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Exemption from refresher training exercise

You may apply for exemption from a refresher training exercise:

  • due to medical reasons
  • for reasons relating to work or studies
  • for personal reasons
  • if you live permanently abroad

The exemption is granted by the Regional Office which ordered you to attend the exercise. The exercise commander or exercise administrative officer/company sergeant major do not exercise that right.

Unless you have an exemption document in writing by the Regional Office, you are not allowed to be absent from the exercise. You need to apply for exemption in writing. Remember to include in your application the reasons for applying exemption, relevant certificates, statements, etc.!

Please consider that up to a 10-day period is needed for the examination of the application. Applying does not give you the right to be absent from the exercise for the duration of this application examination. Rather, you need to report for the exercise if your application examination is still pending. Please apply for exemption in good time! 

Fill out the application for exemption: "Vapautushakemus kertausharjoituksesta" [in Finnish]

Medical reasons

In case you sustain an injury or contract an illness that prevents you from getting the set service tasks completed in a refresher training exercise, you need to send a written medical certificate to the Regional Office that filed the refresher training order. The medical certificate must state the disability or illness that hampers your service classification. The certificate should also list the medical examinations conducted and diagnoses made as well as plans for further treatment.

In COVID-19-related cases while applying for exemption, you need to submit a medical certificate (online medical consultations are not applicable). If you are ordered to remain in isolation, the medical certificate has to include the quarantine order. Mere reporting for a coronavirus test does not qualify as grounds for becoming exempted from refresher training exercise. Moreover, if traveling abroad and self-isolating upon arrival with the timing coinciding with the refresher training exercise, you need to apply for exemption from the exercise already before departure. The application will be examined as would any other travel coinciding with the exercise. 

Reasons relating to work

If especially serious harm will be imposed on your employer on grounds of your participation in a refresher training exercise, the Regional Office may exempt you. Your employer needs to provide you with a certificate of proof specifying as to why your work contribution cannot be replaced for the duration of the exercise and why the ensuing harm is considered to be especially serious. You need to apply for exemption and enclose the statement by your employer. Your employer cannot apply for exemption on your behalf.

The certificate of proof must specify

  • your task description and position in the organisation
  • your set tasks during the exercise
  • the company’s size and annual net profit
  • absence-related change in the company’s profit or activity
  • why the company cannot replace your contribution by substitute arrangements
  • your possible key personnel status: when issued and on which bases
  • the procedures that the employer has undertaken to enable your attendance in the exercise
  • how the employer would operate in case you contracted an illness

Self-employed workers must specify the especially serious harm caused by the exercise relating to their work, such as binding commitments and contracts. Farmers and reindeer herders need to include a statement by an agricultural authority or equivalent that explicates the number of employees on the farm and the possibilities to arrange for a farm assistant for the duration of the exercise.

Reasons relating to studies

When a student, you need to contact timely the institution in which you undertake studies. If you deem that your participation in the exercise cannot be realised, you need to send a statement to the Regional Office. If you are starting your studies, you have to give proof of your enrollment and the necessity of your being present at school. The start of studying refers to procedures such as receiving of keys and access badges in a new institution, not starting a new course.

If you apply for exemption for reasons relating to advancing or completing your studies, the statement issued by the given institution must specify why you need to study (relevant lecture, work skill display etc.), or why you need to complete your thesis during the exercise. You have to apply for exemption and include a statement on your studies.

Family and other personal reasons

The reasons for being exempted from a refresher training exercise may involve the birth of one’s child, becoming widowed, being a single supporter of a minor, having a close family member sustain a serious diagnosed illness, or being a caretaker of a family member. Other reasons for exemption may include one’s wedding, the funeral of a close family member, or participation in a significant international championship representing Finland. If you are taking care of a minor or a family member at home and receive home care allowance or allowance for family member care, include in your application a certificate issued by the Social Insurance Institution of Kela, or a copy of the allowance decision.

A vacation that you have paid prior to receiving the exercise order and that cannot be rescheduled or reimbursed demonstrably may qualify as a reason for being exempted from an exercise. 

Caring for pets or cattle does not qualify as a reason for being exempted, unless animal care is part of your profession. You have to arrange for the necessary assistance, and the FDF will not reimburse the costs. 

Living abroad

If you live permanently abroad, and the Regional Office issuing the order had no information on this, you need to send to the Regional Office a written statement on your residence overseas as soon as possible after receiving the order. 

The statement must specify

  • start of living abroad
  • anticipated length of living abroad
  • permanent address abroad
  • the reasons for considering living abroad to be permanent