After the end of the maternity leave, a woman is entitled to the improved working conditions she would have been entitled to during her absence.
It follows from the requirement of equal treatment that employees returning from parental leave must be treated in the same way as other employees, including the improved working conditions to which they would have been entitled had they not been on parental leave.
Therefore, where there has been an overall increase in remuneration during parental leave, which is not dependent on the specific contribution of the employees, the remuneration of an employee returning from parental leave must be increased in the same way and on the same basis as other employees during her parental leave. Otherwise, it is discrimination on the grounds of parenthood and family responsibilities and such a conduct is prohibited. More favourable conditions for the employee must be applied by the employer as soon as the worker commences work after parental leave.
If the remuneration of some employee has been increased due to the performance of his or her work and there has been no general increase in remuneration independent of the work contribution, the employer does not incur any obligations to other employees and does not have to increase the remuneration of the employee who returns after the parental leave. If the remuneration has been increased due to the contribution of a particular employee, the employer must be able to prove it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. When contacting the Commissioner, the identity of the person shall not be disclosed and, upon request, anonymity shall be guaranteed.