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2-6 Human Rights: Worker Rights. Acceptable Conditions of Work




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This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev radev@tune.cs.columbia.edu with numerous contributions by others.

2-6 Human Rights: Worker Rights. Acceptable Conditions of Work

The national monthly minimum wage was approximately $38 (2,555 leva) at
year's end. The minimum wage is not enough to provide a wage earner and
family with a decent standard of living. The Constitution stipulates
the right to social security and welfare aid assistance for the
temporarily unemployed, although in practice such assistance is often
either late or not disbursed.

The Labor Code provides for a standard workweek of 40 hours with at
least one 24-hour rest period per week. The MLSW is responsible for
enforcing both the minimum wage and the standard workweek. Enforcement
has been generally effective in the state sector, although there are
reports that state-run enterprises fall into arrears on salary payments
to their employees if the firms incur losses. Enforcement of work
conditions is weaker in the emerging private sector.

A national labor safety program exists, with standards established by
the Labor Code. The Constitution states that employees are entitled to
healthy and nonhazardous working conditions. The MLSW is responsible
for enforcing these provisions. Under the Labor Code, employees have
the right to remove themselves from work situations which present a
serious or immediate danger to life or health without jeopardizing their
continued employment. In practice, refusal to work in situations with
relatively high accident rates or associated chronic health problems
would result in loss of employment for many workers. Conditions in many
cases are worsening owing to budget stringencies and a growing private
sector which labor inspectors do not yet supervise effectively.

 

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