No. A job applicant cannot be excluded on the grounds of the membership in a political party. Being a member of an association based on beliefs is a person’s right to have beliefs. In accordance with põhiseadus, it is forbidden to discriminate a person for his or her political or other beliefs.
The employer must make a selection on the basis of the suitability of the candidate for the job, taking into account length of employment, education, work experience and other skills, which give a clear advantage to the particular job. If the selection is based on other non-work related factors, such as membership in a political party or political beliefs, then there is direct discrimination. Such a criterion places the job-seeker at a disadvantage compared to apolitical persons because of his or her political beliefs.
It is also forbidden to influence an employee to change beliefs, for example, by making apoliticality a precondition for recruiting or continuing to work. Based on põhiseadus, everyone has the right to remain true to their opinions and beliefs. Nobody should be forced to change them. A person’s beliefs do not affect his or her work performance or coping.
Only if it is prescribed by a special law, a candidate can be excluded because of his or her membership in a political party. For example, a judge or a police officer may not be members of a political party. However, a person’s political membership should not be a prerequisite for employment, unless it is a political position.
The obligation of equal treatment also applies to employees in education and working with children. Recruitment or employment relationships shall not be based on the belief that children should be protected against a school principal or teacher who is a member of a political party.
If you did not find an answer to your concern, you may contact the Estonian Commissioner for Gender Equality and Equal Treatment in a free format by sending an email to email@example.com. When contacting the Commissioner, the identity of the person shall not be disclosed and, upon request, anonymity shall be guaranteed.