The Bulgarian ESC adopted an opinion on "Problems in the application of the system of summarised calculation of working hours". After a long discussion, employers' and trade union representatives at the ESC approached their positions and reached consensus in defining most of the problems in applying the system of summarised calculation of working hours.
Together with the establishment of the typical pattern of working time - employment contract of infinite duration, regular shifts and an eight-hour working day, a five-day working week and weekends on Saturday and Sunday, ESC considered the system of summarised calculation of working hours as a specific necessary organisation of work in some production activities and most notably in the case of an uninterrupted or shift-work production regime.
ESC recognizes that the implementation of this system significantly increases the intensity of work and commitment of employees, which needs to be adequately compensated. Accounting overtime and night work for certain categories of persons is complicated, weekly breaks are being changed. On the other hand, employers have a better opportunity to utilize the capacity of their staff.
At the same time, the opinion identifies a number of problems in the implementation of the current legislation on summarised calculation of working hours: a controversial understanding of when in summarised calculation of working hours it is accepted that the worker has worked overtime; conflicting practices in summarised calculation of working hours in case of business travel; different approaches to converting night time into daytime; differences in payment of overtime work; non-observance of the rule that Sunday must be a day of weekly rest, etc.
ESC stresses the need to establish mechanisms to ensure the correct application of the system of summarised calculation of working hours, the correct and full reporting and adequate remuneration of the work done, as well as the application of adequate health protection to workers. ESC also stresses that these mechanisms must prevent labour outside permissible standards.
ESC's opinion also takes into account the fact that there are some differences between workers' organisations and employers' organisations that have not been overcome at this stage and are therefore described in the document. These differences stem mainly from the application and reporting of overtime in the application of the system of summarised calculation of working hours.
ESC recommends that the state and the social partners should actively participate in explaining the provisions concerning summarised calculation of working hours, monitor the implementation of this specific system for calculation of working hours, and identify arising problems in order to find adequate solutions.
According to ESC, it is necessary to analyse the existing legal norms for the Summarised calculation of working hours and, if necessary, to improve them through changes in the Labour Code and the Civil Servant Act, which should be previously discussing with the social partners.