Quitting before contract ends


I’ve been at a school teaching for about 3 months now and unfortunately I’ve decided the whole teaching thing is really not for me, at least at this time. Becoming more miserable and stressed by the day so I don’t think it’s possible to stick it out a whole year.

I’m a bit worried because it says in the contract that at least 3 months notice must be given, which seems extreme considering this notice period would be longer than my stay at the school so far.

Ideally I’d like to quit, give a more reasonable notice period (max I think I could handle would be 30 days), then get my proof of work terminated letter from the school and extend my ARC by 6 months.

The contract states no mention of monetary penalties for breaking the contract, but it does say that not completing the contract may negatively affect future work permit applications.

Stressing out over what to do, I don’t want to land myself on some ‘blacklist’, as I don’t want to screw myself out of any future employment in Taiwan. I thought this was reserved for those that did a runner without ever letting the school know they intended to leave, but I’m concerned by the contract wording this isn’t the case.

I remember reading there are different scenarios depending on the reason quitting (article 14, 15 or 16 or along those lines?). Thing is the school is on the whole very good, and have not done anything wrong as far as I’m aware, so will breaking the contract be a problem?

Any advice or links to useful resources on this would be massively appreciated.


Start to act weird. Pretend to have some ticks and think aloud about being unhappy and angry. When doing that you can also say every once in a while something like “shut up! shut. Up!”

Then you can make some jokes to your coworkers about how perky Jenny’s tits are. Right after that, you can tap strongly your coworker’s shoulder and cry “hahaha Mike, you are a dirty bastard!”. It doesn’t matter if his name is John, just say Mike.

You can also stop taking showers and start a diet rich in garlic, which is super healthy.

If you are not really convinced about this, you can try a softer version of it. Try to be annoying, irksome, noisy, silly, even stupid. Be late every day.


Have some more of that 7/11 coffee and tough out those 3 months like a man. Or run into future trouble getting employment. Up to you.


Thanks for the reply.

So if I sent them a formal letter or email stating I am leaving, with a leaving date specified that’s 1 month into the future, can they actually refuse to accept the resignation and not issue the contract termination letter?

Also to your point, the contract states not finishing the full term is considered breaking it, so even if I were to work the 3 months notice, the wording of the contract implies that this can still affect future permit applications?


Of course.

That’s very confusing. So what does it say about the 3 months then? I think if you give the proper 3 month notice, the worst they can do is lock you out of getting a new work permit until what would’ve been the natural end of your contract. But if they’re a “good school” as you say, you should be able to reason with your director. If he’s a good guy, then if you don’t screw him over (by bailing prematurely) then I don’t think he’ll screw you over. But that’s as much as I can say without firsthand knowledge of your school and director.


Are work permits for non-school jobs handled by the same offices/agencies? Would being blacklisted for a teaching job (even if it happened, which isn’t a given) affect an application elsewhere?

Otherwise the best way out is usually the oh-so-Taiwanese “I have a really good excuse that involves my aging parents and have to leave Taiwan suddenly. So, so sorry but what can I do?” Saves face for everyone which is one of the factors that avoids employers doing stuff that could be bothersome.


It’s a fixed term contract. The employer can only terminate it under certain conditions, and the same goes for the employee.

If the employer is doing something improper e.g. substantially underpaying you, refusing to grant statutory leave, failing to register you for labor insurance, etc., you can use that as a reason to terminate the contract without advance notice.

You can also try negotiating with the employer.

As for the threat that leaving early “may negatively affect future work permit applications”, it’s not enforceable as a contractual condition, because it’s the government’s responsibility, not the employer’s. You can take it as advice, if you want.


This sounds like the EXACT same contract I have, think we might be working for the same company! Did they pay you the guaranteed hours for training? I was under the impression they give teachers the guaranteed hours if training falls outside first week of the month…which did not happen in my case…so article 14 might be my ticket out.


If you’ve been working somewhere for more than 3 months but less than 1 year, you’re only required to give your company 10 days notice. This is what is stated in the LSA (Labor Standards Act). Contracts that state higher notice periods are usually found to be invalid. At my school, the human resource department explained this to us all, and they also explained the Labour Law’s to us, so we knew what our rights were! : )


which article says this?

Article 16 mentions on the 10-day advantage notice for an employer to terminate a contract under certain conditions.

For non-fixed contracts, it is in Article 15.


Article 15 “the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 16 pertaining to the prescribed time limit for serving an advance notice shall apply mutatis mutandis.” He doesn’t have a fixed term contract. A lot of schools ask teachers to sign a new contract every year; in the eyes of the Taiwanese court this is viewed as non fixed term contract. Even signing a one year contract that states a 30 day leave notice doesn’t mean much. Guidelines for contracts should meet the standards as set out in the LSA or be better than. In this case it would seem they are worse, which means the LSA trumps.


I didn’t know that. Do you have some examples of court judgement?


My two cents (may not be applicable). The school wants a foreign face in the window. In my case, I was working for a very reputable company. I said that I did not agree with their teaching philosophy. The agreement was that if I find a suitable substitute, they would hold off for a couple of months before cancelling my work visa (I was 10 months off the boat and had/have no knowledge of my work rights). I found a substitute/replacement and took the first job I could find. Due to the time of getting a work visa, you would DEFINITELY need to work with them on the cancellation date.

Turns out for, the private school I worked for was the proverbial devil known less. Didn’t even get a summer holiday. School went tits up after a couple of years, but they didn’t abide by their contactual obligations, but held me up to every standard listed in my own contact. Kind of wish I hadn’t changed jobs. But it shows the variety of flexibility that the employers have.


No need. Article 9 of the labor standards act states that if there is no gap in employment (more than 30 days) between the signing of contracts then your claim to a fixed term contract is invalid. The LSA takes a stance that contracts should be in principle, non-fixed termed. ^^


Even if it is the first year of a foreign worker with a work permit which is valid for one year?


Usually an adjudicator would apply a “fair and reasonable test” according to the LSA employment under one year only requires 10 days notice, ergo; regardless of the nature of the contract (fixed non-fixed) it wouldn’t pass the fairness test. Fixed term contracts don’t really apply for any term over 6 months in Taiwan. If you wanted to get around this system you would need to set you contracts for 6 months then your staff would have to have one month unpaid off work and come back on a new six month contract. This (theoretically) would allow you to hire and fire without consequence (having to pay severance) … At the end of the day an employee is an employee and in the eye of Taiwan LSA most of the contracts signed in the buxiban industry between the company and foreign employee aren’t worth the paper they’re written on… :confused:


There’s one problem if the teacher is a foreigner with a normal work permit or even a marriage-based ARC, explained in this post: