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New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« on: February 02, 2017, 01:18:25 pm »
Hi All!

I've just come to Korea and begun a new job.  Have been here for 2 weeks now.  I just have two quick questions.  Hope you all can help with this.  Thanks in advance!

1.  My boss has told me that he will be deducting 2 weeks pay from my first paycheque as a deposit.  This is not in my contract but he assures me that this is standard operating procedure.  Has anyone else had this done to them?

2.  My contract states that I will be teaching a maximum of 30 classroom hours per week.  The first two weeks I was right at 30, but he has now added classes and it will be at 35 hours.  In my contract it says that any overtime will be paid at 20,000 krw/hour.  He hasn't made any mention of this extra pay.  Should I or shouldn't I ask for this? 

I don't want to be a jerk right at the beginning of the job, but I feel that the reason we have a contract is to protect us (the employee) especially from being taken advantage of.

What do you all think?  Again, thanks for any advice or help.  Cheers! 


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 03:31:55 pm »
Deduction from pay is probably illegal.  It is standard operating procedure insofar that it is written in most contracts.  Since it's not in yours I would insist you shouldn't pay it.

Working overtime and not being paid for it?  Why do you have to ask this question?  Insist on getting your overtime, or refuse to do it in the future.  30 actual hours is a killer anyway.

Your boss is trying to see how much of a pushover you are.


  • Andy73
  • Adventurer

    • 47

    • May 27, 2016, 09:21:26 am
Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 07:13:14 pm »
2 weeks deposit?

When is your pay date? If it's the 15th he's got a months pay there.


  • dalkyr
  • Veteran

    • 165

    • July 06, 2016, 10:15:53 am
    • USA
Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 08:49:35 pm »
As far as the deposit goes, if it's not in the contract he can get bent. Yes, a lot of contracts *include* "deposits", which are actually midnight-run insurance for the boss so he can recoup costs if you bail. But "Everyone is doing it" doesn't mean squat. There's no law to back him up.

With the overtime, I'd keep track of how many hours you're working and wait and see. He's allowed to work you overtime, as long as he pays you for it.

That said, I'd be REALLY leery of the whole situation. A) He's trying to pull a fast one on you in re the deposit. B) You've been there two weeks and he's already *scheduling* overtime. I'm of the opinion that overtime is for the occasional thing that has to be done, not for regularly schedule stuff. So if you're contracted for 30 hours and are working 35, that should be adjusted via base pay, not overtime. And also should have been addressed before you start. On the flip side, that's an extra 400,000 a month, so maybe you're fine with the extra work for the extra cash. But if he's doing the contract shenanigans, I'd put odds on him somehow not paying your for the extra time.

You seem to have landed yourself in a not-so-great situation. It doesn't (quite, yet) seem like something to run away from, but I'd be keeping an eye on EVERYTHING, and documenting anything that's out of whack in case it doesn't get better and you have to go to the labor board.


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 01:04:53 pm »
Thanks so much everyone for the replies.  I thought it was a bit fishy.  After reading all of your advice, I went and talked to the boss today.  I'd read somewhere that going to the boss with a problem and a solution is much better and allows them to save a bit of face.

I politely asked to speak to him.  I told him that I'd reviewed my contract, and there was no mention of a "deposit".  I told him that I'd be willing to pay a deposit of 600,000, but could he please split it up over 6 months.  He said that would be fine.

I next asked if we could talk about overtime and he asked if we could speak later about that...  hmmm...  Will wait to see until after my first paycheque...

Next, I asked him about paying into the pension scheme and he said that it isn't in my contract.  He said that I should speak to the recruiter about this...  hmmm...  I have an appointment to speak to her tonight at 10:10 after classes.

So, to summarize, I think I will most likely be getting screwed on overtime pay and pension.  I definitely won't let the pension issue go.  I understand that this adds up to quite a nice bit since work will be matching what I pay in.

I honestly feel like they are trying to take advantage, but I will continue to gently push back and be assertive.  They are quite happy with my teaching and the students have all said that they like my teaching style much more than the last couple of foreign teachers....

I will definitely update about the situation as it unfolds.

Thanks again to everyone who is weighing in.  It's nice to know that I'm not just being paranoid but rather just suspicious.

Cheers!


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 01:13:10 pm »
Definitely don't let the pension issue go. Regardless of what your recruiter says. Paying into it is mandatory.

http://www.korea4expats.com/article-pension-obligations-rights.html


  • scholes
  • Expert Waygook

    • 821

    • May 12, 2011, 10:01:50 pm
    • Beomgye
Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 01:15:25 pm »
You are working at a terrible hagwon. Not paying pension is illegal and in the future you will have to be it or can get into big trouble.

