Bulgaria is one of the last countries to have a paper employment record, but the time is finally coming for its abolition. This for BTA MP Bozhidar Bojanov from the parliamentary group of "We continue the change - Democratic Bulgaria", submitter of the proposal for amendments to the Labor Code (LC). According to him, one of the arguments to take such a step is the loss of this paper document, which creates problems in retirement.
There is a consensus to replace the paper work book with a single electronic work record and be part of the employment register at the National Revenue Agency (NRA) and there is no turning back. By centralizing this information, we actually achieve more guarantee for the rights of workers and employees, commented Bojanov. The idea is also welcomed by the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, said the vice-president of the CITUB Todor Kapitanov and the vice-president of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce (BCC) Maria Mincheva.
The first step towards the change was made at the end of May, when the deputies of the 49th National Assembly voted on the first reading of the bill. Its final adoption is expected to be in the autumn parliamentary session, as there was not enough time before the summer break to pass a second reading in the leading Committee on Labour, Social and Demographic Policy. The texts were discussed in detail with the working group. The working group wrote more detailed texts on the abolition of the work book, so that all cases are covered, so that people do not lose their rights just because we decided to remove this document, Bojanov confirmed for BTA.
The employment book will be used to prove the experience before 1997, because the data from that period is not available anywhere else.
We have long believed that everything that can should be digitized. Since 2014, we have been trying to introduce electronicization in the relations between the employer and the worker, Mincheva said. Everything will be able to be checked online, she emphasized.
Mincheva welcomes Bojanov's commitment, first as minister of e-government in the "Petkov" cabinet and now as a representative, to defend this idea. The Deputy Chairman of the BSK believes that the benefits of the changes are definite.
According to an opinion of the chamber, published in May of this year, one of the positive sides is that the negatives are minimized in the case of loss and destruction of the employment book or lack of stamps and signatures. The issuance of a certificate for social security (work) experience, the so-called UP3, will also cease to exist.
Until now, only workers and employees were covered, service records were not submitted as data to the National Revenue Agency, and the information will now be consolidated for both workers and civil servants, Mincheva also noted.
If the work book is not filled in correctly, this creates difficulty in administrative processing. This makes it extremely difficult for both employers and the administration in the person of the National Social Security Institute when calculating pensions, commented Todor Kapitanov.
It was important for unions not to restrict people's labor rights with the introduction of the proposed changes, he said, and also opined that it was a step towards digitalisation. It will make it easier for workers and employers to fill in or check data on work and insurance experience, the vice president of the National Security Agency pointed out.
The Economic and Social Council welcomes everything related to the digitization of documents, because it meets the goals of sustainable development, and also makes it easier for people, said the chairperson of the council, Zornitsa Rusinova. This gives greater transparency and serves to prevent abuses, she emphasized and reminded of the other change - the removal of the blue stamp for the driver's license.
In the report of the Committee on Labour, Social and Demographic Policy for the second reading of the bill, it is noted that "the single electronic labor record is an electronic document that represents a collection of electronic documents and is an official source of data and circumstances related to the worker's work activity or the employee and is an official document certifying these data and circumstances". It is envisaged that every worker or employee will have the right to access their single electronic labor record. Parents and guardians have access to the relevant single employment record until the minor worker or employee reaches 18 years of age.
The deadline is September 1, 2026. Employers, appointing authorities must send to the NRA electronic copies of all work and service records of all workers and employees whose work and service records are not entered in the employment register.