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.