The National Assembly adopted a Law on amendments and supplements to the Labour Code (“LAS to the LC”), introducing new rules regarding remote work. The amendments are published in the State Gazette, Issue No. 27 dated 29.03.2024 and are effective as of 2 April 2024.

The employer and the employee are assigned a number of new obligations in relation to the provision of a suitable workplace, compliance with the minimum requirements for health and safety at work, as well as the assignment and reporting of work when an information system is used.

Generally applicable new rules have also been introduced in relation to the daily and weekly rest of the employees. Joint and several liability for the contractor under a service contract is also regulated in the event that his direct subcontractor, in his capacity as an employer, is in default of his obligations for payment of employment remunerations.

Workplace in case of remote work

The definition of a remote work is updated: “a place in a room in the employee’s home or in another room of his/her choice outside the enterprise where the work is carried out” and not, as before, “the employee’s home or other room of his/her choice outside the enterprise”.

In line with the amendments, it will be possible to specify more than one place of work from which the employee can work remotely in the individual employment contract.

In addition, the employer may change the place of work for no more than 30 working days per year at the written request of the employee under conditions and procedures determined by the employment contract and/or by internal acts of the enterprise.

Employees who work remotely, are now obliged to ensure a concrete workplace for remote work at the date of establishment or change of the employment relationship, as well as to provide the employer with written information about the characteristics of the ensured workplace.

Health and safety conditions at work during remote work

The employer is obliged to take specific measures to ensure that, at the date of establishment or change of the employment relationship, every remote work workplace meets the minimum requirements for health and safety at work.

Employees performing remote work are obliged to immediately notify the employer of any accident at the workplace in line with prearranged order and terms.

A new rule has also been introduced in connection with the reduction of the employer’s liability for an accident at work or an occupational disease caused by remote work when the employee has not complied with the rules and norms prescribed for health and safety at work.

The LAS to the LC also introduces amendments to the Law on Safety and Health at Work, related to a number of obligations of the employer for ensuring safe and healthy working conditions for employees working remotely.

Assignment and reporting of remote work

A legal definition of the term “information system for algorithmic management” is introduced, providing for the use of this type of system for assignment and reporting of remote work.

Where remote work assignment and reporting is performed through an information system, the employer should provide the employee with written information on the type and volume of work-related data collected, processed and stored therein.

Where an information system is used for algorithmic management of remote work, the employer shall provide the employee with written information on the way decisions are made. At the employee’s written request, the employer or his designated representative is obliged to check the decision of the algorithmic management system and notify the employee of the final decision.

Working hours when working remotely

When working remotely, employees organize their working hours independently, however in accordance with the changes, they must be available and work at the time when the employer is in communication with third parties, and not only his business partners as was set out previously.

The number of hours worked can now be reported through an automated system for reporting working time. The employer is obliged, upon request, to provide the employee who performs remote work with access to the data in the system on the number of hours worked by him/her.  

Daily and weekly rest

Changes have also been introduced in relation to daily and weekly rest periods, which will be applicable to all employees, not just remote workers. It is explicitly stated that employees will not be obliged to respond to employer-initiated communication during the daily and weekly rest period, except when the individual and/or collective employment contact includes conditions under which this is permissible.

Joint and several liability for the contractor under a service contract for unpaid remuneration by his direct subcontractor

According to the changes, when the employer is a direct subcontractor under a contract for the provision of services, the contractor will always be jointly and severally liable with the employer to ensure the payment of employees’ remunerations, but this liability will be limited to the rights of employees arising from the contractual relationship between the contractor and the subcontractor – employer. The contractor will not be liable in case he has fulfilled or performs accurately and in good faith his obligations under his contract with the subcontractor – employer.

How can we help?

The KPMG team remains at your disposal should you have any questions or need assistance regarding the interpretation and application of the amendments to the Labour Code.

For information

Emil Evtimov
Legal Advisory Services
Tel.: +359 2 9697 600

Eliana Yurchieva
Associate Manager
Legal Advisory Services
Tel.: +359 2 9697 600