Category Archives: News

BICA IS THE NEW ROTARY PRESIDENT OF AOBE

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Today Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) took over from the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIB) the rotating chairmanship of the Association of the Organizations of Bulgarian Employers (AOBE) for 2021. In accordance with the established rotation, the Executive Director and Member of the Board of CEIB Evgeniy Ivanov, authorized for this purpose by the Chairman of CEIB Kiril Domuschiev, handed over the chairmanship of AOBR for 2021 to the Chairman of BICA Vassil Velev.

Vassil Velev – Chairman of BICA, Radosvet Radev – Chairman of BIA, Tsvetan Simeonov – Chairman of BCCI, Evgeniy Ivanov – Executive Director of CEIB, as well as experts from the respective organizations took part in the first meeting of the year.

AOBE unites the nationally representative employers’ organizations BICA, BIA, BCCI and CEIB. The main goal of the organization is to consolidate, balance and represent the interests of its members. The employees in the enterprises, members of the four employers’ organizations, represent 82% of all employees in our country, and the gross value added they produce is 86%.

The CEIB Presidency of AOBE in 2020 was considered extremely successful in view of the difficult situation related to the epidemiological situation, the business challenges posed by COVID-19 and the emergence of an economic crisis as a consequence of the pandemic and isolation. The rotating presidency also coincided with the process of signing the National Tripartite Agreement between the government and the social partners, as well as with the process of counting the nationally representative organizations of employers, which created additional responsibilities for AOBE. Despite the challenges, a record number of common positions, declarations and opinions were adopted.

For the reporting period AOBE has developed and presented to the relevant competent institutions 69 positions in protecting the interests of business, focused mainly on measures to support business in the emergency situation and the epidemiological situation, Bulgaria’s accession to ERM II, preparation and signing of The national tripartite agreement between the government and the social partners, the representation of AOBE in various state and international bodies and on energy and financial issues.

More than 20 meetings were held with representatives of the government – Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers, mainly on economic and social measures to overcome the effects of the crisis with COVID-19 and protect the interests of business. The prepared opinions on energy are directly related to the need for reforms in the sector and are in line with the priorities of AOBE. On financial issues, AOBE’s positions mainly concern Bulgaria’s accession to the euro area, as well as opinions on legislation in the area. This was reported by CEIB, the current rotating chairman of AOBE.

The participants in the meeting discussed the guidelines and priorities of the organization for the current year, which after coordination and approval by members will be officially presented at the traditional press conference of AOBE at the beginning of each year, scheduled for January 25, 2021 at 12.00 in BTA Press Club .

BICA SENT A “CHRISTMAS LETTER” TO THE CABINET FOR SUPPORT OF COMPANIES WITH A LARGE DICREASE IN INCOME CAUSED BY COVID-19

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Mr. BOYKO BORISOV,
PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

MRS. MARIANA NIKOLOVA,
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC POLICY AND MINISTER OF TOURISM

Mr. KIRIL ANANIEV,
MINISTER OF FINANCE

Mr. ROSEN ZHELYAZKOV,
MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND COMMUNICATIONS

MRS. DENITSA SACHEVA,
MINISTER OF LABOR AND SOCIAL POLICY

Mr. LACHEZAR BORISOV, MINISTER OF ECONOMY

 

Subject: Support for aviation and other formally unclosed businesses, but with a large drop in sales revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT,
DEAR GENTELMEN AND MINISTERS,

We highly appreciate the measures taken by the Bulgarian government to support the Bulgarian economy in the context of the deepening crisis.

We believe that the measure of 60 to 40 plus BGN 290 for each job in the field of transport and tourism is working and provides at least a partial opportunity to alleviate the pressure on civil aviation, transport and tourism in general. But the huge decline in revenues in civil aviation compared to 2019 reaches 80-85%. At the same time, fixed costs, which are specific to the aviation industry, are maintained, and operating costs in the performance of flights are even increased to reduce the risk of contamination in aircraft. The maintenance of aviation equipment and the high qualification of the personnel require continuous financial investments, and the reserves used so far by the airlines and the branch are practically exhausted. The situation of the airlines is similar to that of the companies whose activities are closed. This is because regular passengers are at a critical minimum and there are almost no passenger charters. In a similar situation are the commercial sites, closely related to tourism, and hotels. It is therefore imperative that the measures applied to activities closed by an act of a public authority also apply to the aviation sector and other most severely affected businesses. Therefore, it is imperative that activities with a decline exceeding a certain amount (for example 40 or 45 percent) on the basis of the same month of 2019 be supported for partial payment of uncovered fixed costs. The decrease in sales revenue is, in our opinion, a much more objective criterion than whether an enterprise’s activity has been terminated by an act of a state body, as the same enterprise may carry out other activities that have not been suspended and thereby have a smaller and not even a drop in revenue.

