Bulgaria Leave Laws

In this page, we’ll break down all you need to know about leave laws in Bulgaria.

Read on to learn about employees’ rights in regards to paid time off/annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, national/public holidays, and more.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.


After eight months service time, employees in Bulgaria become eligible for paid annual leave.

The minimum entitlement for annual leave is 20 working days per year. For minors or employees that are partly unable to work, this increases to 26 days. Employees working shorter schedules get a lesser leave entitlement, relative to their working time.

PTO Payout & Use It or Lose It

Employees can carry over up to ten days at the end of the year, and annual leave will expire two years following the end of the year it was given.

When an employee leaves their job, the employer must pay out any unused leave.

Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

Sick Leave in Bulgaria

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to paid sick leave. The first three days of sick leave are paid by the employer at 70% of the employee’s regular pay. The following time is compensated via sickness benefit from social insurance, paid out at 80% of the employee’s regular pay.

Bulgaria Public Holidays

Bulgaria has the following public holidays:

January 1New Year’s Day
March 3National Holiday /Bulgaria’s Liberation from the Ottoman Empire/
March/April (variable)Easter Holidays (4 days for Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and Monday)
May 1Labour and International Worker’s Solidarity Day
May 6Gergyovden (St. George’s Day), and the Bulgarian Army’s Day
May 24Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavic Script Day
September 6Unification Day
September 22Independence Day
November 1Day of the Bulgarian Enlighteners *
December 24Christmas Eve
December 25Christmas Day
December 262nd day of Christmas
*for educational institutions

If a public holiday falls on a Saturday and/or Sunday, the first or the first two business days following that public holiday shall be non-working days.

Employees are entitled to a paid day off for public holidays, and if required to work, are entitled to double their regular pay.

Parental Leave in Bulgaria (Maternity Leave & Paternity Leave)

Maternity Leave

Employees in Bulgaria are entitled to a total of 410 days of maternity leave.

This includes 45 days prior to the expected date of birth (which can be extended, up to a maximum of 93 days, if the mother did not yet give birth).

The mother can take 42 days of maternity leave immediately after childbirth (including if the child was stillborn or given up for adoption).

Following that is a period of 135 days, if the employee has a document from a GP stating temporary incapacitation from work.

The remaining 275 days can be used upon application by the mother.

Maternity leave is paid by social insurance.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to 15 days of paternity leave, paid at 90% of the employee’s regular income, followed by an additional two months, paid at the statutory minimum wage. This benefit is paid by social insurance.

Fathers can also take over part of the mother’s 410 days of maternity leave. However, if doing this, he is not eligible for the additional two months paternity leave.

Child Care Leave

Employees are entitled to additional paid leave (and benefit from social insurance) to take care of a child up until the age of two. This can be taken by the mother, father, grandparent or guardian of the child.

Bereavement Leave in Bulgaria

Employees are entitled to two working days leave for the death of a parent, child, spouse, brother, sister and spouse’s parent or other lineal relatives.

What is Bereavement Leave? Click here to learn more.

Other Leave Types

Study Leave

If an employee is attending secondary school or higher, with the consent of their employer, they are entitled to 25 days of paid study leave for each year of study.

Marriage Leave

Employees are entitled to two days of leave when getting married.

Official Resources


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