Банкеръ Weekly



I will be meeting some of our big customers in Bulgaria, and should the Parliament does not vote for a totally new Labour Code, I will recommend them some adequate management measures, was the definite opinion of Jim Gaston, managing partner of PriceWaterhouse Coopers and representative of the Bulgarian International Business Association (BIBA). He explicitly stated, that should the government does not take into consideration the opinion of employers and new restrictions to their business are imposed instead, this decision will be followed by lay-offs, salary decrease and eventual withdrawal of foreign investors from the country. According to Gaston, the tendency of making social policy at the expence of private business is against common sense. Obviously, this seems to be the new objection against the populistic behaviour of the government to refrain from unpopular measures at least till the elections. This might be the possible reason for the postponed meeting between the Prime Minister Ivan Kostov and foreign businessmen, which should have occured two months ago.

The Labour Code active at the time being was adopted in 1986 and it has undergone numerous corrections and amendments eversince. Last it was updated in 1992. The law fully meets the requirements of a state-owned economy, the existence of one single trade union and all social expenses being borne by the state only. Additional benefits for the employees, provided for in the extremely outdated law are really depressive for the managers. The outcome for them will be to move to another, warmer country, which offers cheap labour. According to the representatives of the international business in Bulgaria all new changes in the Labour Code have already been agreed upon, without taking into consideration their opinion. But they are the employers, however. If they leave, who will be the Labour Code adopted for? Maybe for the unemployed.

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