The European Commission, with the amendments to the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current epidemic of COVID-19 of 13.10.2020, allowed such state aid / financial contribution to the uncovered fixed costs up to 90 for micro and small, respectively up to 70 per cent for medium and large enterprises with a drop in sales of at least 30 per cent. We offer by 1/3 or even by 1/2 a larger decrease as an eligibility given the greater resilience to crises of Bulgarian business.

We propose that the support be for the last quarter of 2020 (the second wave) with a financial resource of BGN 150 million, set aside from the budget within the planned deficit with the last budget update. Such an amount, together with the 156 million redirected from the Operational Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” for closed businesses, would bring our country closer to the good European practices in terms of GDP. At the same time, we believe that such an amount is entirely within the capabilities of the budget, given its balance until a few days ago and the planned 5 billion deficit in a few days.

WITH RESPECT,

VASSIL VELEV, CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNMENT BOARD
OF BULGARIAN INDUSTRIAL CAPITAL ASSOCIATION

BICA: GRAY ECONOMY IN BULGARIA CONTINUES TO DECREASE

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) reports a continuing downward trend in the gray economy for the fifth consecutive year. For 2019, the Composite Index “Business in Rules”, through which the Association measures the light part of the Bulgarian economy, reached a value of 78.52 points, compared to 77.76 a year earlier. This became clear during the official presentation of the Composite Index and the presentation of the “Business in Rules” awards.

BICA reports that in 2019 the main reasons holding back the positive trends in the economic recovery are due to the lack of reforms or insufficient ones in key sectors such as healthcare, competition protection, justice, internal order and security, labor market. Among the negative factors, the Association notes another administrative increase in the minimum wage, which has led to the “emergence” of new gray practices among low-skilled workers and employees.

This year, BICA updated and expanded the scope of the index to cover more manifestations of the gray economy. For this purpose, the models and methodology for calculating the indicators were improved. A new indicator has been developed – “Employment in the light”, and its data will be calculated and published from 2021. Thus, the focus of research will be the labor market, where over the years have highlighted some of the most significant problems, with a lasting effect on the national economy. The activities were carried out in the implementation of the project “Improving access to employment and the quality of jobs by limiting and preventing undeclared employment”.

For ten years now, BICA has been calculating the Composite Index “Business in Rules”, the aim of which is to get to know the various manifestations of the gray economy and to stimulate the policies for its reduction. From the beginning of the calculations until now, the Index has been growing, and the only year in which a decline of 1.2 points was reported was 2014. BICA’s expectations are that in the next four years the Bulgarian economy will continue a smooth trend of lightening. As in 2023, the composite index will reach levels of over 82 points.

During the event, for the seventh year in a row, the Industrial Capital Association presented the Business in Rules awards.

  • In the category for “For normative act or administrative practice, which lead to reduction of the gray economy and improvement of the business environment”, the winner was the Accounting Legislation Department of the Ministry of Finance. The award was presented for the changes made in the Accounting Act, adopted by the 44th National Assembly. The changes in the law can be defined as an effective measure to reduce the administrative burden on business in Bulgaria and possible abuses. They improve the business environment in the country and make it easier for traders. Diplomas in the category were also awarded to the Customs Agency, the National Revenue Agency and CITUB.
  • The chief economist of the Institute for Market Economics Lachezar Bogdanov grabbed the award “For a person or organization that has contributed to limiting and preventing the informal economy through an active position.” He defeated the competition of the Customs Agency, the Executive Agency “General Labor Inspectorate” and the Sofia Arbitration Court at the Association “International Association for Justice and Arbitration”.
  • Tsvetan Petrov from Economic.bg is this year’s winner in the category “Journalist or media that contributed to changing public attitudes towards intolerance towards the informal economy.” The other nominees for the prize and awarded diplomas were the host and producer of the BNT show “Business.BG” Ilina Biserova, the journalist of BTV Teodora Trifonova and the team of the newspaper “Banker”.

The competition aims to highlight and award leading institutions and individuals with an active position and contribution to the reduction of gray practices. And the winners were announced by secret ballot by a large expert jury, which consisted of over 100 prominent personalities: prominent economists, public figures, media representatives, members of the National and Control Council of BICA, the Public Council for Restriction and Prevention of the Informal Economy and etc.

BICA AND FUND OF FUNDS DISCUSSED THE OPPORTUNITIES TO FINANCE BUSINESS THROUGH SHARE INVESTMENTS

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) and the Fund of Funds discussed the possibilities for financing the business through equity investment instruments. The meeting between the two organizations was attended by the Chairman of the Board of BICA Vassil Velev, the Secretary General Dr. Milena Angelova and the Executive Director Dobrin Ivanov, on the one hand, and the Executive Director of the Fund Vladimir Danailov.

