The performance of intermediation services in employment is regulated by the Employment Promotion Act (Chapter VI, Art. 26, 27, 27a, 28, 29) and the issued Ordinance on the Conditions and Procedures for Conducting Intermediation in Employment thereunder.
Intermediation in employment includes the provision of, together or separately, intermediary services regarding:
- Information and/or advice to job seekers and employers;
- psychological support to job seekers;
- directing to adult training;
- guidance and assisting in starting work, including in another populated area in the country or in other countries.
Intermediary activities consist in providing assistance to job seeking persons and to the employers offering jobs with a view to concluding a contract of employment.
In order to perform employment intermediation, one needs to successfully register with the Employment Agency, after which the Minister of Labour and Social Policy or an official authorized by him shall issue a certificate of registration to the applicant conducting employment intermediation which is then entered in a register. The list of intermediaries holding a valid certificate is published on the website of the Employment Agency.
Eligible for registration to conduct employment intermediation activities are physical (ST) and/or legal persons (persons who have the right to provide employment intermediary services in accordance with Bulgarian legislation, the legislation of another Member State of the European Union, or of another country - party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, if established in the Republic of Bulgaria and registered under the Employment Promotion Act). The registration process for conducting intermediation in employment of persons registered under Bulgarian legislation, begins with the application for registration. In addition, persons applying for registration as intermediaries must meet the following conditions:
1. to have no monetary obligations to the state or municipality within the meaning of Art. 162 (2) of the Tax and Social Insurance Procedure Code, established by an act of a competent authority, except for the cases where stretching out or cancellation of the obligations is admitted, or monetary obligations related with payment of instalments of social insurance - the absence of such obligations is established by a certificate from the municipality and the National Revenue Agency, which is attached to the application for registration;
2. are not announced in insolvency;
3. are not in liquidation procedure;
4. have no imposed to them administrative punishments for violations of the Employment Promotion Act (Art. 81 (1) or (2), Art. 28 (1) and (3) and Art. 7, item 2 – failing to register with the Employment Agency or conducting intermediary activities and services in violation of the requirements for the said activity, failing to conclude an intermediation contract with job seekers and employers while collecting fees or other payments directly or indirectly on part of the job seekers or employed persons) within three years prior to the date of application for registration;
5. the members of the management and/or supervisory bodies of the legal persons:
а) are persons to whom no penalties were imposed for violations of the Employment Promotion Act (Art. 81 (1) or (2), Art. 28 (1) and (3) and Art. 7, item 2) within three years prior to the date of application for registration;
b) have not been members of management and/or supervisory bodies of entities, to which penalties were imposed for violations of the Employment Promotion Act (Art. 81 (1) or (2), Art. 28 (1) and (3) and Art. 7, item 2) within three years prior to the date of application for registration.
Persons registered under Bulgarian legislation need to attach the following to their application for registration:
- a copy of the registration document or a unique identification code in accordance with Art. 23 of the Commercial Register Act;
- documents certifying the absence of financial liabilities to the state or the municipality within the meaning of Art. 162 (2) of the Tax and Social Insurance Procedure Code at the date of submitting the application;
- unique identification number to be entered in the register, under Art. 10 (1), item 2 of the Personal Data Protection Act, kept by the Personal Data Protection Commission (registration as a data controller in PDPC is carried out by filling out the relevant forms regarding the person who will process personal data and regarding the records to be maintained. Applicants for registration as a data controller must comply with certain requirements under the Personal Data Protection Act and the Ordinance № 1 of January 30, 2013 issued thereunder for the minimum level of technical and organizational measures and the admissible type of personal data protection. It is important for the applicants to carefully consider the details of the data records they intend to keep, and how exactly they would protect the data therein, as penalties for violating data protection legislation can reach BGN 100 000. The registration forms can be completed on paper or electronically on the website of PDPC. In the latter case, one needs to present a confirmation sheet, completed online at PDPC either in paper form (when sent by mail, notarization is also required), or signed with a digital signature. Proceedings before the PDPC following the submission of the required documents last 14 days. Data controllers who filed duly completed documents or who met the mandatory requirements, are entered in the ‘Register of data controllers and their personal data records’ at the PDPC with a unique identification number;
- notarised copies of educational qualifications in secondary or higher education of the physical person or the representative of the legal person and of the persons to perform employment intermediation.
The Minister of Labour and Social Policy or an official authorised by him shall decide on the application and the documents attached thereto within 14 days of receiving the same.
If the application and/or its annexes do not meet the requirements, the applicant is to be notified in writing to remove the inadequacies and/or inaccuracies within 14 days of receiving the notification. Where there is need for further inquiry and/or coordination with other institutions, the deadline for registration may be extended, but by no more than 14 days, of which the applicant has to be notified in writing.
The Minister of Labour and Social Policy or an official authorized by him shall issue a registration certificate to the persons, performing employment intermediation activities. The certificate is issued following a pro forma example and is entered in the register. According to Art. 11 (2) of the aforementioned Ordinance, the register shall contain:
- registration number;
- the name of the person, conducting intermediary activities;
- management address;
- office address;
- the name of the representative;
- territorial scope and nature of the intermediary services;
The certificate shall be issued after the payment of a fee determined by a tariff of the Council of Ministers, and after presenting a document to evidence the bank transfer. The fee is payable within 14 days from the date of notifying the applicant that it is due. According to the Tariff of fees collected for registration for employment intermediation activities under the Employment Promotion Act, registration for conducting such activities in the Republic of Bulgaria, including the issuance of a certificate of registration requires the payment of a BGN 380 fee, and registration for employment intermediation in other countries and for sailors, including a certificate of registration, requires the collection of a BGN 670 fee. It follows that if the person is to perform intermediary activities both in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and in other countries, both taxes shall be payable, despite having submitted only one application for registration.
In order to harmonise the practice in Bulgaria with the ones adopted in other Member States of the European Union, amendments to the Employment Promotion Act were adopted in 2014, resulting in the elimination of the requirement to register contracts with foreign employers concluded through intermediary companies.
According to the European Commission, the compulsory registration of intermediation contracts concluded with foreign employers restricts the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services. According to Art. 14 of the Ordinance intermediators may terminate the intermediation activities on their own initiative following a written notification to the Employment Agency. Termination is effected by deletion from the register and return of the certificate of registration to the Employment Agency within 14 days of the notification. The intermediator needs to notify the employers and job seekers with whom they have concluded contracts in writing of the termination of their activities.