With Interpretative Resolution № 3/2019, the Supreme Court of Cassation answered the question of when the start of the two weeks term of the reinstated by a court fired person to go to work is, as the practice on the issue was contradictory.
The subject of the interpretative case was the provision of article 345, paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Labour Code, which reads that: “If the worker or employee is reinstated by the employer or the court, he may take his previous position, if he appears at work within two weeks of receiving the notice of reinstatement, unless this period is not respected for valid reasons.”
The Supreme Court of Cassation considers that legal significance for the beginning and respectively for the expiration of the term, which precludes the right of the reinstated worker or employee, according to the explicit provision of the law is the fact of receiving the notice from the court regarding the entered into force decision to reinstate him. If the notice is not received by the worker or employee, the term under article 345, paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Labour Court starts by appearing at the undertaking or in any other unequivocal manner, for example by a written request to the employer, the worker or employee expresses before him his wish to return to the job to which he has been reinstated. The notice from the court, which is served to the reinstated worker or employee, is sent by the court of first instance that heard the case.
The General Assembly of the Civil Collegium of the Supreme Court of Cassation finds that the norm of Article 345, paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Labour Code is imperative and special, derogates from the general rules for finding out of the entered into force decision and obliged the first instance court, which heard the case, to send a deliberate notice to the worker or employee for his reinstatement at work, regardless of the entry into force of a court decision under the rules of the Bulgarian Civil Procedure Code with regards to claim under article 344, paragraph 1, point 2 of the Bulgarian Labour Code. The norm of article 345, paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Labour Code aims at clarity and legal indisputability in the relations of the parties to the employment relationship. The notification in this case is a special procedure – the notice under Article 345, paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Labour Code is sent by the court of first instance after the entry into force of the decision for reinstatement, it is received personally by the worker or employee within a reasonable time after the completion of the court proceedings and the received notification sets the beginning of the term under article 345, paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Labour Code. The provision of article 345, paragraph 1 of the Bulgarian Labour Code not only specifies the means by which the worker or employee should be notified for the final reinstatement at work – a notice, but also explicitly requires it to be received.
The case-law was contradictory, as some courts considered that the term began to run from the receipt of the notice for the decision sent by the court of first instance after the entry into force of the decision to reinstate the worker or employee, or from the time the worker or employee showed up at the undertaking to start work, or if he learned about the entry into force of the decision to reinstate him at work in any other way, regardless of whether he later received a notice from the court about the decision.