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Estonia Tightens language requirement

July 1 2008

In Estonia, on Tuesday, comes into force a government resolution "On the requirements for knowledge and use of the Estonian language."

As reported previously the Minister of Education Tõnis Lucas, "the government has our claims to knowledge and use of Estonian language in public and private sectors in line with the Council of Europe." According to him, the decision applies to all persons who have not studied at schools in the Estonian language and the course of their work are forced to communicate with employees or customers.

He noted that workers who are satisfied with their employers may continue. However, if they want to change it, you will have to prove before they go to the new location of your language skills. At the same time, all certificates of language proficiency certificates issued before July 1, 1999 be declared null and void, and their owners will be required to take exams again.

The Minister was unable to clearly answer the question, would not the adoption of regulations to ensure that employers will opportunity for discretion and dismissal of unwanted workers under the guise of supposedly weak language skills.

He acknowledged that "the language requirement based on specific situations and obligations, and those who carry out these obligations." T. Lucas said only that the manager must before dismissal of the employee to consult with the Language Inspectorate. The latter, if it has during the audit appeared to claim the employee must consult with the employer. According to the minister, "it will guarantee the rights of both parties."

T. Lucas said that control over compliance with regulations will be laid on linguistic inspection. Despite the fact that the activities of the inspection recently aroused strong dissatisfaction among the Russian-speaking population, who nicknamed her "language inquisition" and criticized the human rights organization Amnesty International, T. Lucas said he was pleased with the activities of the Language Inspectorate, reports IA Interfax .

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