Can an employer force you to not talk about your salary in Taiwan?

I can’t seem to find anything about this on here, but mods can feel free to move it as they see fit. I know having an NDA regarding discussing your salary isn’t legal in the US, but I was handed an employment contract that explicitly stated that I was not to discuss my salary with anyone else in the school or outside it, including coworkers, students, and their parents. I already thought the salary was low in general and very low for the location (one of the pricier districts in Taipei) but they weren’t budging in the salary front. I told them I’d have to go home and read through the contract, but the non disclosure agreement about the salary part caught my eye as soon as they handed me the contract, and that actually made me more annoyed than what they were offering. Does anyone know if NDAs regarding salaries is legal here? Or is this another case of “scam the foreigner”?


Good question. They’re very common here and very obnoxious. But they’re probably unenforceable since you could unwittingly disclose your salary in a number of ways.

I mean, yes of course. That’s how Americans who didn’t know NDAs regarding salaries were illegal have handled that for years. What I was wondering was if they’re legal? I really like the school, but breaking the law right out the gate isn’t something I want from my employer. I was wondering if anyone can point to a law. Maybe I need this moved to the legal forum…


No talky the money was stipulated in my contract, as well. Every time I think about it I feel the urge to form a workers’ union…


I always thought it was a strange stipulation, your spouse/partner could always talk about it, they haven’t signed the contract.

What’s the point of this?

OP wants to find out whether NDAs re: salary are legal/enforceable.

The point of not talking about salary.

Possibly the employer doesn’t want employee competition and “unionising” due to differences in salaries paid. Probably they seen it in a sample contract online and thought it was a good idea.

Can’t comment on legality however they are extremely common, definitely not limited to foreigners.

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its common across industries and in many countries, basically in any place that has differential salaries the employer can ask for it.
it is not a big issue in my opinion, and from all the things the employer can scam you or break the law this is the last one that would come to my mind to be honest. i’d be more worried about vacation days, taxes, retirement plan etc.

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There’s the anti-solidarity angle, but there’s also the value-for-money angle. When customers pay $$$, they tend to expect quality product/service. When they find out said product/service costs $ and not $$, they may be inspired to seek another product/service or keep the same one but cut out the middleman.

Short answer:

Civil Code Art. 247-1 probably invalidates the NDA if it’s completely one-sided (was not negotiated and imposes a non-mutual restriction on your freedom of speech without compensating you for it).

Less short answer:

Common sense dictates that they can’t stop you from discussing your salary with the labor department, your lawyer, your family (remember filial piety), etc., but assuming they’re paying you at least minimum wage and not failing to pay you on time and in full, that shouldn’t be an issue.

Common sense also dictates that your salary figure is not a trade secret in the legal sense, though technically it might be.

In the rather unlikely event that they try to construe it as such, you could object that (1) the “trade secret” was jointly developed in the course of contract negotiation ergo you need to be compensated :money_mouth_face: for it (Trade Secrets Act Art. 5), (2) the NDA is void due to incompatibility with societal and public interest (TSA Art. 1), or (3) the NDA is void regardless of whether or not your salary is a trade secret (CC Art. 247-1).

If the NDA is enforceable, the most your employer would be likely to get away with would be firing you. Suing for monetary damages would be a long shot because the onus would be on them to prove they suffered harm – and how much – on account of the disclosure.


Thanks for sharing the deets. It sounds to me like that means they can’t prevent me from sharing my salary information. I’m a school teacher, not a spy, so it’s not like sharing that information should be proprietary. Now the question is: bring that up with them or not? I’m already for sure going to be going after them for a better salary – Hess pays better to FOB’s than this school was offering me… But how badly do I want to through their bs back at them is another question…

Not letting employees talk about salaries (under contract) lets them pay shit wages to some people and really high wages to others and not get sued for discrimination when an FOB white man gets paid 10x more than an ABC woman with 20 years of direct experience in the area. I know there’s a white man at the school I’m talking about right now and, judging from his lifestyle and appearance, he’s either making at least three times what I was offered or is a trust fund baby. By writing in the contract that we can’t talk about our salaries, I could be fired for pressing him about it and he would be fired for telling me. So the school can get away with paying whatever they feel like paying and fire anyone who brings it up with them. NDAs about salaries + taboo = why there’s such an extreme gap in income in places like the US. As a woman, if I’m not ALLOWED to know how much more my male colleagues are making, I won’t ask to be paid the same amount of money for the same amount of work (shocker) or sue the company for the blatant gender discrimination.


You are making a hell of a lot of assumptions here.
I know it’s open season on those of us melanin and X chromosome challenged but come on, look at what you are saying. Don’t start beating on the wrong target.

You are being racist.

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as a business owner i want to pay as little as possible to my staff and charge my clients as much as possible. This is how any business makes money.
if you know that your experience and education is worth more, dont compromise and push for the salary you deserve. if a White FOB got a higher salary, its because the owner thinks he deserves it or because he has good negotiations skills. There is no discrimination here.
if you are worried about gender pay gap, work in a government position or an international school, where salaries are fixed according to tenure and experience.

Yeahhh…I’m going to call bullshit on this.


Why? Why would an owner pay more to a white male FOB if they didn’t need to? They just really like inexperienced white men and enjoy giving them more pay than they need to?

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The FOB know they have value as a white face while an ABC look like a native. Parents/Owners want that foreigner face and will pay more, regardless of experience.

In fairness, I think most places who primarily value having just the appearance of a foreign teacher and don’t care about the kids’ learning experience would be keen to replace a whitey who’s too demanding about their salary with one that’s easier to scam.

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