The Amending and Supplementing Act of the Bulgarian State of Emergency Measures Act, adopted on 06.04.2020, was promulgated in the State Gazette, No. 34, dated 09.04.2020. The Act came into force on the day of its promulgation in the State Gazette, with the exception of § 3, item 2 concerning article 4, paragraph 2, which shall enter into force seven days past its promulgation.
The adopted measures are within the following fields:
Employment matters and social security
Financial assistance for employers
Measures on suspension/ extension of time-limits and suspension of limitation periods
Protective measures in cases of non-performance and enforcement
Reliefs for certain groups
Supplementary rules on the procedure for determining permanent disability /type and degree of disability were adopted.
In the course of the state of emergency, short-term seasonal agricultural employment contracts may be entered into for more than one day, with no such time being recognized as work experience; the regular duration of the working day under the employment contract is up to 8 hours, where the parties can arrange work for 4 or 6 hours. An employment contract may also be entered into by registered tobacco growers for the cultivation of crops and the harvesting of tobacco.
When entering into and terminating the employment contract for short-term seasonal agricultural work, the following rules of the Bulgarian Labour Code shall not apply:
The obligation to send a notice of employment contract to the National Revenue Agency and to send a notification of a contract of employment after a mandatory prescription from the controlling bodies of the labour inspection has entered into force.
Providing a copy of a job description by the employer upon entering into the employment contract.
Issuing a dismissal order or other document from an employer certifying termination of employment legal relation with the worker/ employee
Rules have been adopted on the requisites of this type of employment contract, the receipt of templates of employment contracts, and the methods of payment of employment remuneration and social security contributions by the employer.
Until the termination of the state of emergency, the deadline for submitting requests to the employee and employer’s organisations for recognition as representatives ceases to run. These organizations, recognised as representative at national level by a decision of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers until the entry into force of this law, retain their representative statute until the completion of the statutory procedure.
In addition to 60% of the insurance income for the month of January 2020, the Bulgarian National Social Security Institute (NSSI) will transfer the social security contributions due from the insurers for the benefit of the employees/workers.
The time-limits under the Bulgarian Markets of Financial Instruments Act, the Bulgarian Public Offering of Securities Act, the Bulgarian Activity of Collective Investment Schemes and other collective investment enterprises acts, the Bulgarian Special Investment Purpose Companies Act, the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission Act, the Bulgarian Insurance Code and Part Two of the Bulgarian Social Security Code, are not amended, except in the cases explicitly stated in the Bulgarian State of Emergency Measures Act.
The rule for suspension of the time-limits for executing instructions given by an administrative authority to parties or participants in proceedings, with the exception of proceedings under the European Structural and Investment Funds Management Act, is abolished.
As of 13.03.2020 until the termination of the state of emergency, the following are suspended:
(i) time limits under the Measures Against Money Laundering Act concerning the internal rules of obliged persons cease to run until the state of emergency is terminated; non-profit legal entities, which do not fall into another category of obliged persons, for which the obligation to prepare a risk assessment has arisen, must adopt internal rules within 4 months of the termination of the state of emergency.
(ii) the limitation periods, on expiry of which rights are set off or acquired by private legal persons.
As of 09.04.2020 until the termination of the State of Emergency of, the following are not suspended:
(i) procedural time-limits in criminal court proceedings related to a supervision order, security measures and other measures of procedural coercion, enforcement of compulsory medical measures, crimes against the economy, crimes against public order, public crimes, crimes against public health and the environment
(ii) the time-limits for proceedings under the Bulgarian Recognition, Enforcement and Sending of Judicial Acts for Imprisonment Act or Measures including imprisonment; the time-limits in proceedings for appeal or protest of penal orders issued in the course of or in relation to the state of emergency, as well as the time-limits in cases concerning early release
(iii) the time-limits in proceedings for: exercising parental rights only on temporary measures, proceedings under the Bulgarian Domestic Violence Protection Act only on an order for immediate protection or amendment thereof, as well as in cases of rejection of the request for protection; the cases for securing evidence, the cases for suspension of the security proceedings and the secured proceedings
(iv) the time-limits in proceedings for: preliminary execution of an administrative act and its suspension; the proceedings related to the judicial appeal of the auditing act, as well as the disclosure of tax and insurance information by the court; the proceedings under the Bulgarian Public Procurement Act; the proceedings under the Bulgarian Concessions Act; the proceedings under Chapter Three concerning the forcible expropriation of property from the Bulgarian State Property Act and the Bulgarian Municipal Property Act, the proceedings concerning the disputing of acts for establishing public claims, as well as the proceedings for the appeal or protest of administrative acts issued in the case of or in relation to the state of emergency.
