Campaigns and activities
Measures to support employers
Measures to support workers with disabilities
Employment on the open labour market
Employment in the supported / sheltered sector
Employment in the public sector
Employment of blind and partially sighted women
Vocational rehabilitation and training
Incentive measures to employ workers with disabilities
Legal obligation to employ workers with disabilities
Main occupations performed by workers with a visual impairment
Looking for a job
Legal recognition of disabled worker status
Trade unions and workers with disabilities
The Law on integration of people with disabilities, the Labour Code and the Law on the encouragement of employment are the main legislations to support employers in Bulgaria.
Under Article 25 of the Law on integration of people with disabilities, employers may apply for various support schemes and grant to the Employment Agency providing they retain the disabled employee for more than 3 years. This includes funding schemes to adapt the working conditions, equipment and premises. Under Article 26, they may receive a bonus on their social insurance tax fee (up to 30%) for the disabled worker.
Under Article 27 of the Labour Code, employers must announce and report on any new position open to disabled candidates.
Under Article 52 of the Law on encouragement of employment, employers who hire a worker with a long term disability may receive a bonus for up to 12 months if the contract is a permanent one, and for up to 6 months if the contract is temporary.
In Bulgaria, disabled workers are supported by various measures provided by the Law on integration of people with disabilities (Section 3: Employment).
Article 23 states that both the Ministry of Labour and the Employment Agency are responsible for the delivery of schemes and programmes to encourage job inclusion and to promote equal opportunities for the people with disabilities to participate on the labour market.
Article 24 states that disabled workers are entitled to specific equipment as well as to the adaptation and adjustment of their working conditions and grants are made available to that effect under Article 25. This applies to both newly employed disabled workers and existing employees that acquire a temporary or permanent disability. Employers with limited resources may be exempted from undertaking such measures.
Under Article 42, disabled people can apply for a “social inclusion monthly allowance”. The amount is based on disability type, working capacity or otherwise incapacitating aspects of their disability. In addition to this allowance, disabled people receive support towards transportation costs, information and telecommunication services, education, rehabilitation services, accessible materials and medical prescriptions. Disabled people who reside in council housing may also apply for support towards their rent costs. Disabled people who reside in a medical institution are not entitled to the “social inclusion allowance” as they benefit from a specific scheme.
Grants are available to assist with education and rehabilitation; the purchase of personal motor vehicle and the adaptation of a parking place; the adaptation of personal housing; the hire of an assistant, helper, interpreter or guide.
Disabled people are entitled to priority access to council housing application and disabled workers receive significant tax bonuses.
The Law on protection against discrimination is the main legislation regarding disability-based discrimination. Section I regulates various protections relating to labour rights, access to further training, promotions, harassment, redundancy. Employers will be held responsible for discrimination acts
Article 16 states that employers must adapt the workplace for disabled workers, unless they meet the exemption criteria based on disproportiate burden.
Article 18 states the employers must take every possible step to reduce discrimination, in conjunction with the labour unions.
The main legislation governing employment in the supported and sheltered sector in Bulgaria is the Law on integration of people with disabilities (Section 3 : Employment).
Social enterprises and co-operatives must be registered according to the Commercial Law or the Law for Co-operatives; they must manufacture goods or provide services ; they must be registered with the Agency of the people with disabilities; and they must hire a set percentage of disabled employees in their workforce. This rate is subject to variation – in the case of social enterprises and co-operatives that offer work to the visually impaired, the target must be equal or superior to 20 % of their workforce.
Social enterprises and co-operatives receive funding from the national Agency for the people with disabilities. They receive a 30% bonus on their social insurance tax fees and significant tax bonuses in general.
The national Agency for people with disabilities conducts information campaigns about the employment schemes that are available as part of the Law on integration of people with disabilities. The campaigns target disabled people, employers and placement agency, social enterprises and co-operatives.