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Compulsory education is being extended to 18 years of age in 2021.
Compulsory education will end when a young person reaches the age of 18 or
gains an upper secondary qualification before that date. The aim of raising the
compulsory education age is to ensure that every young person completes upper
secondary education.

This also affects the payment of earnings-related
allowance. According to a new statute on the Act on Unemployment Security,
unemployment benefit is not granted to unemployed jobseekers under the age of
18. This will take effect on 1 August 2021. Prior to this, it has been possible
to receive unemployment benefits from the fund already at age 17. 

However, unemployment benefit may be granted to jobseekers aged 17 who
have completed their compulsory education or who have suspended their
compulsory education as provided for in the Compulsory Education
Act. Studies may be suspended, for example, due to temporary stay abroad.

Meeting the employment condition

As of August 2022, payment of unemployment insurance contributions will
not start until age 18.  From that point
on, it will not be possible for a person under the age of 18 to meet the
employment condition. Only employment from the period for which membership fees
have been paid can only be counted towards the employment condition. Membership
of the fund can only begin once the applicant has reached age 18. This means
that after the change, earnings-related allowance cannot be paid to a person under
the age of 18 even if their compulsory education has already ended before
turning 18.

Now, during the
transition period, a 17-year-old can receive earnings-related allowance if
their compulsory education has been completed and they meet the employment condition
of 26 weeks before August 2022.