The fund already has four active equity instruments. Financial intermediaries Vitosha Venture Partners, Innovation Capital and New Vision 3 invest in companies at an early stage of development, and Morningside Hill – in business projects with a risk profile. The total public resource at their disposal is EUR 104.2 million, to which intermediary funds add private funds.

“I am sure that together with one of the largest employers’ organizations we can work to promote equity investments so that Bulgarian business knows that there are opportunities for financing good and sustainable ideas,” said the Fund’s executive director Vladimir Danailov.

The two organizations promised to work together for promoting the opportunities offered by the Fund, by jointly developing a special business guide through which companies can receive basic guidelines and advice on choosing a broker, ways to apply and the necessary documents. It is expected that at the beginning of 2021 BICA and the Fund of Funds will start the first meetings with business representatives to present the funding opportunities.

According to the Chairman of the Board of BICA Vassil Velev in our country there is a need to improve the corporate culture of business and the attitude towards entrepreneurship. “Our goal is to improve the business climate and develop entrepreneurship. And I think we can be good allies in this endeavor. We need to set good examples and bring success out of anonymity. This is the only way we will stimulate young people to start their own businesses “, added Mr. Velev.

Fund of funds manages BGN 1.2 billion of public resources, with which it can mobilize more than BGN 2 billion of private funds. The fund provides two types of financial instruments – debt instruments an dequity investments.

BICA REPRESENTATIVES RE-ELECTED IN THE MANAGEMENT OF SGI EUROPE

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The General Assembly of SGIEurope held today in Brussels elected a new chairman – Mr. Pascal Bolo (who is Vice President of Nantes Metropole and Chairman of the French section of SGIEurope) and re-elected Dr. Milena Angelova, Secretary General of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association for Vice President until 2022, together with Mr. Filippo Brandolini (Italy) and Mr. Ingberg Liebing (Germany). Given the important decisions on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the Recovery and Development Plan, the negotiations on social issues, tax legislation, energy in the EU, as well as the ongoing crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic, this is a serious opportunity for BICA to participate in making of policies in Europe.

Two of the members of the National Council of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) were re-elected to senior positions in the Councils of SGIEurope. These are Eng. Stefan Tchaikov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Branch Chamber “Roads” and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Borislav Velikov from the “Bulgarian Water Association”.

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With a mandate until the end of 2022, Stefan Tchaikov is again Deputy Chairman of the Council for Sustainable Development, and Borislav Velikov – Deputy Chairman of the Working Group on Water Resources.

The Council for Sustainable Development was established in 2013 to facilitate and structure work related to cross-border, interdisciplinary and interdepartmental issues that require input from experts with different competences. Its aim is to ensure a smooth lobbying of the European institutions, building on the achievements of the working groups on sustainable development (in the fields of communications, energy, environment, transport and water resources). The main priorities for the forthcoming mandate are climate change and resource efficiency. His initiatives are extremely useful for the EU, as they are the result of in-depth work that takes into account the diversity of stakeholders, points of view and the balance between them.

BICA PUTS AGAINST ADMINISTRATIVE INCREASE IN MINIMAL WAGE

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association sent its position on the Draft Council of Ministers for setting a new amount of the minimum wage in the country for 2021 to Ms. Mariana Nikolova, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy and Minister of Tourism, and Mrs. Denitsa Sacheva, Minister of Labor and Social Policy. In it, BICA again categorically states its disagreement with the administrative and voluntary determination of the amount of the minimum wage.

The employers’ organization once again found that even when it was considered that the talks on reaching an agreement on the minimum wage bargaining model had almost reached the “last resort”, the Council of Ministers, openly encouraged by the national representative organizations of workers and employees, is in a hurry to raise the minimum monthly wage for the country as much as possible before the mechanism of its negotiation becomes a reality.

BICA provides data illustrating unjustified and sharp growth of the minimum wage, this time the data presented for the period 2000 – 2017/2018. Through them, employers again remind of several facts:

1. The administratively set minimum wage is growing “explosively” compared to other EU economies;
2. The minimum wage represents an unacceptably large share of the average wage for the country;
3. The increase of the administratively determined minimum wage exceeds the agreed minimum wages by branches and branches;
4. Bulgaria is a leader in terms of the ratio between the annual amount of the minimum wage and the gross domestic product per capita for the EU countries.

In connection with the presented arguments, Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association continues to appeal for a new approach in determining the minimum wage for the country, insisting from now on, regardless of the form that will take the negotiation of the minimum monthly wage for the country, the medium-term budget forecast to consult the social partners. At least in the part where the minimum monthly salary is set in perspective.

