Archive for June, 2010

Sickness Benefits Burden is Temporarily Shifted to Employers

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

The Bulgarian Parliament adopted the proposal of the government to temporarily shift the financial burden for payment of sickness benefits for the first three days of sickness of employees.

By an addition to the Transitional and Final Provisions of the Social Insurance Code, for the period up to 31 December 2010, the employer will be obliged to pay to the employee for the first, second and third working day of the temporary disability. The amount of the  compensation per each of the three days will be 70% of the average daily gross pay for the month in which sickness occurred, but not less than 70% of the average daily pay agreed.

At the end of the year, the temporary provision will cease to apply and the regulation is expected to revert to the previous situation, where the sickness benefits were entirely covered by the social security system for the period after the first day of sickness (the employer being responsible for the payment for the first day).

The temporary amendment is reasoned by the government with the difficulties of the social security system to cope with the payment of sickness benefits at the moment, and the fact that some employers apparently encourage abuse by employees during stoppages of work.

European Commission Refers Partially Lidl’s Proposed Acquisition of the Plus Supermarket Chain in Bulgaria to the National Competition Authority

Monday, June 28th, 2010

The European Commission announced that it has referred the assessment of the acquisition of Plus Bulgaria by the German retailer Lidl to the competition authority of Bulgaria, at its request. After a preliminary investigation, the European Commission found that the proposed transaction would affect competition in the Bulgarian local market for daily consumer goods. It believes that the Bulgarian competition authority is well-placed to investigate the effect of the transaction on its local market under national law.

Plus Bulgaria is a daily consumer goods retailer. Lidl is buying them from German retail group Tengelmann. Lidl itself is a German discount chain that belongs to the Schwarz group, a German retailer operating more than 9,000 stores in 23 countries in Europe, including in Bulgaria.

Borislav Boyanov & Co. represents Lidl in Bulgaria in respect of the transaction.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that in Bulgaria attorneys-at-law can jointly perform their profession only in the form of law firms and lawyers’ partnerships registered with the Bar

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

On June 2, 2010 the 5-member panel of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) finally ruled on the competition case initiated some two years ago by Bulgarian law firms against several commercial companies which have been established in Bulgaria by or with the participation of foreign lawyers, and have been acting as law firms without being registered as such. The final SAC ruling confirmed the interpretation of 2004 Bar Act  which the Bulgarian law firms sustained that attorneys-at-law can jointly exercise their legal profession only in the form of law firms or lawyers’ partnerships registered with the Bulgarian Bar, and that it is a violation of the Protection of the Competition Act to perform the legal profession by a commercial company, escaping the special obligations and liabilities of attorneys-at-law vis-à-vis their clients and thus gaining unfair advantage over registered law firms and lawyers’ partnerships.