

  • 14 February 2022: Достъп до пазара на труда за граждани на Украйна (ukraine.gov.bg)
  • 28 February 2022: Синдикати искат спешно обсъждане на възможностите за оказване на помощ на бежанците от Украйна (darik.bg)
  • 03 March 2022: UABM opinion on facilitating the access of refugees from Ukraine to the labor market in Bulgaria (www.bapm.space)
  • 09 March 2022: CITUB opens temporary receptions for refugees from Ukraine in five cities (knsb-bg.org)
  • 15 March 2022: Issuance of Temporary Protection (ukraine.gov.bg)
  • 01 May 2022: Синдикатите: Работното време, заплатите и енергийната криза са големите предизвикателства (bnr.bg)
  • 09 May 2022: Employment for persons with Bulgarian origin (www.az.government.bg)
  • 12 May 2022: 2,400 Ukrainians have started working with an employment contract in Bulgaria (www.investor.bg)

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Access to the Bulgarian labour market for citizens of Ukraine, measure BG-2022-9/2281 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BG-2022-9_2281.html

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