2 year contracts are not normal. Or, you can tell them that if they want you to sign a 2 year contract, they have to pay you more.
They also are required to get health and labor insurance.
Don’t agree to do anY non paid work. My statement when I was asked to sign a contract with that bullshit was “when I’m not here you don’t pay me right? Well, when I’m here you pay me. My time is money.” They crossed it out and now I get paid for an extra 25 to 30 hours each year for non teaching work. That is a big chunk of money.
Be careful because the contract may also say something like “for non teaching hours you will be paid 50% less.” This can really screw you over because if for some reason they have to cut back on classes, they can still keep you on, but pay you a lot less.
Some cram schools are better than others. Much depends on who is running it. I was lucky but many aren’t. Also, you have to be on your toes when you go in for an interview and negotiate. These are Taiwanese business people you are dealing with. Their #1 goal is to make money. Everything else is secondary. They know that many westerners are not familiar with their “methods” so they will lie straight to your face, make you sign a contract with illegal clauses and then threaten you if you don’t abide by them. I don’t mean to scare, but you have to play the game. And, don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Go to different schools for interviews. Go just for the sake of getting some experience interviewing with them. When you go to a place you’re seriously considering, make sure to bring some business cards from other schools with you and then “accidentally” drop one or two on the floor for them to see. You can say something like, “Oops, I’ve got several more interviews coming up later. I’ve been sooo busy.” Play the game. Play hard to get. If they insist on you signing something soon, mention another school that you’re thinking about.
Believe me, they prepare for these meetings as well and have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves. They take work shops on how to handle foreigners. They know that most foreigners don’t know what is legal or illegal so they try and take advantage of them.
Don’t show up for a gunfight with a knife.