I think I saw somewhere that someone stated that as per Labor Laws, as foreigners, our work contracts must be in both Chinese and whatever common language of the foreign employee -English I guess. Can’t find the key quote, though. Does anyone know if this is true?
Interesting. I am assuming that this would be consistent with most of the labor laws such that it is up to the employee to raise the issue and the labor board would back the employee’s request. Following this to see if there is a law.
As a side note our contracts for English teachers were accepted only written in English.
For a contract to be valid in terms of the relationship between the two parties, all that’s needed is for the two parties to understand their obligations towards each other, whether agreed orally or in writing. If there’s a misunderstanding, of course it can get messy. Violating administrative requirements does not automatically invalidate civil obligations.
Employment Service Act 就業服務法
Art. 46 Par. 3:
The employer when employing a foreign worker to engage in work as referred to in subparagraphs 8 to 10 of paragraph 1 of this article [basically “blue collar”], shall execute a labor contract in writing with the employed foreign worker and with fixed duration only; in case where it is not so fixed, the duration of his/her employment shall be deemed as the same with the duration of employment permit thereof. The foregoing in this paragraph shall equally apply in the case of extension of such labor contract.
Regulations on the Permission and Administration of the Employment of Foreign Workers 雇主聘僱外國人許可及管理辦法
Every written labor contract for a fixed term entered into and executed by and between an employer and a foreign worker in accordance with Paragraph 3 of Article 46 of The Act shall be made in Chinese serving as the origined [sic] and shall also be translated, as a duplicate, into the native language of the foreign worker’s national country.
When paying the wage/salary to type B foreign worker(s) [referring to 46.1.8 to 46.1.11 (not 10) of the ESA] in accordance with the labor contract(s), the employer shall issue and deliver to the type B foreign worker(s) and keep a copy themselves the table of wage/salary indicating both in Chinese and in the native language of the type B foreign worker(s)’s national country stating the wage/salary actually received, the items accountable for the wage/salary, the total amount of the wage/salary, the payment method of wage/salary, the items of expenses incurred and the corresponding amount thereto about National Health Insurance premium, Labor Insurance premium, Income Tax withhold or boarding fees, worker bonus, detained amount of money under the detain order from court or administrative agents, or other items or amount directly deducted from wage according to laws. Of which copies should be kept by the foreign worker(s) for five years. [etc…]
Notice how the regulations assume that every country has one language.
That’s also been my experience, most of the time. I still wonder if it’s more because they want the authorities to have a “too much trouble, won’t bother translating” reaction or if it’s more because they have a plan B to plead ignorance along the lines of “we don’t accept responsibility for the English version the employee signed because we outsourced the translation to a third party, but here’s the Chinese version he/she never saw”.
In the event of a discrepancy, the Civil Code’s provisions for “intent” and so on should determine the validity and possible revocation. If there’s proof that the employer misled the employee at the time of signing the contract, that can be used as a valid reason for the employee to quit (and receive severance pay) within 30 days of becoming aware of the problem (Labor Standards Act Art. 14).
The thing is that they claim that as we are translators, we should understand the contracts. Well, pardon me, my specialty is not legal translation. Moreover, the specialists I have shown this stuff to are also stumpted, as the thing is written in Ming dynasty legalese even they have trouble understanding… Sigh…
Now this is funny. I’ve been spending so much time with Chinese legalese recently that I could probably do it, but I wouldn’t be able to do it legally because my open work rights only lasted for one year, and I’m not ready to get married.
LOL. I bet you could but then we would have to pay for your hospital stay as a result of an aneurysm.
With the number of those I’ve had over the past year, I think I should be immune by now…
Actually, afaik I wouldn’t be able to get a work permit as a translator unless some of my years of teaching experience were counted as translation experience.
If you charge them 20 cents a word, ypu are hired! Then turn up a Google copy paste, collect, and leave it to whoever takes it down the line to fix.
Is that $0.2 per source character in USD or TWD?
Well, isn’t that just peachy.
I had a contract that stated “in case of conflict between translations, the Chinese will take precedence.” In English it promised a 2 week paid vacation. The Chinese made no mention of it. It only said hours would not change during the summer and winter breaks.
It also said the school would provide health insurance, as mandated by law. The Chinese read the employee was responsible for all insurance costs.
In case of conflict between the contract and laws, I think laws will take precedence.
I’m not familiar with cases like that that went to court. In theory they should still be on the hook for intentional or negligent deception, as the translation disclaimer is obviously meant to prevent quibbling on ambiguous words.
That’s the gist of it.