Teaching Contracts -- questions

I would like to clear up a few issues with a teaching contract I am yet to sign.

  1. What is the standard holiday leave for private bushibans?

  2. Is it standard to require a letter from a doctor of a Taipei hospital that is certified to grant medical certificates for visa purposes to foreigners living in Taipei? The contract makes no distinction between several days, weeks off and having to take a day or two off due to a bad cold. If I were to have a bad cold and need to take 1 day off is it standard to have to spend most of that day in a hospital getting a letter to justify taking the time off? Also, is half pay standard while ill?

  3. Is it standard to not be allowed to take any files or lesson plans out of the school for any reason and to impose a 10% reduction in bonus for doing this?

  4. Is it standard to pay a monthly salary on or before the 10th of the next month? for example in Britain it is standard to pay salary for a month during or at the end of the month rather than during the next month.

  5. Is it standard to impose 10% reductions in contract completion bonus for a number of rather ambiguous contractual breaches with no restrictions. The penalty of 10% reduction is not restricted to one breach. My understanding of this is that if the school wanted to they could come up with enough manufactured contractual breaches to do away with the bonus altogether.

Thanks in advance.

[quote=“greg”]I would like to clear up a few issues with a teaching contract I am yet to

  1. What is the standard holiday leave for private bushibans?


Depends on whether they like you or not.

No pay is standard while ill.

Depends on whether you make the lesson plans yourself, If you do then they’re yours.

Usually paid on the 9th of each month.

If they like you they will want you to sign up another year and you will get your bonus. If they don’t like you they will find a reason not to pay your bonus. I wouldn’t factor the “bonus” into your calculations.

Sorry Greg, but none of those provisions seem highly objectionable by Taiwan standards to me. From what I have seen, Taiwan employers are used to pushing around local employees, and the locals are used to accepting whatever bad treatment they get. Local employees never stand up for their rights, and employers who are used to that relationship may also seek to push around foreign employees who are not so accustomed to being lied to or cheated by their employers.

Your contract may not be great, but at least you have one. One cram-school owner told me “we don’t need a written contract; we don’t do things that way here.” Two months later I learned why: because she wanted to lie and refuse to pay me a salary increase that she had promised. Fortunately, we were mid-session and I knew she couldn’t find a replacement immediately, so I refused to teach another day without the promised pay. She relented.

Hopefully your employer will be more honest. And if a clause in the contract really bothers you, you can cross it out before signing and see what happens.