In conclusion – regarding the government’s proposal for the minimum monthly salary for the country to reach BGN 650 from January 1, 2021, Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) categorically rejects this proposal, relying on the above arguments and considerations. According to the employers’ organization, this further increase in the minimum wage poses even more serious threats than before.

Unfortunately BICA reiterates its very serious doubt that raising the minimum wage to BGN 650 is a pre-determined issue. For this reason, the Association addresses the government and the social partners with a proposal to adopt a decision for a kind of derogation from the minimum monthly wage in the endangered economic activities, which can be easily analyzed on the basis of data on average insurance income, such as them the new amount of the minimum monthly salary, which will probably come into force on January 1, 2021, to be replaced by the current amount of BGN 610.

BICA urges the government, as well as the social partners, to support this compromise solution, which would give a breath of fresh air to endangered economic activities. In a number of them, the low average insurance income is due to an extremely unfavorable international situation, and in others, such as the private security sector, incomes are literally “crushed” by the vicious system of public procurement by a single criterion – the lowest price.

BICA appeals in case the government decides to impose a minimum wage of BGN 650, as of January 1, 2021, to postpone its introduction for endangered economic activities, where the proposed minimum wage exceeds the average insurance income, or is too close to it.

PROPOSALS OF AOBЕ FOR AMENDMENT AND SUPPLEMENT OF THE LAW ON THE MEASURES AND ACTIONS DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY, ANNOUNCED BY A DECISION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FROM 13.03.2020

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MRS. TSVETA TSARAYANCHEVA
CHAIRMAN OF THE 44TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

DEPUTIES IN THE 44TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

SUBJECT: Proposals for amendment and supplementation of the Law on Measures and Actions during the State of Emergency, announced by a decision of the National Assembly of 13.03.2020

 

 LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

The representative at the national level organizations of employers BICA, BIA, BCCI and CEIBG, united in AOBR, whose members provide employment to over 82% of employees in Bulgaria to maintain employment and support the income of working people within the allocated resource of 1 billion, we express our concern at the fact that with more than 60,000 forced shutdowns and more than 350,000 companies affected by the crisis, with 5,000 people losing their jobs every day, only 228 companies (which is a statistical zero) want to benefit from the support under paragraph 6 of the LMI. The reason why well less than 1% of enterprises see the possibility of keeping jobs under the proposed order is in the essential defects of the law (in paragraphs 4 and 6 of its transitional and final provisions), which work in the direction contrary to what is desired – instead of helping to keep jobs through reasonable compensation, these rules make it impossible to keep employment by ordering the worker to receive his gross salary (ie all his salary) for the time he does not work. In this situation, the company is forced to dismiss the worker, for whom it is forbidden or unable to provide work, because is unable to pay the same worker full remuneration for any work. And then the unemployment benefit is fully covered by the state, for a period of up to one year, instead of being kept in employment at lower cost. ordering the worker to receive his gross remuneration (ie all his remuneration) for the time during which he does not work. In this situation, the company is forced to dismiss the worker, for whom it is forbidden or unable to provide work, because is unable to pay the same worker full remuneration for any work. And then the unemployment benefit is fully covered by the state, for a period of up to one year, instead of being kept in employment at lower cost. ordering the worker to receive his gross remuneration (ie all his remuneration) for the time during which he does not work. In this situation, the company is forced to dismiss the worker, for whom it is forbidden or unable to provide work, because is unable to pay the same worker full remuneration for any work. And then the unemployment benefit is fully covered by the state, for a period of up to one year, instead of being kept in employment at lower cost.

The obligation to pay the full amount of the remuneration of employees, without any consideration, without work, is not supported by either legal or economic doctrine. This is an obligation for companies to pay equally to a worker who has worked full time and to a worker who has worked ½ working time, and to one who has not worked at all for the same period. Such an obligation does not compensate for missing income from unpaid work, but pays full remuneration for no work. This is not compensation, but damage to the company and its employees, who must make and provide money for such unjustified compensation, which benefits only the unemployed.

The principle of compensating for unearned income presupposes giving part of the unearned income, never giving all the income. This is also the case when determining the amount of pensions, where they are a little over 40% of the insurance income, as the asking value is 60%. Unemployment benefit is 60% of the salary received. This is because these payments are a replacement income that replaces the employee’s earnings during the time he is not working and in no case can they and should not compensate 100% for the missing income, because it is deprived from economic and social security logic and will lead to distortion of the social security model. In addition, account should be taken of the fact that when no work is done, maintenance costs fall – by an average of 40% according to objective studies.

