2017 AmCham E-Occupational Licenses Proposal Gets Initial Approval in the Parliament in 2023

On May 26th, 2023, the Parliament approved at first hearing the Labor Code Amendments that stipulate a digital register of the labor force, which should be managed by the National Revenue Agency (NRA). All data from the occupational license should be comprised in a single digital file of all employees in Bulgaria. This document has already been discussed in the previous Parliament (Labor and Social Policy Commission) and all the statements received in between have been accessed.

The main change is that instead of the Labor Agency, the National Revenue Agency will be the institutional body that will manage the Digital Labor Register. Also, the NRA was the authority to receive all labor contracts that were signed in the country. If approved at second hearing, NRA can be the single-entry point for declaring a labor contract and signing of the initial data of the occupational license, so that both employers and employees can be eased. In addition, all of them will have access to that data. Such a stable functioning system with a great level of cyber security and data protection will allow better analysis and social policies in the future.

This news is a significant milestone for the digitalization of this “paper” area for the Bulgarian business. It is a moment for acknowledgement of the AmCham Bulgaria Human Capital and Education Committee (HR Committee then), when back in 2017, in the famous AmCham White Paper, our experts proposed a series of recommendations for improving the business climate, incl. the e-occupational licenses.

Let us just cite some of the paragraphs there:

“Introduction of amendments and changes of the labor and social-security legislation focusing on:

  • Fostering the change of the occupational licenses with personal e-files to the National Revenue Agency (or other suitable state agency). (…) As of now, the occupational licenses reflect only the labor contracts and the unemployment periods, while other forms of labor a missing.
  • Reduction of the administrative burden and the labor-related bureaucracy by introducing the right for the employers to use technological means for some of the employees’ matters such as e-leaves and related workflows.
AmCham Bulgaria White Paper 2017