According to the law, each Estonian male citizen is under the obligation to complete conscription after reaching the age of majority. The length of conscription is 8 to 11 months depending on the conscipt’s choice, during which time they are usually exempt from their work duties unless the work is performed during leave. What does the obligation of conscription mean for the employer and does the employee have to be guaranteed a job even after the end of the service?
Although the employer may not like that their employer is absent from work for 8 to 11 months, they have an obligation to accept this without treating the employee unequally. Under the law, the employer is also obliged to give the prospective conscript free time to perform duties necessary for the service, such as attending a medical commission.
In addition, the employer has an obligation to provide the employee with the same job after the end of their conscription service (subsection 19 (5) of the Employment Contracts Act). The position must be kept available even if the employee gives notice of entering conscription only the day before they leave, putting the employer in a difficult situation. An employment contract may be terminated in an extraordinary manner only on legal grounds, for example reasons arising from the employee or the economic situation of the employer, i.e. by lay-off (sections 88-89 of the Employment Contracts Act).
This explanation does not constitute legal aid in a specific case. Therefore, if you feel that you have been treated unequally, but you did not find a solution to your problem in this article, or if you have a question, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.