Termination of Teaching Contract for Medical Reasons

This March, I had a medical issue in which I required hospitalization for one week. I had other health issues earlier I had to the year that were rather benign (kidney stones and a scratched cornea).

I provided doctor certification for these issues and followed the leave procedures as required. Because of this, I used a fair amount of leave but had not depleted my sick or personal leave days.

With this recent health issue, I was penalized heavy for being hospitalized and received less than half my monthly salary of 72K. I was asked to bring doctor certification and diagnosis to the school so as not to be penalized for being away without leave. I complied and was then put on “light duty” wherein I was observed for a period of two weeks to ensure that my condition had stabilized.

I was doing quite well… and was doing side projects for the betterment of the school. I was also contributing material to the teachers charged with teaching the classes I had been removed from. Let it be known, that I was told that I had the option of being released from my contract without penalty and severence pay to return to the US in order to recuperate…the alternative was to stick it out until June (the end of the contract).

I chose the latter, since having an income was more of a priority. However, I did not get this in writing… lesson learned - never take anything a Taiwanese says as gospel… let alone any human being. Last week, I was informed that despite all the progress I had made and the contributions I had made I was going to be released from my contract with severance and pay (I was given one day’s notice,) . I thought this would be a good thing… but here’s the skinny:

  1. I hold an APRC and an open work permit. I do not need sponsorship from the school in any way.

  2. The school has offered to pay severence ong with a final paycheck. My salary is close to 72K including a housing allowance of 6K. This means the base salary is 66K.

  3. The school showed me what the final payment would be (with deductions) and a tax rate of 18%. These deductions were not itemized and I have not left Taiwan in FOUR years.

  4. The school rushed me to sign these papers and kept both copies. I do not have a copy of what was signed at all… which means the language could be altered.

  5. There were 22 instructional days in April. I was paid through the 26th (20 days). If dividing my lump sum salary including the housing allowance the daily rate is 3600NTD. If this is excluded, it would be 3300NTD.

  6. If the severence pay is calculated without the housing allowance, it is it would equate to 66,000NTD just as above.

  7. How…in the holy hell… does one months pay, and severence equal less than one month of pay?

  8. How… am I being taxed as a person who may or may not leave Taiwan when I have permanent residency and an open work permit.

  9. I had no disciplinary issues and was doing a very good job. Something here smells very fishy…like rotten lutefisk.

  10. What can be done? Salary + Severence should not be less than one month’s salary (by 25K NTD).

Please help!

Have you ever established with certainty whether or not this job is subject to the Labor Standards Act? (Buxiban teachers are covered by the LSA, but some private school teachers are, and some aren’t.) If you have any doubt, contact the local labor department ASAP. This is important because the LSA sets minimum standards for termination and severance, and if the contract or the employer’s actions fall below those standards, the law prevails.

Regarding the 18% tax rate on salary, there’s nothing you can about that because it’s only April. (This issue has come up before; search around for other threads about it.) However, severance pay falls under “separation income” and is therefore tax free. If you receive wages in lieu of the statutory minimum notice period for termination, that amount also counts as separation income.

Your housing allowance counts as “salary” or “wage” income (same thing in Taiwan), so don’t let them use your base salary to calculate severance pay.

Before you let your employer find out that you may be filing a complaint, get a copy of everything you signed. If you have a local friend – or especially a spouse – who’s good at being annoying, ask that person to insist on it and not leave your employer alone until the documents are produced. :slight_smile:

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I’ve heard not very positive things about that school before especially in regards to management.

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Would your yearly bonus include housing allowance? I always get paid my base salary as my bonus. (public school)

Please provide something to back this up as it would greatly benefit all of us. Many schools do not include “housing” as salary as part of the calculation for bonuses, etc.

On a kind of dark humor comment ,well I used to pass that school almost everyday and it looks like a car factory , so maybe they pay a housing allowance just to live near a heavy over pass and a bunch of heavy factories. I’m not surprised people get sick working there. It’s hardly a scenic setting. Although it might be beautiful inside, equipped with the latest swiss air filters. It’s kind of situated between Panchiou and Tu Chen on the edge of an industrial park.

Best of luck, bro.

Banqiao or Banciao
Sorry, the P drives me nuts.


LSA Art. 2 Subpar. 3:

If they do things properly, the end of year bonus is separate.

LSA Enforcement Rules Art. 10:

Even when the LSA itself doesn’t apply, the same principle is at work: the state doesn’t want employers or employees to say this part of the employee’s income isn’t salary because it has a different name. If it’s remuneration arising from work, it’s salary (or wage).

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Thank you. That information is very helpful.


Don’t get me wrong. The people are nice, the campus is beautiful…but it is too remote. It is next to a water treatment plant and very frequently smells terrible. When it rains and the water table becomes super-saturated, water from the treatment facility begins to seep into the playfield.

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@yyy: In this contract, they actually separated them. First naming a lump sum that was to include a monthly housing allowance. I’ve highlighted both sections.

@Zapman: The “bonus” only comes at the completion of a contract and if signing again for another year. You don’t technically get a “bonus”. It is more akin to “summer pay” to sustain life in Taiwan as you are awaiting the commencement of the upcoming school year.

@crusher: I will not speak ill of management as they were tremendously helpful when I had a medical issue this year. However, I will speak ill of their actions. As is said in many religions, hate the sin…not the sinner. We’re all imperfect.

Actually, as an addendum to the contract…there is language that stipulates that if I can prove my latest entry date to Taiwan was four years ago, I should be taxed at a much lower rate. I’ve attached a highlighted photo as well.

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I have included a screenshot of where these are “lumped together” but then delineated from one another.

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the contract in Chinese says “if you prove that you have stayed over 183 days in this year”.

Your tax will be refunded next year from the tax office, anyway.



The tax issue represents a smaller problem in that a month of pay (20 days) along with severence (20 days) should not be less than one month’s salary even if taxed at 18%. Even if both were taxed separately at 18%, it would be more than the 42K they are saying will be paid.

I would advise you not to. While the staff is friendly and helpful there are several reasons why it is not a reasonable place to work. If you’d like more information, PM me. I’ll not air out the dirty laundry here.