Effective as of 1 January 2021
1. About the Fund and the rights of members
1.1. About the Fund
The Fund's activities are based on the rules established in accordance with Article 20 of Sameyki’s statutes, approved at Sameyki’s Annual General Meeting on 17 September 2020.
1.2. Right to apply for grants
1.2.1. People become members of the Fund when their employer has paid contributions to the Fund for 6 out of the previous 12 months.
1.2.2. Fund members must be employed, both when they apply for a grant and when they use it.
1.2.3. Members with a native language other than Icelandic can apply for a grant to study Icelandic after having paid a membership fee for one month, although never for an amount exceeding the maximum entitlement.
1.2.4. Fund members who are looking for employment/on parental leave can use their accrued rights if they choose to pay their union fees during their job search/parental leave.
1.2.5. If contributions to the Fund cease temporarily due to illness, parental leave or leave without pay, the period in question shall be considered as if contributions were paid, provided that the employment relationship is active, confirmation of which by the employer must be submitted.
1.2.6. Fund members who retire due to age maintain their membership to the Fund for 6 months after the end of contributions.
1.2.7. End of membership. Entitlements lapse 2 months after the final contribution to the Fund has been received.
2. Eligible studies/courses
Education at the upper secondary and university level and education that increases general professional competence in computer technology and language skills is eligible for grants irrespective of the applicant’s profession. Job-related conferences are eligible for grants. A grant of a certain amount is also provided for organised, job-related study and sightseeing trips, life skill courses and certification training not directly related to the applicant’s job.
2.1. What is funded?
Tuition, course and conference fees, skills assessments and professionally organised study trips. Grants are provided for hotel and accommodation expenses and airfares in connection with study visits abroad. No grant is made for such excursions as regards the Fund member’s spouse, child/children or other individuals closely connected to the Fund member even though that party is a member of Sameyki and the Fund. Standard grants are provided for domestic travel and accommodation expenses (cf. 3.1.5). Fund members shall endeavour to find the most advantageous prices for flight and accommodation.
2.2. What is not funded?
Living expenses (food cost), travel within cities and municipalities, rental cars, gasoline expenses, loss of wages, study materials.
3. Grant amount
Grant amounts are based on membership fees paid in the preceding 12 months. In order to receive a full grant, the membership fees must amount to at least a total of ISK 20,000. Half a grant is provided to those who have paid a total of ISK 19,999 or less in membership fees in the preceding 12 months.
The Fund disburses a maximum total of ISK 140,000 in grants per member over a 24-month period. Grants are never allocated in excess of the amounts on presented invoices. In the case of half-grants, when membership fees total less than ISK 20,000 in the preceding 12 months, the maximum grant amount is ISK 70,000.
The following maximum amounts apply to the following grants:
3.1. Study trips abroad, a maximum of ISK 110,000 over a 24-month period. An organised educational programme must be available and include at least 8 hours of professional education.
3.2. Domestic study trips, a maximum of ISK 55,000 over a 24-month period. An organised educational programme must be available and include at least 6 hours of professional education.
3.3. Certification training not directly related to the applicant’s job, a maximum of ISK 100,000 over a 24-month period.
3.4. Life skills course not directly related to the applicant’s job, a maximum of ISK 40,000 over a 24-month period.
3.5. Grants for domestic travel and accommodation. If the distance from the legal domicile to the place of learning or international airport exceeds 100km, a maximum of ISK 15,000 over a 24-month period is paid. If this distance exceeds 250km, a maximum of ISK 30,000 is paid over a 24-month period. Confirmation of attendance from the school/education provider (e.g. attendance at in-person sessions) must be submitted.
4. Application and disbursement of grant
4.1. Applications and accompanying documents
An online application must be submitted via Sameyki’s My Pages at www.sameyki.is. Invoices, payment receipts and other supporting documents should be attached to the online application or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be submitted at Sameyki's office at Grettisgata 89, 105 Reykjavík.
4.2. Confirmation of study and sightseeing trip
For an application due to an organised study and sightseeing trip, a confirmation of participation must be submitted in addition to the invoice. The confirmation shall be in the form of a signed letter from a manager or supervisor of the excursion. The letter shall contain a description of the excursion and an explanation of its purpose. A list of participants and a detailed professional programme, at least 8 hrs abroad/6 hrs domestically, detailing the destinations, subject of the presentation in each place and timings, must also be attached. Applicants must report absences to the Fund. The grant is only provided to Fund members employed with the organisation that organises the trip.
Payments are made upon presentation of an invoice and payment receipts proving that the invoice has been verifiably paid. Original copies are generally not required, although the Board of the Fund reserves the right to do so if deemed necessary. If another party, e.g. a company, institution or colleague, has covered the costs, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has reimbursed the party in question for their part of the cost. Invoices older than 12 months cannot be submitted.
Grants from the Fund are disbursed as soon as circumstances permit in each case. Payments are usually made at the end of each week. Prerequisites for payment are that a representative or the Board of the Vocational Training Fund has approved the application and the required supporting documents have been received in time. The Board of Sameyki’s Vocational Training Fund resolves any issues and may lower grant amounts if there are other cost participants.
A payment notification is attached to the application when the grant is disbursed and accessible on May Pages, where the processing of the application can also be observed.
4.4. Preparation and processing of applications.
Fund members must prepare their applications carefully. A correctly filled in application is a requirement for a grant being allocated. When an application needs to be submitted to a meeting of the Fund’s Board, the conclusion is announced in an e-mail message detailing the documentation that must be submitted to receive the grant. If all documentation has been received, the application will be processed on the next payment day.
5. Frequency of grants, lapse, etc.
5.1. Frequency of grant disbursements. A Fund member with full rights (see Articles 1.2 and 3) can receive a maximum grant of ISK 140,000 over a 24-month period, which means that a Fund member can apply for more than one grant during the period, until the maximum amount is reached.
5.2. Retroactive applications. A grant application around must be received within one year from the end of the studies/project. Invoices older than 12 months cannot be submitted, however.
5.3. Lapse of right to grant disbursement. If an applicant has not submitted the required documentation within 12 months from the submission of the application, the right to payment lapses.
5.4. Double payment or overpayment of a grant. If a mistake occurs in the handling of a grant application or payment of a grant, the Fund’s staff will endeavour to correct the error as soon as possible. Fund members must notify the Fund in the event of overpayment and repay the overpaid amount immediately.
5.5. The right to cancel an application. If applicants do not accept the grant offer or cancel their application before disbursement, the application has no effect on their rights in the Fund.
5.6 Information for tax authorities. Provided educational grants are pre-filled in the tax return. Fund members must retain the original invoice for the expense for which a grant has been obtained to present to the tax authorities if requested. Deductible expenses may be recorded when the tax return is submitted, in accordance with the rules of the Directorate of Internal Revenue.
If the Fund dries up or the Board believes the Fund to be at a disadvantage in terms of income and expected obligations, those members who have never previously received a grant from the Fund shall have priority above others. If there is still a need for prioritisation, the Fund’s Board may give job-related projects priority over others.
7. Right of referral
Fund members always have the right to refer their case back to the Board of the Fund if they are unhappy with the processing of their application, in which case the Board will review the application again at its next meeting.
8. Entry into force
These rules were approved by the Board of the Vocational Training Fund on 10 December 2020 and enter into force on 1 January 2021. Upon entry into force, previous rules of procedure and other decisions which are not in accordance with these rules shall cease to apply. The rules may be amended pursuant to the decision of the Board at each time, based on the Fund’s financial position.