The rule for extension of one month from the termination of the state of emergency of the time-limits related to public procurement, concession procedures, proceedings under Management of Funds from the European Structural and Investment Funds Act, proceedings under Chapter Three of the Bulgarian State Property Act and Chapter Three of the Bulgarian Municipal Property Act, proceedings under the Bulgarian Agricultural Producers Support Act, proceedings under the Ownership and Use of Bulgarian Agricultural Lands Act, the proceedings under the Bulgarian Forest Act, the proceedings under the Implementation of the Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products of the European Union Act, the proceedings under the Bulgarian Veterinary Medicine Act, the proceedings under the Bulgarian Spatial Development Act and the proceedings under the Bulgarian Protection of Competition Act as well as the proceedings under the relevant applicable regulations, is not applicable.
Аfter the expiration of 7 days from the promulgation of the Amending and Supplementing Act of the Bulgarian State of Emergency Measures Act, the time-limits under Art. 3, item 1 and item 2 on "other time-limits" in the current version and on the repealed item 3 of the provision, continue to apply.
Enforcement under the procedure of the Bulgarian Tax and Insurance Procedure Code cannot be directed against the employment remuneration, the employment legal relation compensation, any other labour remuneration, the pension or the scholarship - up to the minimum monthly salary.
The rule under Art. 6 of the Bulgarian State of Emergency Measures Act is amended. The effects of late payment will not be applied on the obligations of private legal persons, debtors on credit agreements and other forms of financing (factoring, forfeiting, etc.) provided by banks and financial institutions, including when receivables are acquired from other banks, financial institutions or third parties, as well as and under leasing contracts, no interest and penalties are accrued, the obligation cannot be declared subject to acceleration and the contract cannot be cancelled due to non-execution, as well as no seizure of property is applicable.
An opportunity has been created to reduce the amount of rent and use fees or to be exempted from payment in whole or in part by natural and legal persons - tenants or users of state or municipal properties who have limited or ceased their activities due to the measures and restrictions imposed during the state of emergency.
A tour operator, who has to reimburse a traveller for a paid travel trip cancelled due to the declared state of emergency, can offer the traveller a voucher for the amount paid. If the traveller does not accept the voucher and, in the absence of another replacement package agreement, between the tour operator and the traveller, the tour operator shall reimburse no later than one month from the date of the termination of the State of Emergency any payments received by the traveller or on his behalf.
The possibility of holding remote meetings of state and local authorities until the state of emergency is terminated, is envisaged. Court hearings, including those of the Commission for Protection of Competition, may also be held remotely, ensuring the direct and virtual participation of the parties and participants in the procedure and proceedings, respectively.
During the state of emergency, no subsidies to political parties are due or accrued.
The time-limits of the Bulgarian Classified Information Protection Act, the Bulgarian Anti-Corruption and Withdrawal of Illegally Acquired Property Act and the Bulgarian Judiciary Act have been altered.
Provisions were adopted regarding the release of wartime reserves and regarding cases of making donations with the Ministry of the Interior with the subject of protective equipment, disinfectants, alcohol and other means.
An opportunity to sign an annex to the relevant national framework agreement is provided, which contains remuneration for work in unfavourable conditions during the declared state of emergency for providers of medical care, respectively dental care, conditions and procedure for payment and methodology for determining the amount of the sums.
Provisions have been adopted regarding the provision of medical and laboratory equipment, medical devices and personal protective equipment which do not constitute consumable items - for temporary free-of-cost use, as well as the possibility of providing personal protective equipment, medical devices, disinfectants, hygiene and other materials, and consumables which are consumable - free-of-cost owned according to the Bulgarian State Property Act.
Administrative criminal provisions have been adopted concerning the violation of anti-epidemic measures under the Bulgarian Health Act.
The Judicial vacation for the year 2020 is cancelled.
The Act of the Minister of Health for the introduction of temporary measures and restrictions is subject to preliminary implementation.
The fulfilment of an obligation to hand over a child or the subsequent return of a child in accordance with the Bulgarian Civil Procedure Code is not be suspended.