I am hoping to go to Taiwan late-August/early-September for the first time to teach for a year. Below is a contract I am considering, and I wanted to know your thoughts on it. Is it a fair, pretty typical contract? The money isn’t stellar, but it isn’t bad either. I want to have something solid before I buy the plane ticket, visa, and do the 20-hour online TEFL course they require, and I want to make sure this is a decent contract to sign. Please let me know your thoughts/advice!
The teacher contracts to undertake all duties assigned by the Director of Studies. These duties shall generally include the following. N.B. Teachers are only paid for teaching duties (1 and 2 below). However the hourly teaching rate is calculated to be inclusive of non-teaching duties (3 to 13 below):
- Classroom teaching in schools (both kindergartens and language schools) or in other schools where ___ agrees to provide teachers.
- Teaching at locations other than schools, such as company offices, community halls, or private homes, as directed by the Director of Studies.
- Full preparation for all classes being taught on a scheduled day.
- Assisting and making a positive contribution to the recruitment of new students by, among other activities, conducting demonstration lessons, placement testing, and advising on appropriate classes / lessons for students.
- Counselling existing students and advising them on issues relating to study, examinations, and opportunities for study abroad.
- Undertaking the production of lesson plans, course outlines, and teaching materials, both individually and with fellow teachers, as directed by the Director of Studies.
- Attending and making a positive contribution to meetings reviewing the teacher’s performance, professional development, and issues relating in general; subsequently taking action upon issues raised in those meetings.
- Preparation and submission of materials (lesson plans, self-assessments etc) for meetings reviewing the teacher’s performance and professional development.
- Attending and making a positive contribution to workshops and training sessions as directed by the Director of Studies. The winter and summer course training sessions are obligatory for all teachers that have not attended these in previous contracts, these 2 trainings may be on a weekend.
- Organising and participating in promotional events for students during the contract period (e.g. Graduation, Xmas parties, overnight trips etc).
- The preparation, maintenance, and submission of timely and accurate reports on lessons and student progress according to the schema advised by the Director of Studies.
- Visiting Head Office (Taipei teachers only) at least once a week to prepare materials and to check drawers for correspondence.
- Teaching as cover for absent colleagues in schools or other locations when required (a maximum of 12 times during the contract period. Also see I. 4).
- Being on stand-by in case of teacher sickness when required.
N.B. It is sometimes necessary to change schedules at short notice, or for teachers temporarily to do work that falls outside these guidelines. Teachers are expected to be flexible and co-operative in these circumstances. Requests for changes to a teaching schedule can normally only be considered after one year.
C. HOURS OF WORK, WAGES & BONUS
- The teacher agrees to be available to carry out his/her duties as advised by the Director of Studies. A standard schedule (not including cover) is 5 days/week with Sunday and one other day off.
- The maximum contact teaching hours in any given day (excluding the public school vacation periods) will not exceed 8 (N.B. the average is 5).
- The length of the working day (from start of the first class until finish of the last class) will not exceed 9.5 hours (including breaks) on three days of the week or 11 hours on the remaining two days of the week.
- The teacher agrees to a gross hourly rate of NT$570 for the first six months of the contract period. There is then the possibility of a performance related increase of either NT$10/hr or NT$20/hr from the month of March 2013. The maximum hourly rate is NT$620.
- The teacher shall be guaranteed a gross monthly wage of NT$ 45,600 representing 80 hours per month at the hourly rate (valid for the first six months of the contract period).
- Wages are paid on the 10th of the following month (or the next banking day if the 10th is a holiday). Please note that all pay is taxed according to local tax laws.
- On arrival there will be one week of training (this training may need to be completed at a later date). For teachers scheduled to teach some or all of their classes at a kindergarten there will be an extra week of training paid at twenty hours (this training may also need to be completed at a later date).
- The guarantee period begins on the first day of training and for teachers whose first day of training falls outside the first week of the month the guarantee will be calculated at 20 hours per full week. Teachers are paid on the 10th of the following month (Please note that all pay is taxed according to local tax laws).
- Any positive (over the guarantee) or negative (below the guarantee) balance of hours shall be carried forward at the end of each calendar month.
- After working a full six calendar months, all teachers that have accrued a positive balance of hours must leave the guarantee system. Any such hours accrued over this period shall be paid as a bonus at the initial hourly rate as detailed in 4, above.
- After working a full six calendar months, any teachers that have not yet accrued a positive balance of hours will remain on the guarantee until such a time as they have accrued a positive balance of hours. At that time, such hours shall be paid as a bonus at the standard hourly rate. Any negative balance of hours accrued over the full contract period will be forfeited by school.
- After leaving the guarantee system, teachers will be paid each month for all hours taught, at the standard hourly rate.
- Level check bonuses will be paid to the teacher in the months that they are earned.
- The teacher is expected to arrive at the designated school at least 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the first lesson.
- In the event of the teacher being late or unable to attend, he/she must notify the school and head office as soon as possible.
- The teacher is expected to be at the school in sufficient time to prepare properly for all classes schedule for the day. Preparation for classes is a part of a teachers non-teaching duties.
- The teacher agrees to adhere to the school dress code, as outlined in the school Procedures and Administration Manual (PAM). The teacher should be of smart appearance at all times when engaged on company business.