In order to maximize, efficiently and effectively use the limited financial resources of the state, so that within the same resource to provide more people with adequate support, especially where it is most needed, full compensation of income may be acceptable only in terms of wages equal to the minimum wage, and as income increases, the intensity of compensation should decrease.

Due to the extremely short deadlines for adoption, the Act also suffers from other omissions and contradictions that need to be addressed.

§4, item 2 of the Transitional and Final Provisions (TFP) of the Labor Code in the Labor Code (LC) creates a new legal institute “suspension of work in a declared state of emergency”, without giving it a legal definition.

Currently, the Labor Code deals with the concepts of “suspension of work” and “cessation of activity” of the enterprise. The concept of “termination of the enterprise” was introduced in the Labor Code in 2010 to regulate the possibility of an employee to terminate his employment, in cases where the employer, the person representing him or the person designated to receive the correspondence of the employer cannot be found at the address of management specified in the employment contract. According to §1, item 14 of the Additional Provisions of the Labor Code, “cessation of activity is the actual cessation of the production and / or economic activity of the enterprise for more than 15 working days without a stay or suspension of work, due to technological reasons or production needs’.

In practice, in such a situation, the activity of the employer is stopped and the employee is at a standstill. The introduction of a new legal institute raises the question of what is the difference between suspension of work, stay and cessation of activity without adding value. For this reason, we believe that the established institutions (suspension of work) should be used, the application of which is clear and consistent.

With §4, item 5 of the TFP LMDVIP a new art. 267a of the Labor Code – “Remuneration in case of termination of work in a declared state of emergency”, according to which for the time of termination of employment the employee is entitled to his gross remuneration.

Remuneration is the consideration by the employer against the provision of labor to the employee. Therefore, outside the established exceptions (eg, when using paid annual leave), if the employee’s obligation to perform work is suspended, the counter-obligation for the employer to accrue and pay wages is also suspended. Insofar as the employment relationship for the period of suspension of work has not been terminated, the employee will be entitled to paid annual leave (argument art. 351, para. 1 LC), which will additionally burden the enterprises financially.

The obligation to accrue and pay the gross remuneration of workers during their stay, linked to the obligation to accrue and pay the gross remuneration in a state of emergency by non-operating enterprises, for an indefinite period of time, is a prerequisite for achieving the exact opposite of the intended effect, namely redundancies instead of maintaining employment .

§6 of the TFP LMVVIP introduced a rule according to which during the operation of this law, but for a period not exceeding three months, the National Social Security Institute transfers 60 percent of the amount of insurance income for January 2020 to persons insured under Art. 4, para. 1, item 1 of the Social Insurance Code by insurers meeting the criteria set by an act of the Council of Ministers. The funds are transferred by bank transfer to the respective insurer . In case the insurer does not pay the full amount of the remuneration to the employees for whom the funds have been received, he is obliged to reimburse them.

By Decree № 55 of 30 March 2020 determining the terms and conditions for payment of compensations to employers in order to maintain the employment of employees in the state of emergency, declared by a decision of the National Assembly of 13 March 2020 (the Decree) , The Council of Ministers adopted criteria and procedure for applying by employers for compensation. The measure is designed in a way that hinders the opportunities to help those who need support the most. There is a real danger that most employees in companies whose activities are affected by anti-epidemic measures will be left without any income due to the inability of companies to provide 40 percent of wages, social security contributions and the ability to pay the full amount of wages to employees. ,, for which compensation has been received for twice as long as the current order. At the same time, a number of companies will have to incur significant costs to make redundancies in order for workers to register and receive unemployment benefits. In addition, for mass layoffs, the procedure takes between 30 and 45 days. If an employer does not meet the criteria set out in the Decree, or as is the case in general – does not have the financial resources to pay 40% of gross wages plus nearly 20% insurance in case of work stoppage, workers are at risk of not having any financial resources – neither in the form of wages nor in the form of benefits. a number of companies will have to incur significant costs to make redundancies in order for workers to register and receive unemployment benefits. In addition, for mass layoffs, the procedure takes between 30 and 45 days. If an employer does not meet the criteria set out in the Decree, or as is the case in general – does not have the financial resources to pay 40% of gross wages plus nearly 20% insurance in case of work stoppage, workers are at risk of not having any financial resources – neither in the form of wages nor in the form of benefits. a number of companies will have to incur significant costs to make redundancies in order for workers to register and receive unemployment benefits. In addition, for mass layoffs, the procedure takes between 30 and 45 days. If an employer does not meet the criteria set out in the Decree, or as is the case in general – does not have the financial resources to pay 40% of gross wages plus nearly 20% insurance in case of work stoppage, workers are at risk of not having any financial resources – neither in the form of wages nor in the form of benefits.

