Herewith, we would like to highlight for you some new rules for a certain type of business trips abroad according to Bulgarian legislation – the so called secondment or sending of factory or office workers for provision of services. Such trip occurs when a Bulgarian employer seconds or sends a factory or office worker to the territory of another Member State of the European Union, another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation or when an employer, registered in accordance with the legislation of any of the countries listed above or of a third country, seconds or sends a factory or office worker to the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, within provision of services or to a company from the same group of companies.
In connection with the information stated above we kindly ask you to observe the following specifics:
- The secondment is performed on the grounds of a contract between the employer and the user of the services, or in a company from the same group of companies.
- A particular secondment or sending of an employee is possible when there is a labour relationship between him/her and the seconding/sending employer for the whole period of the secondment or sending.
- It is necessary for the employer to make a check-up about the work conditions in the host country before the secondment, as according to the new rules, for the term of the secondment or the sending of the factory or office worker at least the same minimum work conditions as the ones established for the employees doing the same or similar job in the host country should be provided. Providing the minimum remuneration for the host country is due from the first day of the employee working abroad within providing of services.
- The amount of the minimum labour remuneration in different countries is determined in different ways. In six of the Member States of the European Union there are no minimum labour remunerations established – Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden. In these cases, as well as when the minimum labour remuneration in the host country is lower than the one according to the Bulgarian legislation, the parties to the labour relationship are to agree on a remuneration which is not lower than the one established in the Republic of Bulgaria.
- The employer needs to inform the employee about all the conditions for the work abroad – remuneration, duration of the trip, etc., at least one working day before the start of the trip.
- To execute the trip, first the employer and the employee are to sign an additional agreement to the labour contract, amending their labour relationship for the term of the secondment. The provisions of this agreements need to cover all financial conditions of the working trip as well as everything regarding working hours and breaks, paid leave, additional accommodation and travelling expenses, means of transport.
- Unlike the situation of an ordinary business trip, for this kind of trip it is not necessary for the employer to issue a written order for the trip or for the employee to give a written consent for a longer period of the trip, as these documents are replaced by the additional agreement signed by both employer and employee.
- Another distinction of the secondment abroad is that the employer does not necessarily pay daily and accommodation allowances to the employee. The only such obligation left for the employer is to pay the employee travel allowances – not only for the trip to the place of work abroad and back at the beginning and end of the secondment, but also the travel expenses for trips back during the employee’s annual paid leave.
- The expenses for all business trips are to be approved by the management of the company. To report the actual expenses done a finance report shall be prepared by the employee sent to work abroad.
- Insurance contributions for the employees sent to such business trip abroad are due for all remunerations received, as well as for other income from work in the host country or in Bulgaria, but based on at least the minimum wage rate in the host country.
- The rules for secondment or sending of factory or office workers for provision of services are also applicable in the field of international transport in the following cases:
- Performing cabotage – internal transportation for someone else’s account or for a remuneration, carried out temporarily in the host EU country.
- When a Bulgarian transportation company which is part of a group of companies sends an employee (driver) to a company of the same group of companies in another EU country.
- When a Bulgarian company providing temporary jobs sends an employee (driver) to work for a company in the host EU country.
We hope you find this information useful.