Contracts for Teaching English Jobs

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When it comes to lining up a good job and you think that all you need now is a contact. Well this is one area that you have to be careful in because a contract here in Taiwan is usually for the sole purpose of protecting the school and not your interests. So there are a few points to consider when signing a contract.


  • If you are in the position, start looking a couple months for a new school before your current contract is up. Go to at least a few schools that interest you. This way you are under no pressure and you can really get a feeling for the schools. I would also let the schools know that you are considering other schools. This of course is an ideal situation, so if you have just arrived in Taiwan you may not have this option, however I would still recommend that you compare at least 3 schools.
  • One other area to pay particular attention to is penalties. Most schools ask for a portion of your first 3 months salary as a deposit, usually NT 20,000 - NT 30,000 in total. This deposit kept to encourage you to stay until the end of your contract, if you don't fulfill your contract they keep your deposit. Because you are always paid the month after you work you could lose some of your salary as well. So at the time of signing your contract, is the best time to negotiate the smallest deposit possible.
  • Another penalty that you have to look out for is deducting a portion of your hourly pay for being late. I agree with this point if it is proportional to the amount of time that you are late. However some schools may try to deduct you a half an hour or even an hour for being a few minutes late. So, again at the time that you are negotiating your contract is the time to make these adjustments.
  • Be careful of agreeing to outside duties and events, such as, graduation ceremonies, parents' days, special events, etc. If you don't discuss and agree too an hourly dollar figure in writing for attending these events you will end up being expected to attend them on your own free time for nothing.
  • Staff meetings is something else to be aware of when signing a contract. Most schools insist on you attending weekly meetings, which are usually a waste of everyone's time. If you feel that they are asking for too many meetings at times that engross upon your free time, it is a lot easier to negotiate this before the contract is signed.
  • It should take your school about two months to process your ARC/Work Visa. You may have to do a visa run to another country while you are waiting for the paper work to be finished. This is all fine if it only takes 2 months to process your visa, but if your school drags their feet in processing the visa then who is responsible to pay for another visa run. The best time to negotiate this is when the school is trying to get you to sign their contract. If you make it clear in writing at this time that they are responsible for any additional visa runs, you're not asking for anything outrageous, so they should easily agree to this term. As well, chances are now they will ensure your visa is processed promptly, and if not then it is very clear that they are responsible for your any extra visa runs.

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