In order to achieve a real effect of the proposed measure and to overcome the identified problems, it is necessary that employers are not burdened with the cost of wages and related social security contributions, in cases where the work of the company is stopped (completely or partially) and when the employee does not work. For the period of stay, the employee should receive compensation from the Unemployment Fund, while retaining his job.

In order to avoid discrimination between compensation of workers and employees who are in residence and those who work part-time, we offer the income of part-time workers under Art. 138a, para. 2 to be supplemented with compensation in the amount proportional to the unworked time.

The proposal makes it possible to preserve the interests of employees, employers and those of the fiscal authorities at the same time, insofar as the period of up to 3 months of compensation is reduced, compared to the case where the same persons can receive the same amount of compensation for a period. up to 12 months. In this way, the employer will keep the employment in his company.

In view of the above, our unanimous opinion is that in order for a measure to maintain employment to be working, a legislative change is needed, through which the funds can directly and partially support the absent incomes of employees without making them unenforceable. conditions for enterprises. Our proposal is in this direction.

  1. In the PZR ZMDVIP, § 4., vol. 2:
    • Amend the title to read as follows: replace the word “suspension” with the word “suspension” and to read as follows: “Suspension of work in a state of emergency”
    • The text of paragraph 120c shall be amended as follows:

“Where, in the event of a state of emergency, anti-epidemic measures have been introduced restricting the activity directly or indirectly, the employer may, by order, suspend the operation of the undertaking, part of it or individual employees.”

The current wording of paragraph 2 regulates a non-existent hypothesis by which the operation of the enterprise or part of it is terminated by an order of a state body. An obligation is created for the employer not to admit the employees to their workplaces for the period specified in the order. Order RD-01-124 of 13.03.2020 of the Minister of Health does not suspend the work of the enterprises, but suspends the visits to a number of sites. The proposed wording of Art. 120c reflects the actual situation.

  1. In the TFP ZMDVIP, § 4., item 3, letter “a”:

Al. 2 of Art. 138a to be amended as follows:

“(2) In the enterprise, in part of it or for individual workers or employees, the employer may establish for the whole period of declared state of emergency or for part of this period part-time work for the workers and employees who work full time.”

The proposed wording allows the employer flexibility in establishing part-time work, according to its real need.

  1. In the PZR ZMDVIP, § 4., vol. 4:

Paragraph 1 of Art. 173a to be amended as follows:

The words “by order of the employer or by order of a public authority” shall be deleted and the word “suspended” shall be replaced by the word “suspended” and the text shall be amended as follows:

“(1) When, due to a declared state of emergency, the work of the enterprise, part of the enterprise or individual employees is suspended, the employer has the right to provide paid annual leave to the employee without his consent, including the employee, who has not acquired 8 months of work experience.

  1. In the PZR ZMDVIP §4., V. 5.

4.1. Amend the title as follows:

“Compensation in case of suspension of work and in case of established part-time work in case of a declared state of emergency”

4.2. the text of art. 267a is amended as follows:

“Art. 267a. (1) For the time of suspension of the work in the cases of art. 120c, as well as upon establishment of part-time work by the employer under Art. 138a, para. 2 of the Labor Code, the employee is entitled to monetary compensation under § 6 of the Transitional and Final Provisions of the Law on Measures and Actions during the State of Emergency, announced by a decision of the National Assembly of March 13, 2020. suspension of work is considered as length of service.

(2) Upon introduction of part-time work by the employer under Art. 138a, para. 2 of the Labor Code, the amount of monetary compensation is determined in proportion to the time not worked. “

  1.  PCR ZMDVIP § 5
  2. A new item 3 is added with the following content:
  3. In Art. 9 para. 2 a new item 6 shall be added:

„T. 6. during which the person has received monetary compensation under art. 267a LC. “

The proposed amendment provides for the period of receipt of compensation under Art. 267a to be considered as insurance length of service, without due payment of insurance contributions.

  1. In PZR ZMDVIP § 6

The text should be edited as follows:

  • 6. (1) During the operation of this law, but for a term not longer than three months, the National Social Security Institute shall transfer monetary compensation in the amount of 60 per cent of the amount of the insurance income for January 2020 to persons insured under Art. 4, para. 1, item 1 of the Social Insurance Code by insurers meeting the criteria set by an act of the Council of Ministers. The funds are transferred by bank transfer to the respective insured persons within 5 working days on the basis of written information provided by the Employment Agency.

(2) The funds transferred by the order of par. 1, shall be at the expense of the Unemployment Fund of the state social insurance.

(3) The insurers under par. 1 shall submit to the Employment Agency information about the persons, falling under the regime under art. 120c or 267a by order and conditions, determined in an act of the Council of Ministers.

