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Livelihood - 07.08.2020 klo 12.56

Adult education allowance has changed – now it’s easier to combine working and studying

Do you want to combine working and studying? Photo:Gettyimages

Changes were made to adult education allowance at the start of August, and now it’s now easier for employees to do vocational studies while working.

Adult education allowance has been granted since 2001 and has been gaining in popularity. In 2010 the allowance was raised to the level of earnings-related unemployment allowance, which further increased take-up. Last year 25,700 people received the allowance. The aim of the changes in early August is to increase the number of users doing vocational studies while working rather than studying full-time. So what improvements can they expect?

“In future working while studying won’t use up allowance months the way it does now. In line with that, the study output required is less than before”, says the Employment Fund’s lawyer Elina Pajula.

The maximum allowance period is still 15 months, but depending on your other income in a month you use up either 1 or 0.5 allowance months. You no longer need to study at the same pace as full-time students. In allowance months where your income is over half your normal pay, 2 credits are required and for other months 4 credits.

So there is no longer the same disadvantage to switching between studies and working.  After their first application, individuals studying while working also only apply for allowance for those months when they need the allowance. 

Adult education allowance is intended for vocational education, including if you are changing to another field of work. If you are not studying for a qualification, the education must enhance your current vocational skills.

Adult education allowance is statutory. Anyone who meets the requirements gets it.

Study leave must be applied for 

Before applying for adult education allowance, applicants must have both a place at a school and get study leave. Study leave can also be part-time. Other study-related leave agreed with your employer is also acceptable. 

Last year, the average full allowance for full-time studies was 1400 euros a month. Will the amount of allowance for individuals studying while working change in future?

“The change to the calculation formula included in the change to the law means that generally speaking individuals who study while working will get more allowance than before. In the lower pay categories, however, removal of the 250 euro protected amount may mean that the allowance will be less than before", Pajula says.

Previously recipients could earn a maximum of 250 euros of other income on top of the allowance without their income affecting the amount of the benefit. In future every euro will affect the allowance paid. You can check the amount of the allowance using the calculator on the Employment Fund’s website.

The benefit is paid from unemployment insurance contributions, so it is financed by both employees and employers.

Changes to adult education allowance for individuals studying while working 1.8.2020

  • After the first application, the allowance is claimed monthly in arrears.
  • Allowance months are not used up the way they used to be. The maximum duration is still 15 months, but depending on your other income in a month you use up either 1 or 0.5 allowance months. 
  • For individuals studying while working, the study output required is less than before. If you get over half your normal pay while studying, 2 study credits are required. Otherwise 4 study credits are required.