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Labour relationships

There are three forms of labour relationships in the agrarian sector: self-employed (farmers), hired (wage workers) and family labour. This employment is often defined by the analysts as partial, supplementary and informal. According to the agri-statistics Bulgarian agriculture is dominated by self-employed farmers and family labour, while the wage workers amount to around 10% of the entire workforce employed in the sector.

Agriculture also stands out with its categorically seasonal character, which imposes prevalent temporary and seasonal employment. This is a determining condition for insecure and informal labour and the accompanying serious social problems in the sector and in the regions. A substantial part of the seasonal workers does not have any employment contracts and are paid flat wage amounts as orally negotiated.

Those circumstances have their negative consequences such as lower quality of the workforce due to the limited opportunities to increase their skills or participate in life-long learning; limited opportunities for protection of collective rights; produced added value that is less competitive than in the other European states and social inequality.

Another specific feature is the very weak participation of agricultural employees in the social security system.