- It is a condition of employment that the teacher does not engage in any other employment either through his/her own, or any other individual’s or company’s behalf. Any employee engaged in such unauthorised employment shall be subject to summary dismissal.
E. VISA & REGISTRATION
The school shall sponsor the teacher for a visa. The teacher shall be responsible for the cost of the visa and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and for submission of all relevant documentation to the proper authorities and for all actions necessary to maintain the validity of the visa.
Teachers should be aware that a medical check is required in order to be granted a visa. Failure to pass this medical check may result in a rejection of the visa request. Teachers would then be required to leave the country at their own expense.
In the case of a visa trip being required, the school will cover the costs incurred, provided the teacher arrived with a full 8 weeks tourist visa and has provided all documentation necessary as and when requested. NB This does not apply to South African teachers since it is a government requirement for teachers from South Africa to pick up the resident visa in another country.
F. SICKNESS/HEALTH INSURANCE
- It is a condition of residence in Taiwan that all residents are members of the National Insurance scheme. Deductions will be made at source from the teacher’s wages to cover the cost.
- Since the National Insurance scheme doesn’t adequately cover the teacher, it is a condition of employment that the teacher joins the scheme recommended upon arrival in Taiwan. Franchise teachers have the option of joining the company scheme or taking out a private scheme that covers the teacher for the duration of stay in Taiwan. NB Schemes taken out in Taiwan do not cover repatriation.
Teachers should be aware that the private scheme may not accept/may delay covering teachers with past or present medical conditions. If rejected, teachers will have to take out insurance in the UK. The cost of the private scheme is based on the age and medical condition of the teacher.
- At the discretion of the Director of Studies, the teacher may be granted compassionate leave.
- Time missed due to sickness or for compassionate reasons will be considered as unpaid leave and proportional deductions from the teacher’s wages will be made accordingly. For teachers on the guarantee system 5 hours will be deducted for each day missed.
- If the teacher is absent from work through sickness, the company may require a doctor’s certificate or other documentation.
G. DISCIPLINARY & GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
- The teacher agrees to abide by the disciplinary procedures as detailed in the Procedures and Administration Manual (PAM), a copy of which is available to teachers at all times.
- The teacher agrees to abide by the grievance procedures as detailed in the Procedures and Administration Manual (PAM), a copy of which is available to teachers at all times.
H. RESIGNATION & TERMINATION OF CONTRACT
Note: All teachers are expected to complete the contract period. Teachers leaving prior to completing the full term of the contract are considered to have broken the contract. Although the school will follow the guidelines laid out below with regards to pay, failure to complete contracts may adversely affect future Taiwanese work permit applications.
- In the event of a teacher wishing to resign from the employment prior to the completion of their contract period, a formal letter of resignation must be submitted to the Director of Studies, not less than three months before his/her last day of work, which should be specified. Under such circumstances, deficit hours may be reclaimed. The school will cancel the working visa. The school also reserves the right to replace the teacher earlier than stated in the letter of resignation. In this case the above deductions will be based on the full three months notice and not this earlier, enforced departure date. NB Once notice of termination of contract has been received, teachers may be taken off the guarantee system at any time. All other money due to the teacher will be paid in full after the above deductions have been taken into consideration.
- If for any reason less than 3 months notice is given, additional hourly payments will be lost and deficit hours may be reclaimed. The school will cancel the working visa. The school also reserves the right to replace the teacher earlier than stated in the letter of resignation. N.B. Once notice of termination of contract has been received, teachers may be taken off the guarantee system at any time. Any other losses incurred (such as replacement fees and hotel costs) may also be reclaimed (N.B. This will be dependent on actual notice period given).
- The school may, if dissatisfied with the teacher’s performance, terminate this contract prior to the end of the contract period with a minimum of one month’s notice. Under such circumstances, deficit hours may be reclaimed. The school will cancel the working visa. NB Once notice of termination of contract has been issued, teachers may be taken off the guarantee system at any time. All other money due to the teacher will be paid in full after the above deductions have been taken into consideration.
- In the event of an act of gross misconduct being committed by the teacher, the school may, at its discretion, summarily dismiss the teacher without notice. Under such circumstances, no additional hourly bonus payments will be paid. Deficit hours will also be reclaimed. Any other losses incurred (such as replacement fees and hotel costs) will also be reclaimed. the school will cancel the working visa.
- The teacher agrees that, both during and after employment with the school, he/she shall not pass on any information relating to SEST or its operations to which he/she may become privy during his/her employment.
- The teacher agrees that, both during and after employment, he/she shall neither defame nor make public statements of a damaging nature concerning the school or its associated companies or personnel.
- In the event of his/her leaving, the teacher shall return all books and materials given to him/her. Any materials not returned will be charged to the teacher.
- During the calendar year there are a total of 13 holidays that fall on Mondays to Saturdays (the schools are shut on these days). These include national holidays.
- A further 14 days may be chosen providing the required notice is given. These holidays will be granted on a first come first served basis and only after the teacher has completed a full 3 months teaching. For teachers on the guarantee system, 5 hours will be deducted for each day missed.
- Certain schools shut for longer than the 13 days stipulated in 1 above. In this case the number of days that can be chosen will be reduced accordingly (Please refer to individual school calendars).
- Teachers may also accrue further holidays. If a teacher covers classes on their regular day off, then a further 1-day of holiday is accrued for each cover day.
- All holidays are unpaid.