  1. To create a point in the PPL LMI with the following content:

“The compensations due to the insured persons, indicated in the applications, submitted by the order of §6. of the Transitional and Final Provisions of the Law on Measures and Actions during the State of Emergency, declared by a decision of the National Assembly of March 13, 2020, before the entry into force of this law, shall be paid in accordance with this law. “

BICA PROPOSES THE FORMATION OF AN ECONOMIC ANTI-CRISIS HEADQUARTERS FOR PREVENTING THE FAILURE OF THE BULGARIAN ECONOMY

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) appeals for the immediate establishment of an Economic Anti-Crisis Headquarters to identify a set of measures to save the Bulgarian economy through targeted support and assistance from the state to deal with the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and the economic crisis. which they unlock. This is stated in an official letter of the employers’ organization to the Minister of Labor and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva.
Supporting the need for immediate action to ensure the safety of Bulgarian citizens, BICA appeals for proportionate measures to support the economy, businesses and their employees. Disruption of normal economic activity, production processes and provision of services, even for a short period of time, seriously endangers the economy of our country and can lead to a permanent loss of market shares, reflecting a long-term loss of economic growth. This was also taken into account by the European Commission, which for this very reason allowed non-compliance with state aid rules in the development of measures to support the economy.
BICA makes constructive proposals to support Bulgarian companies, including following the practice introduced in a number of EU countries to support remuneration in the transition to reduced working hours, and the measure applies to all affected companies. If there is a complete cessation of activities, BICA proposes the state to simplify the insurance, which is at the expense of the company. If necessary, the Law on the Purpose should be amended, together with a set of more targeted measures to support SMEs and the incomes of working people.
According to BICA, key sectors for the Bulgarian economy need support at the moment. Examples are the manufacturing sectors, which suffer damage both due to disrupted supply chains and sales, restrictions on the movement or refusal of orders, and due to difficulties in the production process, due to the need for enhanced measures to prevent the spread of the virus and the associated additional contingencies.
BICA reminds that the EC has approved a temporary legal framework for flexibility with regard to state aid in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic. The temporary framework includes safeguards, linking direct financial assistance, subsidized loans or guarantees to businesses, tailored to the scale of their economic activity, based on their wage, turnover or liquidity costs and the use of budget support for working capital or investment capital.

The framework complements other options available to countries to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the epidemic, according to EU state aid rules. The EC has enabled countries to take action in favor of companies, for example by deferring tax payments or promoting temporary employment. States can also provide compensation to companies for damage caused by the epidemic.

IMPORTANT! COVID-19: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE COMPANIES

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World Health Organization has declared the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) a worldwide problem and a state of emergency has been declared. There are currently no known methods for the prevention and treatment of the disease. Projections for overcoming the pandemic crisis range from 1 to 4 months or more. The spread of the virus can cause serious difficulties in the work of enterprises of all economic activities and worsen the economic performance of the country as a whole. Surely every employer will take measures to prevent the spread of the virus in his enterprise.

In this regard, we make the following recommendations to you:

1. Designate a crisis team (task force, headquarters) or officials (in small and medium-sized enterprises) to plan, organize and control coronavirus measures. Include employees’ representatives (eg from KUT).

2. Assess the risks to the business of the enterprise. Identify potential sources and possible outbreaks for the spread of the virus. Sources of risk may be: sick workers and employees, persons traveled to countries and regions with the spread of the virus, persons in contact with the sick, incl. family members and hearths are places for gathering large groups of people.

3. Identify the vulnerable groups of staff – persons with ECLS and proven respiratory diseases, cardiovascular and oncological diseases, pregnant women and persons over 60 years of age.

4. Distribute information materials and guidance on safe personnel behavior. Provide extraordinary coaching to employees, familiarizing them with the risks and measures to prevent infection (without gathering large groups of people).

5. Conduct online and conference activities such as general meetings, conferences, seminars, training, operatives, and the like.

6. Provide the necessary means of protection for workers (masks, gloves, spare workwear to wash used), separate storage of workwear and protective equipment, etc.

7. Identify activities that can be performed remotely, distribute work, and send home workers home. Introduce flexible working hours, shift modes and other forms, where possible, to reduce the number of people working in one room.

Use the power of labor law to create a work organization that does not allow the gathering of many people in one place in the enterprise, with a view to reducing direct contact between employees and between them and the clients of the employer.

Consider introducing homework and / or remote work where possible. If possible, regulate telework (from home).

8. Create the appropriate organization of work, including the introduction of variable working hours, the use of vacant workplaces, etc. When variable hours are introduced, designate fixed periods of time for employees to be in their workplaces. In this case it is possible to combine variable hours with remote and / or home work. This will, on the one hand, avoid the simultaneous presence of all workers in the work premises and, on the other hand, will not interrupt the daily connection with the employer in order to carry out the work effectively.

9. Join the work of labor in order to be used to comply with rigorous products, as a justification for issuing an order from the management of retention of employees, which must be respected by employees and employees for the purpose of prevention:

– Provision of adequate personal protective equipment to all employees and employees, regular disinfection of workplaces, regular disinfection of hands, wonderful use of the entire amount of reusable vessels;

– daily rigorous control of the establishment of a production plant and monitoring of the health status of employees;

– Enclosure of business trips and meetings, both within the company and with clients and suppliers. Use of scanning, use of other methods of checking the conference connection on the Internet.

10. Identify critical activities (must, procurement) that are organized and technological that cannot be splendid, or that should be relevant to an entity’s existing operations. Also, determine the minimum necessary personnel to serve the company in extreme conditions. Develop work options in reduced and much reduced composition.

11. If the premises are vacant, create new workplaces for employees in such a way as to limit the large number of employees to work in one room and to provide sufficient space to reduce contact between them. It is possible to limit direct contact between workers in one room by placing internal barriers.

12. Determine and ensure that the necessary organizational contacts (meetings, meetings, shift shifts, eating places, etc.) are limited. Define your meal plan if you maintain canteens and dining areas, with contact restriction measures and measures targeted at attendants, additional hygiene measures.

13. Determine special measures and requirements for outsiders (drivers, suppliers) along the entire route and for the duration of their stay at the company to limit and secure contacts. Identify appropriate measures for companies / outsiders working on a long-term basis throughout the enterprise and rules for secure communications between workers and outsiders.

14. Establish a procedure, define and furnish a separate room, in case of established cases of infected persons – a worker with symptoms (temperature above 37.3 C, dry cough and difficulty breathing), until the appearance of the health services, patients or with suspected disease. working time persons. Maintain a list of sick persons.

Make a plan for a positive test of such a worker, to have a common regime for informing the heads of the persons concerned, incl. in order to establish the circle of contact persons in the respective company promptly.

15. Determine the frequency of the Crisis team to assess the situation and verify the implementation of the action plan.

16. Monitor statements and materials and comply with the instructions and recommendations of the National Crisis Staff.

17. Prepare an action plan with specific measures, familiarize it with all workers and monitor its implementation. Use the services of occupational health doctors.

18. If it is not possible to organize the work in the above ways, consider allowing employees to take paid or unpaid leave, depending on the situation.

BICA and CITUB support minister Sacheva for solving problems, relating to the personal assistance law

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association and Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria support the efforts of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva to solve the problems arising from the implementation of the Personal Assistance Act, adopted at the end of 2018, under unprecedented pressure.

The current situation shows that hasty and thoughtless legislation not only does not work for the benefit of the people, but it also gives rise to completely new problems. Already in the course of the discussion of the bill, incl. In the National Assembly, its initiators – the then Ombudsman and individual representatives of people with disabilities – were warned about the damages that can come from the adoption of a normative act that does not address and sufficiently thoroughly and comprehensively address the problems of Bulgarian citizens in need from long-term social services. Unfortunately, the legislators at that time preferred to comply with the street pressure rather than the mind and arguments of the specialists and did not make the right assessment of the consequences of complying with all kinds of and maximalist demands.

The facts show that while last September the beneficiaries of the personal assistance mechanism were about 5,000 people, by the beginning of this month 287,000 applications for individual assessment had been submitted, 30,000 had indicated that they needed to be included in the personal assistance mechanism , and 28,708 were found to comply with the law.

It should be remembered that, in its current version, the Personal Assistance Act excludes, on the one hand, assistance to people with less disabilities and, on the other hand, it provides significant resources for the entitled, to the extent that in many cases it turns out that caring as a personal assistant is more lucrative than the assistant’s previous work experience (if he had one). It is not important to know that there are cases where assistants are referred to persons with permanent disabilities with a certain right to foreign assistance, persons under 18 years of age in full-time education, persons over 85 years of age, persons with various diseases, etc., which is inadmissible under regulation.

Obviously, the law contributes to the abuse, to the detriment of the people who really need a personal assistant. It is also evident that without change this serious human and social problem cannot be solved. It would at least be resolved by the resignation of a minister who was in no way committed to adopting a non-working law, requested by the exact same people who have the primary merit of enacting the law as they wish.

BICA and CITUB believe that, in the current situation, the provision of the necessary and adequate support for people with disabilities can be implemented through a National Home Care Program and the experts and leaderships of both organizations will strongly support the efforts of the Minister of Labor and social policy in this regard.

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