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Bulgaria Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on December 22, 2023.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Bulgaria

Vacation Leave Quota

20 days

Employees in Bulgaria are generally entitled to at least 20 days of paid vacation. This Bulgarian leave policy is applied to regular employees, but some employees may receive more days.

A standard vacation entitlement is identical to other countries in the region, such as leave laws in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc. However, the most generous leave policy in Europe is in the United Kingdom with 28 days of vacation.

However, certain special categories are entitled to longer vacations:

  • employees who are minors or those with partial work incapacity (starting from a 50% degree): 26 days;

  • Academic Faculty: professors at universities, associate professors, professors, senior lecturers, etc.: up to 48 days;

  • Other categories of employees in certain educational institutions, like teachers: up to 36 days;

  • Researchers and Scientists: up to 36 days.


After 8 months

To be eligible for any of these categories of vacation benefits, an employee must have been continuously employed at the company for at least 8 months.

Carry Over

Allowed, up to 2 years.

Employees are allowed to carry over unused vacation days from one year to the next. However, if vacation days or a portion of them are not taken within 2 years following the end of the year they were given, the entitlement to use them will expire, irrespective of the reasons.


PTO payout at the termination is required.

During their vacation, employees will receive a payment from their employer. This payment is based on the average gross daily salary.

Cashing out vacation days is not allowed except upon termination of employment. So, when an employee’s job ends, the employer must pay them for any unused vacation days.

Sick Leave in Bulgaria

The employer pays for the first 3 days, then social security.

Employees have the right to take sick leave if they are temporarily unable to work due to reasons like illness, work-related diseases, accidents at work, quarantine, etc.

Payment during sick leave and rates of compensation are similar to the system in the vast majority of leave policies in Europe and include first employer pay and then social security.

For the initial three days of an employee’s absence, the employer is responsible for paying them an amount equal to 70% of their earnings. The employer cannot reclaim from the state the amount they pay employees for these first three days. After three days, the state social insurance covers the sick leave payments at 80% of their earnings.

In cases of temporary disability caused by a work-related injury or occupational disease, the sick pay is calculated at 90% of the earnings.

An employee must submit a medical certificate during sick leave.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Bulgaria

410 days

Female employees in Bulgaria are entitled to 410 days of paid maternity leave. This is one of the best maternity leave in the world.

Maternity leave may begin 45 days before the anticipated delivery date.

Maternity leave is called otpusk poradi bremennost i ragdane in Bulgarian.


While on maternity leave, an employee will get monthly payments from state social insurance, which is 90% of the salary.

Furthermore, from the end of the 410-day period until the child turns two, employees are entitled to monthly payments from social security equal to the minimum wage. During this period, they will receive monthly compensation from social insurance, which is currently BGN 770 ( EUR 395), for the year 2023.

Paternity Leave in Bulgaria

15 days

The father is entitled to paternity leave if he and the mother are either married or living together in the same household. Paternity leave is 15 days long, starting from the day the child is discharged from the hospital after birth.

Paternity leave is called otpusk po bashtinstvo in Bulgarian.


While on paternity leave, employees receive compensation at the same rate as mothers, which is 90% of salary, and the Social Security system pays it.

Bereavement Leave in Bulgaria

2 days

In the event of the death of an immediate family member, employees are entitled to 2 days of bereavement leave. An immediate family member could be: a parent, a parent of the spouse, a spouse, a child, a brother, a sister, or other close relatives.

Jury Duty Leave in Bulgaria

Required by law for the duration of jury duty.

An employer must provide leave if any employee is summoned to appear in court or before other authorities as an expert, a witness, or a party.

Military Leave in Bulgaria

Required by law for the duration of military service.

An employee summoned for mobilization training will be considered on authorized leave throughout the training period, including the days spent traveling to the training camp. If the mobilization training is 15 days or longer, the employee has the right to take two paid days off before leaving and an additional two days off after returning. These days will be counted as part of the employee’s vacation.


During the mobilization training and the additional leave mentioned above, the Ministry of Defense will pay the employee.

Voting Leave in Bulgaria

Voting leave is not specified.

Marriage Leave in Bulgaria

2 days

An employer is required to provide 2 days of absence for an employee who is getting married.

Public Holidays in Bulgaria

11 public holidays

There are 11 officially recognized holidays in Bulgaria. In total, they last for 13 days because Easter and Christmas are celebrated for 2 days each.

A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Bulgaria:
Date Holiday
January 1 New Year’s Day
March 3 The Liberation Day
March or April Easter is celebrated on two days: Sunday and Monday
May 1 International Workers’ Day
May 6 St Georges Day
May 24 ​​The Day of Bulgarian Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture
September 6 Unification Day
September 22 Independence Day
November 1 National Revival Leaders Day (*)
December 24 Christmas Eve
December 25 & 26 Christmas Day

(*)Only educational institutions observe this day as an official holiday.


  1. Payroll and Benefits Guide Bulgaria, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/bulgaria/

  2. Statutory leaves and holidays according to the Bulgarian labour law, http://www.bulgaria-labour-law.bg/vacation.html

  3. Employment and Employee Benefits in Bulgaria: Overview, https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/8-503-3652?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)

  4. Paid annual leave in Bulgaria, https://ruskov-law.eu/bulgaria/article/paid-annual-leave.html

  5. Current leave and other employment-related policies to support parents, https://www.leavenetwork.org/fileadmin/user_upload/k_leavenetwork/country_notes/2020/PMedited.Bulgaria.with_supplement.31aug2020.pdf

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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