School not paying end of contract bonus

I have finished the first contract at my cram school and signed on for a second year. At the end of a contract the school pays you an accumulative bonus for all the classes you loose no students for and continue on to the next level, the more students the more the bonus is. The school and myself have copies and records of these bonuses and how many students I kept on to stay. Months ago, right before I signed my second contract to work there, the head secretary had told me the school would deposit the bonus with my last months pay of my first contract. Although, they had paid me my salary but did not include my end of contract bonus. When I asked the head secretary she told me it was the owner who had to deposit the money into my account. When I asked the owner she lied and said the head secretary had to deposit the money into my account. The past two weeks they have been telling me to ask the other about who has to pay me my bonus.

Now I work at a very small cram school, there are only 3 branches in Taiwan, and the owner is very hands on with all the schools. She is know to be very manipulative and not do everything by the books and will lie to cover it up. I am wondering what my legal actions are to get the money that is owed to me. It is about 600 USD they owe me. Is there a branch of government I can call, or is this a matter to do with lawyers. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

So is the end of contract bonus stipulated in writing anywheres?

Not in the contract, but we do fill out a sheet with the number of students and sign it. The school has the original copy and the teacher makes a copy of it

can you get the answer in written form?


The labor department of the city/county in which you work has jurisdiction. You can discuss the matter with them, and they generally have lawyers available for free, short consultations on certain days at certain times. You can also contact the Legal Aid Foundation (, but the labor department is faster at providing basic information that doesn’t require a lawyer.

In most cases they will suggest mediation, which would be a necessary step before going to court anyway. Not all mediators are equal; in general you get better results from the ones who work directly for the labor department.

You probably don’t want to go to court over a mere $18,000-odd, but if you compare the Labor Standards Act with your contract and your experience working for this buxiban, you might discover that they owe you for holidays, overtime, etc.

That might be a problem. An oral contract is legally binding (with some exceptions that aren’t relevant here), but the difficult part is proving what was agreed.


Ask for evidence that the bonus was deposited into your account. If the boss and/or secretary can not provide this and this bonus is written in your contract then there should be at least two branches (education and labour) of the Taiwan government that should and can help you.

Yes I probably could

Do this. It will help to push things as well as to prove you have the right for such bonus.

Pull out thine handy mobile device and record the conversation of “where is my bonus of USD600 that we agreed upon?” You get audio of the boss saying “it’s the secretary’s job to get that to you” and the secretary saying “that’s the boss’s job to get that to you” and you have confirmation that you have this verbal contract that you can bring in as evidence. You need evidence that the money was agreed upon if you’re going to fight for this in court. You also might want to rethink stickin around at a cram school that’s not holding up their end of the bargain.


And then you get charged and convicted for illegal recording.

Please don’t do this.

Just tell the manager that the secretary told you that it was her job and vice-versa and if both of them can’t sort out whose responsibility it is, that you will go to the Labor Department to ask them to sort it out for everyone.

This threat will get you your money immediately. And, in the off chance that they call your bluff, don’t let it be a bluff. Go do it.


I’ve been in a similarish situation and a threat of contacting the CLA was enough to get what I was owed. I threw in contacting the FAP for good measure because, as a foreigner, I didn’t know the correct channels.

I worded it very politely, though. Always remain calm and respectful in these situations. It’s only an, ahem, misunderstanding after all.


THIS!!! Exactly. Non-threatening. You’re confused and the Council of Labor Affairs might be able to explain things more clearly to you…blah blah blah…smile…


Please don’t threaten to contact the CLA. It would be like threatening to do a runner to the Soviet Union. :cactus:

It’s the Ministry of Labor now. In most cases you would dealing with the local labor department, which goes by slightly different names in different cities.


It’s illegal if you do it without a valid reason or violate someone’s privacy in the process.

(And it sometimes happens that the evidence is ignored anyway.)

Getting something in writing is always better, though.


Ok, I will step back on what I said before about recording and suggest that you use LINE or email to clearly state something like “I have not received the $x that we agreed I would receive as an end of contract bonus. I want to clarify with you who is in charge of making sure that I receive my money”. If they don’t reply with “we never agreed to that you don’t get a bonus”, then at least you have that on your side. The more details you include in your message, the stronger your argument.