RULES OF PROCEDURE

The Rules of Procedure for the Vocational Training Fund for Retail and Office Workers

Valid from 1 January 2014

Individual Grants

1. The formation of the rights of individuals

In order to be able to apply for a grant from the fund, the membership fee must have been received for three months of the last twelve months, of which at least one of the previous six months. All rights lapse when membership fees have not been received for the previous six months.

A member with wages that are equal to or higher than the starting wages of sales staff in stores, according to the collective wage agreement between VR/LV, is entitled to a maximum grant of ISK 130,000 per calendar year.

Entitlements to a grant are calculated as a percentage of a members wages of the starting wages of sales staff in a 100% position over a 12-month period. The calculation of entitlements is based on the final month of the above period being two months before the application is received. For example: An application is submitted in April The calculation of entitlements starts in February that year and includes the previous 11 months.

If the applicants premiums are in arrears and the applicant is the employers representative, spouse, relative or otherwise closely related, the fund is not permitted to pay grants to the fund member.

1.1. Formation of the rights of individuals who are temporarily out of the labour market

Anyone who pays a membership fee and is looking for work, on maternity and parental leave or receives sickness per diem from a trade union within LV retains their rights while membership fees are received by the trade union.

1.2. The rights of individuals leaving the labour market

Those who have begun drawing old-age pensions, receive rehabilitation pension or disability pension retain full rights for 12 months from the cessation of payments and for 36 months for leisure grants. Entitlement is based on the last payments made to the fund.

2. The amount of vocational training grants to individuals and what is considered eligible

A vocational training grant is paid up to a maximum of ISK 130,000 per year, but never higher than 90% of the tuition/participation fee. No grant for accommodation or living expenses is provided for vocational training.

a) Vocational training grants include work-related courses, work-related online courses, studies for credits and qualifications, real skills assessment, conference fees abroad and domestically, domestic self-empowerment courses and language studies. Management training and work-related life coaching, up to a maximum of 12 hours within a calendar year, is also covered by work-related grants. The invoice for management training and job-related life coaching must state that the training is work-related and the number of hours.

b) The fund is not intended to support physical exercise, training fees or courses that aim to work with the loss of health of individuals. Courses that are part of treatment options for loss of health are therefore not specifically funded by the Vocational Training Fund.

c) Job-related online studies: Individual course or subscription to a website / content provider with work-related courses. It is not possible to apply for a grant for the purchase of software, even if study materials are included.

d) For work-related conferences abroad and domestically, the agenda of the conference must be included in the application as well as a link to a website. Reasons for connection to work must also be included if it is unclear. Only the conference fee is eligible.

2.1. Accumulated grant

If a member has not received a work-related grant from the fund in the previous 36 months, the accumulated grant for work-related studies/course can be a maximum of ISK 390,000 per year, but never higher than 90% of the tuition/participation fee for one consecutive study course. The grant can only be applied for as a lump sum.

a) Payments to the fund must have been received for a minimum of 30 months out of the previous 36 months before the date of application and in addition fulfill the conditions of the first paragraph of these Rules of Procedure. It is based on the starting salary of sales staff in a 100% position during the period.

b) The remainder of the ISK 390,000 accumulated rights to work-related studies can be used for travel grants, cf. item D in Article 2.3.

2.2. Leisure grant

A 50% grant is provided for the course fee for leisure courses up to a maximum of ISK 30,000 per year. The amount is deducted from the maximum grant each year, but it does not affect accumulation. Leisure grants only cover domestic leisure courses.

2.3. Travel grant

A 50% grant is provided for travel costs up to a maximum of ISK 40,000 per year when a member attends work-related studies, courses, a work-related visit to a company or a conference outside the legal domicile. The travel grant is deducted from the annual maximum grant.

a) The distance between the place of residence and the educational institution must be at least 50 km.

b) If the person in question travels in their own car, they can apply for a travel grant, which amounts to 50% of the kilometre fee. The calculation of the kilometre fee is based on the driving fee of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs at any given time. Applications for travel grants for personal vehicles must be accompanied by:

  • The number of kilometres each time and the date of travel,
  • confirmation of attendance on the days when a travel grant is applied for.

c) For applications for work-related visits, the following must accompany the application:

  • Itinerary of the trip, which states which locations are visited, what the content of the presentation is in each location and the times,
  • confirmation of a members participation in the form of a signed letter from the trip supervisor or administrator. The letter shall describe the trip and explain its purpose.

d) The remainder of the ISK 390,000 accumulated rights to work-related studies can be used for travel grants up to a maximum of ISK 120,000 but not more than 50% of the travel costs.

3. Individual application documents and process

The applicant must fill in the application either electronically or on a form that can be obtained from the funds member associations or on the funds websitewww.starfsmennt.is. Applications must be submitted to the relevant trade union.

a) An application for a grant must be accompanied by a certified invoice paid in the name of the member, stating the following items:

  • Course description,
  • member name and ID No.,
  • educator name and ID No.,
  • date of payment.

b) It is not possible to apply for a grant if the invoice is older than 12 months from the date of application or issued before the applicant becomes a member.

4. Invoice payer

A condition for a work-related grant, leisure grant and travel grant is that the member submits a paid invoice with the application and pays for their participation themselves. An exception is made for applications for joint grants from a company and an individual, cf. Article 9, in Icelandic version.

5. Definitions and conditions of course

The funds criteria for defining the term course are as follows: A specific area of studies that follows a pre-determined plan or definition and usually ends with a certification of performance or another type of confirmation. Counselling or guidance does not meet the requirements of a course on the part of the fund.

The conditions that a course must meet in order to be called a course by the fund are:

  • A defined beginning, end and advisor;
  • information on the course must be accessible;
  • the course must be publicly accessible.

6. Not eligible

Grants are not provided for accommodation or living expenses, sales/product exhibitions, vocational training, treatments, guidance, psychological support, counselling, self-empowerment courses abroad, leisure courses abroad, annual fees, books or study materials.

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