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Salary and Compensation Insights

Explore salary structures and compensation details in Bulgaria

Market competitive salaries

Determining a competitive salary in Bulgaria requires understanding the interplay between various factors. Market competitive salaries represent compensation packages that attract and retain qualified employees within a specific industry and location. These salaries reflect the current job market trends, considering factors like:

Skillset and Experience

Salaries tend to rise with the level of expertise and experience required for the position.


Certain industries, like IT or finance, generally offer higher salaries compared to others.


Cost of living variations across Bulgaria can influence salary ranges. For instance, salaries in Sofia, the capital city, might be higher compared to smaller towns.

Company Size

Larger companies often have the resources to offer more competitive salaries and benefits packages compared to smaller ones.

To pinpoint competitive salary ranges in Bulgaria, you can use various resources:

Salary Surveys

Websites like SalaryExpert and ERI Economic Research Institute offer salary surveys with breakdowns by industry, job title, and location.

Job Boards

Leading job boards like Jobs.bg often list salary ranges alongside job postings, providing valuable insights into market rates.

Offering competitive salaries is crucial for businesses in Bulgaria to:

Attract Top Talent

Competitive compensation packages are essential to attract qualified candidates and remain competitive in the job market.

Employee Retention

Competitive salaries contribute to a more satisfied and motivated workforce, reducing employee turnover.

Improved Employer Branding

A reputation for offering fair compensation can enhance a company's employer brand and attract a wider pool of potential employees.

Minimum wage

Bulgaria adheres to a nationally mandated minimum wage, established by Council of Ministers Decrees. Understanding these regulations is crucial for employers operating in Bulgaria.

Minimum Wage Levels

The current minimum wage in Bulgaria is BGN 933 per month, effective from January 1, 2024. This translates to approximately EUR 470 based on current exchange rates (conversion rates may fluctuate).

It's important to note that Bulgaria does not have separate minimum wage structures for different sectors, occupations, or regions. The single national minimum wage applies across the board.

Exceptions and Considerations

  • Apprenticeship Programs: During a six-month training period, apprentices are entitled to a minimum wage proportional to the work performed, but no less than 90% of the national minimum wage.

  • Collective Bargaining Agreements: Minimum wage provisions outlined in collective bargaining agreements can supersede the national minimum wage, provided they offer more favorable terms to the employee.

Legislative References

  • Labour Code of the Republic of Bulgaria (Provides the legal framework for minimum wage regulations)
  • Council of Ministers Decrees (Establishes the specific minimum wage amount through periodic updates)

Bonuses and allowances

In Bulgaria, many companies offer additional incentives beyond the base salary to attract and retain talent. These incentives often come in the form of bonuses and allowances.

Statutory vs. Voluntary Benefits

Statutory benefits are mandatory payments mandated by Bulgarian labor law. Examples include overtime pay, severance pay, and paid leave. On the other hand, voluntary benefits are offered at the discretion of employers to enhance employee compensation packages. These can be financial or non-financial and can significantly impact an employee's total compensation.

Common Bonuses and Allowances in Bulgaria

Performance-based bonuses are tied directly to employee performance, rewarding individuals or teams for exceeding targets or achieving set goals. Some companies offer seniority allowances that increase with an employee's tenure at the company, recognizing their loyalty and experience.

Educational allowances are another common benefit, with companies offering financial support for employees pursuing further education or professional certifications relevant to their work. Tax-exempt meal vouchers of up to BGN 60 per month are a popular benefit, helping employees offset meal expenses.

Transportation allowances are also common, with employers providing financial assistance to cover commuting costs, especially if public transportation options are limited. Mobile phone allowances are another common benefit, with companies reimbursing employees for work-related phone usage or providing company phones.

Additional Considerations

The specific types and amounts of bonuses and allowances offered can vary significantly depending on the company size, industry, and employee position. Some companies might offer a combination of these bonuses and allowances, while others might focus on a select few. It's essential to review individual employment contracts or company policies to understand the specific benefits offered.

Payroll cycle

The payroll cycle in Bulgaria is predominantly monthly, aligning with international practices and ensuring regular salary payments for employees. It's worth noting that a 13th month salary is not a legal requirement in Bulgaria. While some employers offer it as a bonus, it's not mandated by law.

Payslips and Recordkeeping

Employers are obligated to provide payslips to employees at the end of each pay period. These slips detail gross salary, deductions, and net pay. Payslips can be issued electronically or in paper form. Bulgarian law also mandates employers to maintain detailed payroll records for an extended period, often up to 50 years.

Additional Considerations

Work exceeding the standard workweek of 40 hours is considered overtime and must be compensated accordingly. Overtime pay rates and calculation methods are typically outlined in employment contracts or company policies. Employers are responsible for mandatory contributions to various social security schemes on behalf of their employees. These schemes provide benefits like pensions and healthcare. Salaries in Bulgaria are subject to income tax, following a tiered structure. Once employees surpass a set threshold, they become liable to income tax.

Authoritative References

The Labour Code of the Republic of Bulgaria provides the legal framework for payroll practices. Council of Ministers Decrees establish the minimum wage amount. The National Revenue Agency of Bulgaria provides information on payroll taxes and social security contributions. Understanding these payroll practices can help employers in Bulgaria ensure they are compliant with labor laws and maintain accurate records. Employees can also gain valuable insights into how their compensation is calculated and paid.

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