Contract obligations versus death of a close relative


One of my friends is an English teacher, who recently lost a close relative (her father).
She is under contract with an English school and wants to return to her home country to attend the funeral and support her family.

Her employer is somewhat understanding and is willing to give her 2 weeks off, but expects her to return after that to complete the remainder of her contract.
She thinks this kind of circumstance is a justifiable reason to break her contract. If she prefers to do so, she might have to pay a fine, as it is stipulated in her contract.

Has anybody been in a similar situation?
Or do you know anybody, who has gone through a similar ordeal?
And if so, would you like to share your experience?

She would appreciate any kind of input on this.

I would say she should go back and if she decides she needs to stay then call and let the school know she won’t be coming back because the family needs her. At worse they can keep that month’s portion of her salary but she may be able to guilt them into not daring. They certainly won’t be able to force her into paying a fine on top of losing that bit of her salary. Since the month has just started I would say she doesn’t have much to lose. Just make sure they think she is coming back so they pay all last months salary.

Is she depressed? Can she get a note from a doctor so that she can take more time off? How much time does she want off?

[quote=“dargus”]Her employer is somewhat understanding and is willing to give her 2 weeks off[/quote]This is a law-given right, so it’s not that understanding.

That might actually be one legal loop hole. If a doctor stipulates in writing that she is not fit to work, they’ll have to pay her every penny she is owed. Good thinking, Flicka.


She has arrived in her country and is staying with her family now.
The likelihood she wants to return to Taiwan is very dim.
She has no idea how she is going to deal with her employer 2 weeks further down the road.

Forgedaboutit. Big deal. Maybe I missed something, but if she wants to come back, she can come back and apparently has a job; if she doesn’t want to come back she doesn’t need to and won’t suffer any harm. What’s the dilemna, just cuz some guy in some far off land tells her he believes she has an obligation to fly across the world to continue working for him? How’s he going to enact a fine when she’s in another country?

In Taiwan everyone puts his own interests first. The school owner is doing just that. He hasn’t really gone out of his way to show any compassion for this teacher, just gave her what is legally due her anyway.

English teaching jobs are a dime a dozen, and that boss won’t be there to help the teacher when she is feeling depressed because her family needs her and she isn’t there because she’s doing “her duty” as he has laid it out. Family comes first. She won’t regret supporting her family, but I bet she would regret supporting the school over her family.