The employees’ adult education allowance scheme is changing as of August. The biggest changes relate to the application process, the amount of the allowance and study performance requirements. The Parliament of Finland passed the new law on 29 May 2020. The act still needs to be ratified by the President.
A new two-stage application process will be introduced
1. In the future, the first step is to submit an initial application to the Employment Fund.
The Employment Fund checks the applicant’s eligibility for the adult education allowance scheme. Payment applications cannot be submitted until a decision has been made on the initial application. Applicants are advised to seek a decision covering the full 15-month allowance period.
2. After receiving a decision on their initial application, students can begin to submit monthly payment applications.
Students can apply for an allowance payment retrospectively for each month for which they need an allowance. The allowance can only be paid for the months covered by the decision on the initial application. The amount of the allowance depends on the applicant’s earnings before they began their studies and their earnings during the months for which they receive an allowance. The Employment Fund checks applicants’ earnings from the Incomes Register.
The easiest way to submit the initial application and payment applications is through a new online portal, which will be available from 3 August 2020 onwards.
There will be changes to the amount of the allowance, the accumulation of months towards the maximum allowance period and study performance requirements
The amount of the allowance is changing: If the applicant’s normal monthly wages before they took study leave amounted to, for example, EUR 3,000, they can earn up to EUR 1,500 during each month for which they receive an allowance and still receive an adult education allowance of EUR 753.
Study performance requirements will be different depending on the applicant’s earnings: Applicants who earn more than 50% of their normal wages during a month for which they receive an allowance must complete at least two credits during that month. Applicants who earn 50% or less of their normal wages during a month for which they receive an allowance must complete at least four credits during that month.
The accumulation of months towards the maximum allowance period will also be calculated on the basis of the applicant’s earnings: Each month during which an applicant earns more than 50% of their normal wages uses up half a month of their maximum allowance period. Each month during which an applicant earns 50% or less of their normal wages uses up a month of their maximum allowance period.
There is a counter for calculating the amount of the allowance, the accumulation of months towards the maximum allowance period and study performance requirements.
The legislative reform will not affect students who are already receiving an adult education allowance
The aforementioned changes will not apply to applicants who
The new act will apply to all students who receive an employee’s adult education allowance as of 31 July 2024.
The eligibility criteria remain the same as before
The popularity of the adult education allowance scheme has grown year after year. The Employment Fund granted an allowance to a total of 25,701 applicants in 2019, which was the highest number on record.
The maximum period for which an adult education allowance can be paid is 15 months. The legislative reform brings no change to the eligibility criteria. As before, to qualify for the allowance, applicants must
The reform of the adult education allowance scheme was initiated by labour market organisations. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health began drafting the new law in consultation with labour market organisations and other stakeholders at the beginning of 2019.
The reform is hoped to encourage students to work part-time and to make the adult education allowance scheme appeal to new kinds of applicants.
The composition of the Employment Fund’s Board of Directors will change from 1 January 2021.
We have begun checking up on study credits completed during the academic year 2019–2020. We receive information on study credits from the Koski register and from education institutions.