Taiwan Public School Contract Questions - Vacation Policy


Hello All,

I am reviewing a contract for working in a Hsinchu public elementary school. I am new to teaching ESL and this will be my first time teaching in Taiwan. My contract says that while I have summer and winter vacation, I must work up to 15 class during that time if the school demands. Is this normal? Can I negotiate a higher pay for working during summer/winter vacations?

Article 5: Leave, Regular Holidays, and Application for Additional Leave

5.1 乙方享有國定放假日、例假日及寒暑假。唯甲方有權要求乙方參與職前訓練; 此外,甲方另有權要求乙方於寒暑假期間,每週至多進行相當於 15 節課之教學活動、教學計畫撰寫、學生英語社團活動、教師研習活動等。
5.1 Party B shall be entitled to the winter and summer vacations, in addition to national holidays and regular holidays. However, Party A shall have the right to demand that Party B participates in the orientation training program (pre-job training). In addition, Party A shall have the right to demand that Party B carries out up to fifteen (15) class periods per week during the winter and summer vacations. The work can include: English teaching activities, lesson plans writing, student English club, teachers’ workshops, and so on.

Secondly, concerning personal vacation days, is this the same as personal leave? My contract gives 14 days of personal leave that must either be made up or deducted from my salary if someone else teaches. Is that the norm as well?

Personal leave:
With the school’s approval, foreign teachers can take personal leave with either of the following options:

  1. Teachers will choose other time available to make up their classes after returning from leave. There’s no salary deduction in this option. (Only when the school is able to provide class adjustments.)
  2. Classes will be substituted by the co-teachers. The salary will be deducted by NTD609 per teaching period.

Thank you!


事假 is the standard term for personal leave.

As a public school teacher you’re not subject to the Labor Standards Act, and I’m not familiar with typical public school contracts. @tando might know more.


I think those are the norm, and you cannot negotiate a higher pay for the classes during winter/summer vacations. Teachers are paid during summer/winter vacations, so schools can demand teachers to work. Salary of public school teacher is based on Table of Standard Salary Rates.

Below is the contract for Taichung city, for example.


Article 5: Leave, Regular Holidays, and Application for Additional Leave

5.1 乙方除享有國定放假日與例假日外,每年並享有10天給薪年假(於寒暑假期間實施為原則)。甲方有權要求乙方於寒暑假期間,每週至少進行相當於15節課之教學或教學計畫撰寫、學生英語社團活動、教師研習活動等。

5.1 Party B shall be entitled to a 10-day annual leave with pay, which should be taken within the winter and summer vacations in principle, in addition to national holidays and regular holidays. Party A shall have the right to demand that Party B teach, write lesson plans, participate in student English club activities or teachers’ workshops and so on, which are equal to fifteen (15) classes at least, each week, during the winter and summer vacations.

5.2 乙方有關婚假、產前假、陪產假、娩假、流產假、喪假、公假等本契約未規範事宜,依地方政府及甲方相關規定辦理。

5.2 With regard to wedding leaves, prenatal leaves, maternity caring leaves, maternity leaves, miscarriage leaves, funeral leaves, official leaves and those are not stipulated in this Contract to be taken by Party B, the relevant rules and regulations adopted by the Local Government and Party A shall govern.

5.3 乙方每年請事假超過5天者按日扣薪;每年請事病假合計超過14天者按日扣薪。乙方請任何事病假或年假時,若有課務,應與本國教師協調調課,或另覓時間補上,或支付代課鐘點費予甲方,代課鐘點費之數額與第4.1.2條之超支鐘點費同。

  • 年假以寒暑假實施為原則,若乙方因特殊原因須於非寒暑假(學期中)期間請年假,則需提報甲方之主管教育行政機關同意。

5.3 Party B shall be entitled, within an academic year, to take a personal leave for an aggregate period of no more than five (5) days; both personal leave and sick leave for an aggregate period of no more than fourteen (14) days; and shall be subject to a salary reduction on a daily basis for each day beyond the fifth day of allowable personal leave, or the fourteenth day of allowable personal sick and sick leave. If Party B has any class(es) when he/she takes a personal leave or a sick leave or annual leave, then he/she need to negotiate with local teacher(s) to transfer the class(es), or complement the class(es), or pay the tuition fee(s) for the class(es) to Party A. The amount of the tuition fee is the same as the overtime pay in Item 4.1.2.

  • In principle, annual leave should only be taken during winter and/or summer vacation. If Party B has to take annual leave during the semester for extenuating personal or special reasons, the annual leave must be first approved by the Local Government.

5.4 若甲方要求乙方於寒暑假期間回校協助教學行政工作,乙方不得拒絕。

5.4 Should Party A require Party B to return to the school during school’s winter or summer vacation to provide assistance in performing teaching and administrative work, Party B shall not reject, but comply therewith.

5.5 前述規定給假應由甲方准駁之。乙方請假時,須依甲方之請假手續於事前辦理。乙方其他特別狀況之請假,亦由甲方依個案准駁之。

5.5 Any application for leave or vacation in the above provisions shall be approved/disapproved by Party A. Party B shall comply with Party A’s procedures and apply for leave or vacation in advance. Any application for additional leave or vacation not provided in the above provisions shall also be subject to approval/disapproval of Party A.


This is normal. Almost all schools offer a winter and summer camp (more like winter or summer “school”), but they like to call it a camp. It is a way to bring in more money. They usually charge parents by the day. It also offers a baby sitting service alternative for parents rather than having a latch key kid or sending them to a buxiban while mom and dad are at work. Foreign teachers are almost always obligated to teach during that time. Because it is part of your normal teaching duties in the contract, you will not be paid anything in addition to your normal salary for working a summer or winter camp.

On rare occasions, a school may have more than enough teachers to cover the camp and offer tenured staff to take a leave during that time. However, this is an unpaid leave or you end up using your vacation days. You should ask about that before you sign.


It’s normal to work during the school holidays. Most likely the school will ask you to prepare some sort of “camps,” as said above. I don’t know about the other cities, but I am required to show up and be there at the school even when there aren’t any classes. You can do what you want during that time, and it’s also a time to use your vacations. Most of the time you can work something out with the school to get your schedule right when it comes to personal leave, so make sure you build a good relationship with the school!


Personal vacation = personal leave. Same thing.
The other part about subs is normal too, except for one part. And you should ask about this…
If the school supplies a sub, they will deduct money from you to pay that sub. However, that sub may not be paid because the sub is still within their normal contracted teaching hours. Example: Sub is contracted to teach 24 periods a week, but is only assigned 22 teaching periods. They sub 2 periods for you. School does not have to pay. Question that and say if the sub is not being paid then no deduction. Some schools allow teachers to arrange their own swap. You teach one class for me and later I will teach for you when you need it. Ask if this is ok.


I think those are the norm, and you cannot negotiate a higher pay for the classes during winter/summer vacations.

You can’t ask, or just you can’t expect? I mean, are the schools hands completely tied, or does it have discretionary funds it can spend on things like this (if it likes a teacher enough)?


of course, you can ask, almost anything.

Salary of public school teachers is determined by law or regulation, so I think you cannot expect a special treatment. Here I say I “think”, because I am not checking any regulations which may relate to foreign English teachers now.

Schools/principals must have discretionary funds, but the possibility that they use the funds for additional salary of (English) teachers may be very small.


@milli How is the job treating you?


I ended up taking a teaching job in a different city, but so far it’s been great! The administration has been very helpful nd supportive.