Employers who involve ongoing learners in their workforce exhibit a praiseworthy dedication to advancing both their industry and their workforce.
Concurrently, they must maintain a comprehensive awareness of the complexities and repercussions tied to such hiring choices. In a similar vein, Bulgaria has introduced study leave provisions for employees actively pursuing educational endeavors.
Bulgarian labor laws permit both paid and unpaid study leaves. These leaves are typically structured in accordance with various stages of the educational journey, such as admission exams, attendance at lectures, exam preparations throughout the academic year, and the culmination of studies with a state examination, thesis defense, or dissertation completion.
Students’ leave entitlements are outlined in the Labor Code (LC) articles 169-171a and the Ordinance on working hours, breaks, and vacations articles 51-53.
Paid Study Leave encompasses a handful of provisions to aid employees in effectively balancing their work responsibilities with their academic goals. They include:
• 25 working days annually for employees pursuing secondary or higher education with employer consent.
• A one-time allocation of 30 working days for matriculation or state exams, thesis, thesis project, or dissertation defense.
• A one-time provision of 6 months for employees engaged in part-time or independent doctoral studies in preparation for a “doctor” degree.
• A one-time allotment of 12 months for the preparation of a “Doctor of Science” dissertation.
Please note that employees studying in evening educational institutions, with the consent of their employer, will be granted a one-hour early release from work on each school day.
This provision does not apply to individuals working a reduced schedule of 7 hours or less per day.
On another note, Unpaid Study Leaves include the following scenarios:
• A provision of up to 20 working days per academic year to prepare for and take exams.
• A grant of up to 30 working days for the preparation and participation in entrance, matriculation, or state exams in secondary educational institutions.
• An allowance of up to 4 months for the preparation and completion of state exams or the defense of theses or thesis projects in higher education institutions.
• A period of up to 4 months for the preparation and defense of a dissertation by part-time or independent doctoral students.
It is essential to highlight that the employer’s approval is a crucial factor. As per Article 171, Paragraph 2 of the Labor Code, in cases where the employer’s consent is not obtained, the employee’s entitlement is limited to a half of unpaid leave, such as 10 days for exam preparation and attendance, which can be availed without the need for employer consent.
Eurofast team, which operates across Europe and the Middle East, includes experts well-equipped to address various business requirements.
Should you need further details regarding the recent revisions and additional content concerning Bulgarian Labor Legislation and the matter of hiring individuals in the process of continuous learning, kindly reach out to Eurofast Employee Outsourcing Resources team in Bulgaria at Sofia@eurofast.eu.
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