Sticky situation at work brewing


Something has been wrong with me medically since the beginning of April. In the middle of May I was still not feeling healthy so i decided to take a couple days vacation to go home in hopes to find out what is wrong.

The medical process back home moves a bit slower than it does in Taiwan, and I may not be able to see a doctor until after my vacation (and even pay day) has passed.

I am supposed to be paid in early June for the month of May. Seeing as I left Taiwan in mid may i am owed about 25000 but my contract has one of those clauses that has me paying 20 000 if i break my contract. My understanding employers have already told me that even if I have medical proof proving that i can’t come back to Taiwan I will still be fined the 20 000. They also told me that if i could not be back to sign a tax paper that I ran the risk of being blacklisted by the government. I dont know when im going to get to see a doctor or what hes going to tell me, but i have promised my work that I will keep them informed. Before I left i drafted and signed a paper allowng my co-worker to pick up my wages in my absense, I also had chops made so my co worker could sign anything for me including tax papers.

So if i need a little bit more time at home to see doctors, figure out what’s wrong and get healthy, what are my rights?
I am particuallarly worried that they are going to withhold 20 000 from my salary and try to get me blacklisted in the event that I cant come back in a time they see fit. What can my employers do to me and what is the best way to combat this situation so i can get the money I earned in May and not get blacklisted. I would like to come back and work in Taiwan but obviously my health is a priority.
Thank you in advance for your advice.

For illness or injury not due to occupational hazard, you are limited to 30 days sick leave if not hospitalized, and 1 year if hospitalized. After 30 days non-hospitalized leave, the employer is free to terminate the employment contract if the employee does not return to work. During this leave the employer must pay 50% of the employee’s pay.

As to your penalty, the employer may not deduct a penalty from your final wages paid, but will have to pay your wages in full and then demand payment of the penalty. You might want to look closely at your contract to determine if the penalty applies if the contract is terminated by the employer or due to medical reasons.

Your main hurdle is going to be proving that you have a legitimate medical reason for such leave, because you have yet to even see a doctor, and you more than once refer to your leave as ‘vacation’ and not medical leave. Your employer will also be curious to know why you decided to take medical leave at home where it takes so long to see a doctor instead of using your NHI benefits here where you probably could have made a same-day appointment.

The tax issue is probably not their concern, but from what I’ve seen with other tax problems, you will be let in just fine but they will not let you leave the country if you are listed as having unpaid taxes. And even that listing isn’t made until the tax filings are very very overdue.

I tried the medical system in Taiwan. I wont say it was bad because it wasnt. I was just concerned that something was getting lost in translation and they werent familiar or understanding of my concerns. I had a couple of weeks booked off work with the intent of going on a vacation. Instead of going on my vacation i decided to go home and seek medical attention. I told my work this. I am supposed to be back at work early June (from my booked off vacation) but it looks like I may not get to see a doctor until the end of June. Obviously my work won’t be too pleased with the situation. They are not unreasonable to think I am running away, even though my intentions are to return as soon as I feel comfortable enough with my health to do so. They know this because I have told them. Regardless if they choose to get a new teacher, they will probably try to fine me the money for breaking contract (My contract stipulates that I must pay a fine for breaking contract. There is no mention of termination due to medical reasons or anything else). In order to do this they will have to withhold a part of my salary from the month of May. Is there anything I can do to stop this from from happening while not in Taiwan? Or is there something I can do if I can get back to Taiwan by midsummer? Thank you

you’re not english are you? seems a hell of a situation going all the way home and not being able to see a doctor…is there no way you can pull strings at the other end and get your appointment moved forward?

It is illegal for them to deduct penalties from wages. They will have to pay all wages due and then ask you to pay the penalty.


Pay day has passed. My employers have not given my May’s salary to a co-worker despite the formal consent I gave them in a letter they asked me to write. I presume they are waiting to find out whether I am coming back or not (and thus whether they should deduct the fine from my salary or not). I know this is illeagal but what can I do? Suggestions please

First step is to ask them why you haven’t been paid for time worked. Then failing that, talk to the CLA about the problem.

Do you have the link to a website, email adress, or number I can call? thanks again