Contracts with Fines?

Kid Castle is offering me a contract for one year, with some heavy fines if I should leave prior.

Leaving with one month’s notice: 10,000 NT
Leaving less than one month’s notice: ALL the money I’ve made up til thatpoint.

Eeek. I don’t intend to leave before the contract is up,but I don’t know how well the school is managed and if something unforeseen may happen.

Is this normal? Or should I move on?


Move on, the contract is shit and so is Kid Castle.

[quote=“Hell_in_Jen”]Leaving with one month’s notice: 10,000 NT
Leaving less than one month’s notice: ALL the money I’ve made up til thatpoint.[/quote]

The first part doesn’t sound so unreasonable to me if you mean “less than one month’s notice.” The second part is absurd. . . and most likely unenforceable.

In the US any contract provision providing for a penalty in the event of breach of the contract is unenforceable (instead it can provide for “liquidated damages” which must be in the approximate amount of actual damages suffered due to the breach).

Taiwan law alllows a penalty for breach of contract, but according to Civil Code section 252, if the penalty is disproportionately high the court may reduce it to a reasonable amount. The penalty in this case is definitely too high and a judge would almost certainly reduce it, but to what amount it is hard to say.

are you getting all your money at the end of the year? how else could they get back all the money you made up to that point? or do you mean all the money you made for that month?

a little unclear …

Move on

Thanks to everyone who wrote back and confirmed my squeamishness over the deal.

I called them back and canceled my follow-up interview. Felt bad doing it, but decided I’d rather not want to be trapped in a school that had such trouble keeping their teachers in the first place.

I have to ask this out of curiosity: how prevalent is this sort of thing?

Some schools have “deposits” in their contracts. Some have various kinds of fines. I don’t know how prevalent it is, but it’s out there.

Maybe there are some good schools that have provisions like those, but in my opinion, if there’s a lot of that sort of thing in a contract, or if the fines are big, it’s a not a good sign.

I may be wrong in this assumption, but if a school provides for deposits, or big fines for leaving, I assume it means they’ve had problems, maybe serious problems, with teachers leaving in the past. And even if the teachers were wrong or irresponsible in leaving, even if it wasn’t the school’s fault that they left, a contract with heavy fines and/or deposits would make me suspect that the school had developed an adversarial attitude towards its teachers. Even if the attitude were justified by the school’s past experience, it wouldn’t be my kind of scene.

Out of something like desperation (real or imagined), I once signed with a school that had fairly hefty deposits in the contract. After a few weeks of enduring the bad vibes at that school, I got the thought, “Hell, I ain’t that desperate,” so I quit.