Will I go to jail if I breached a part-time teaching contract?

Main Question: Will I go to jail if I’m not able to pay the penalty immediately after telling the company that I won’t pursue the job offer even though I just recently signed the contract?

The Story:

I just recently signed a one-year contract (part-time) with a private English tutoring company. There is a clause in the contract that I would pay 100,000 NTD if I breached it. The thing is, my training will only start today, so the company hasn’t invested in me very much yet. But I don’t want to push through because of the mental strain it is giving me since I’m also a doctorate student and I fear that this part-time job will eventually take much time out of my studies and laboratory experiments.

Pursuing this job takes a two-hour round trip travel time each day for three working days, making weekly reports per student, and potentially going home late (arrive back home at 10:30 PM at the latest possible schedule). Initially, they will only give me two students each day but I figured they will give me more as I gain more experience. And I think this is where it will really take a toll on me and it won’t feel like a part-time anymore since I have to prepare different lessons per student. I’ve talked to them about my concerns (I requested for just two days per week and two students per day, each class is 1.5 hours. potentially, they could give me 10 students max in a week) but they won’t budge to what we have previously agreed upon aside from rescheduling but it doesn’t really solve the problem I’m having with time.

So, I’m actually going to tell them right now that I would rather opt for the penalty rather than deal with this mental strain I’m having (I couldn’t sleep well thinking about this). I’m in my second year of study where I need to do the proposal and conduct the experiments, which are my priority.

But will I go to jail for this, though? I mean I have plans to pay the penalty, but I can’t pay it immediately since I’m only living on scholarship money of 15,000 NTD/month. To reiterate, training hasn’t officially started yet but it will today. So they haven’t invested as much time and money in me yet.

Why did I sign the contract? I thought I can handle it at that time. I needed the money to pay for my medical bill (which is big) since I was in an accident without receiving my NHI card yet. I wouldn’t have taken a part-time job if the accident didn’t happen. :frowning:

If I still need money for my medical bills, why am I quitting if I’m also going to pay a hefty fine? Mental stress. The job may become too demanding later on that my research time might be sacrificed, especially since this part-time job is for a year. :frowning:

To quote from @pumpkinslayer

“The CLA’s take on this is that there is little chance for a job finder to negotiate at the time of contract signing and might accept terms they are not totally comfortable with.”

How do I plan to pay my medical bill if I don’t have a part-time job? My adviser will help find a solution and hopefully, I could get a grant for my research, which may include a “salary” for me as the researcher.

Any sincere help and advice are welcome! Thank you!

Main Answer: You will not go to jail.


They can’t enforce the penalty.

In any event, if you don’t like working there just tell them you need to leave immediately to take care of a sick relative. They will understand.


You wanna commute hours on public transit now that Taiwan is in a COVID mess? Tell them you’re not traveling like that right now. Good luck to the employer who tries to fine you for breach of contract when you haven’t even started your contract, COVID or not.


100k fine…?

no you will never goto jail… they will never be able to make you pay this unless they goto court and even then its highly unlikely a judge would rule in their favor,., and trust me i very much doubt they will.

dont sign anything saying you will pay when you tell them you are leaving.

dont lose sleep over this.

  1. All the buxibans are closed now and they’re probably looking for ways to shed workers as it is
  2. Offer reasonable excuse (relative, worried about health, mean academic advisor, school regulation on outside work, global pandemic, etc.)
  3. Lots of 不好意思!Pai-se!道歉!You’re so sorry, 辛苦辛苦, etc., etc.
  4. Be noncommittal about paying any penalty but that’s a ridiculous request for quitting a part-time job during a pandemic.

Basically: all of the above posts too

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100k fine wtf

Speak to the MOL. That fine is illegal. No, you’re not going to jail. Speak to the authorities. More than likely you won’t even have to pay a “fine”.


@jimipresley another weird thing is that they didn’t give me a copy of the contract and I remember there is also a clause that I should seek legal acts against the company. is this normal in Taiwan?

@oldboy1 yeah, it is 100k. :frowning: thank you for your advice and concern. I really appreciate it. :slight_smile:

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@teach I’m in Kaohsiung, so they’re not as concerned yet with the local transmission as compared to the north. so this buxiban is still operating face-to-face classes for now. and yes, I hope this will end amicably.

@the.shoemaker yes, it is that high. the highest I found in another thread is 30k but this was years ago.


It is not normal. Consult with labour department of your city right now.

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Blockquote I shouldn’t*** seek

@tando I will if they insist that I pay the penalty.

100k?? Why would you sign that lol

If you don’t have a copy of the contract, it’s not a valid contract. Otherwise they could make any changes to it and you’d have no way to prove them wrong. Now, how to prove you never got the contract in the first place is another issue all together…

@nz we mentioned about it through email. i asked for a soft copy but the supervisor said it’s confidential. they prepared two copies on the signing day, i thought the other one would be mine. they took both. though i signed across the two-paged contract and with my thumb print on it. i hope they’re not like that when they will try to assert the validity of the contract. :frowning:

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Do you have a copy of the contract in your email? It’s still invalid if you don’t have your own copy. Not that it really matters, as you don’t want evidence that you agreed to pay 100k for early termination

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Not the MOL, but the Labour Affairs Office in your county/special city.

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if I am not understanding my legal rights in that situation, I would talk with labor department before I talk with the employer.


@nz no, they didn’t give a copy, email or actual. but yeah, I hope it’s for the best and that the company won’t enforce it. :crossed_fingers:

@Marco thanks for the advice.

No problems. The Labour Affairs Offices are found at City Hall or County Hall. They’re free and official advice. If you need a lawyer, hit me up. Mine is good.

I have had experience suing a previous employer. (and winning)

They can try, but they can’t. :wink: