Bulgaria Cabinet Mulls Controversial Sick Leave Pay Measure

Business | April 27, 2010, Tuesday // 13:37|  views

Bulgaria's Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, says the cabinet will use its right to unilaterally add the unpaid sick leave measure to the anti-crisis package. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s workers will no longer be paid for the 3rd day of their sick leave, according to the amendment in the Social Insurance Code, to be approved by the cabinet on Wednesday..

The information was reported by Bulgarian media Tuesday, citing sources, speaking off the record.

Over the lack of consensus about the move, which is the last of the 60 anti-crisis measures, Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, stated the cabinet will use its right to unilaterally add the measure to the package.

The measure provides for the first day of an employee sick leave to be paid 100% by the employer, the second will be paid at 60%, while from the 4th day on, the payment will be covered by the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK).

The measure is to last only until the end of 2010, and is motivated with the increase of the sick leave expenses by BGN 160 000 in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.

The 100%-60%-0%-NZOK version, chosen by the Council of Ministers, is one of several that had been discussed with the Labor Unions and the employers – 80%-80%-0%-NZOK; 0%-80%-80%-NZOK, and 50%-50%-50%-NZOK, among them.

Another proposal is to use all accumulated leave until the end of 2010 and only 10 days of the leave to be transferred to the next year if needed.

Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, already said the GERB cabinet is not going to compromise with the use of the accumulated leave and extend the deadline as the Labor Unions demand.

The Unions, on their part, already announced they are to stage mass rallies, alarm the international community and ask the President to veto the measures if they are approved by the government.

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Tags: Simeon Djankov, anti-crisis measure, anti-crisis package, sick leave pay, labor unions


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