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On the eve of International Workers' Day

Overwork and greater interest in labor rights marked, according to experts

Dr. Todor Kapitanov: Conditions for remote work in Bulgaria are not satisfactory

Photo: library

Lawyers almost jokingly say that after the Road Traffic Act, the other most violated law in Bulgaria is the Labor Code. Most often, legal advice from trade unions is sought by people who were fired or forced to leave their jobs; or have not received a salary for their work; or young people who are about to start their first job and workers preparing their retirement documents. The past year brought new unexpected challenges for employees in almost all areas of business activity.

"Both workers and employers were forced to learn about various new forms of reorganization of work and the topic of protection of rights at work became quite relevant once again," Dr. Todor Kapitanov, an expert in the sphere of labor law and creator of a specialized platform (www.mywork.bg), aimed at helping all working citizens in Bulgaria, says.

"Labor relations depend mainly on compliance with safe working conditions and working hours. During the current conditions extra hours are not taken into account. A new issue is the syndrome of always being online and in working mode even during rest and vacation. We know that there are thousands of communication platforms and employers are abusing this thing when it comes to work hours, which is one of the big problems that emerged during the organization of remote work in Bulgaria."

The pandemic has raised a number of important topics related to teleworking.

"It turned out that the conditions in Bulgaria for remote work are not good,” Todor Kapitanov has told Radio Bulgaria. “People's homes are not adapted to be a workplace. In the office one has a desk, chair, lighting, organization of work. In the same way, this should be organized in people's homes, but in our country we have not been able to achieve it completely. In addition, employers are silent on who should cover the household expenses - electricity, internet, etc., of employees who work at home. Numerous depressive states were reported by workers in a closed environment. Lack of opportunity for normal social communications and high isolation from public life were also reported. The bottom line is that even during the holidays, people are still at work. All these things outline the need for compensatory mechanisms that should be provided by the Bulgarian legislation."

According to Todor Kapitanov, a positive result of the Covid-19 crisis is that people "started taking more care of themselves, work premises became cleaner, people began to pay more serious attention to work conditions," the employment relations expert says.

0427 Todor Kapitanov 3

"In the past the right to sick leave was sometimes not respected by employers. This has changed and now everyone who feels physical discomfort manages to reorganize their work and use sick leave. As a result of the crisis, the legal culture of the Bulgarians increased and raising the legal culture is one of the goals of our platform."

English: Alexander Markov

Phoos: BNR and library

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