The deposit, 600k is a good offer on ur part but usually its deducted over 2 months and he crazy for trying to deduct over a million won on your first paycheck.

Also, if he isnt paying your pesnion he isnt paying your health insurance either.

you need to get out of that place fast.

Speak to your recruiter first. tell him you plan reporting this to the pension office if he doesnt pay the pension.


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 01:28:50 pm »
Pension has nothing at all to do with the recruiter.  In fact, from the moment you sign the contract the recruiter is out of the picture.  His job is to find you and pass you on to your new master.

Pension and NHIC (nation health insurance) are required by law, and your boss needs to pay part of it.  It is a business expense that he'd clearly rather do without.  Later, if he does actually deduct pension and NHIC you should check with the pension office and NHIC to make sure he is passing on the deductions to them and not simply pocketing it.  Same for tax- make sure the tax you are paying is actually being sent on.

I wouldn't have paid the deposit either, but 600k at 100k/mo is fine, plus if you bail in the first month you're only down 100k.  Make sure you get a payslip clearly showing the deposit deduction as a line item, plus tax, pension and NHIC.

Good luck.


  • Schellib39
  • Expert Waygook

    • 773

    • March 10, 2011, 03:08:04 pm
    • South Korea
Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 02:28:04 pm »
You can get all of the info you need by checking out the National Pension Service website at: http://english.nps.or.kr/jsppage/english/main.jsp

You can also call for English service at: 02-2176-8700

You are also able to check how much money has accrued in your pension at this website: http://csa.nps.or.kr (though you will probably need some help from a Korean, seeing as you have just arrived) This will be useful to you to make sure that your employer is paying in to it

For others who are curious, and can navigate through a bit of Korean. This is a good thing to check every now and again to make sure you employer is contributing.
Login with a digital certificate (I use my one for my bank) and your ARC number.
Next follow these steps:
1.Click the 재물설계 tab.
2.Go to 내연금 알아보기
3.Follow that to 남부내역 조회


  • scholes
  • Expert Waygook

    • 821

    • May 12, 2011, 10:01:50 pm
    • Beomgye
Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2017, 02:38:04 pm »
Pension has nothing at all to do with the recruiter.  In fact, from the moment you sign the contract the recruiter is out of the picture.  His job is to find you and pass you on to your new master.

Pension and NHIC (nation health insurance) are required by law, and your boss needs to pay part of it.  It is a business expense that he'd clearly rather do without.  Later, if he does actually deduct pension and NHIC you should check with the pension office and NHIC to make sure he is passing on the deductions to them and not simply pocketing it.  Same for tax- make sure the tax you are paying is actually being sent on.

I wouldn't have paid the deposit either, but 600k at 100k/mo is fine, plus if you bail in the first month you're only down 100k.  Make sure you get a payslip clearly showing the deposit deduction as a line item, plus tax, pension and NHIC.

Good luck.

Recruiters only get paid after 1-3 months. Thats the reason why I said he should speak with the recruiter first so he can help. It's still in the recruiters best interest to help him during this phase cos if he runs away the recrutiter gets nothing.


  • donuts81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1364

    • October 20, 2010, 10:23:37 am
    • Korea
Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2017, 02:41:03 pm »
Others have given you good advice, you need to be paying pension, health insurance and tax. Even if you think you've ironed it all out with your boss I suggest you actually check with each of those govt departments to make sure your boss is paying them. Sometimes teachers get caught out because your payslip has the deductions but the school isn't actually paying them. The problem is you are still responsible and the govt doesn't care what your payslip says.

This might not apply to you but it could be worth checking your contract about teaching hours and class hours again. Some contracts have 50min=1 teaching hour for example and others don't. So if you're teaching 30x50min classes but you don't have a clause like above then the school squeezes an extra 5 classes out of you to get you to 30hrs a week.

Your owner sounds pretty shady by the way. Good luck.
"You can't hurt me now, Mr Lee. I've lost all feeling"


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 08:07:14 pm »
Hi all!  Thanks again for all the replies to my post!  I should get my first paycheck on Feb. 15.  I plan on asking for an itemized list of deductions from my paycheque in both Korean and English.  Including the deposit deduction.

Am I correct that these are the deductions that should be on that?  Medical, tax, pension and deposit?  Anything else would be fishy, right?

Oh yeah, slight update.  The boss has arranged to take me out for a welcoming meal with all the other teachers tomorrow haha....  Feel like he's trying to smooth things over after being caught out.

Cheers again, everyone!


  • Schellib39
  • Expert Waygook

    • 773

    • March 10, 2011, 03:08:04 pm
    • South Korea
Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 09:23:47 am »
Yes, make sure you are getting those monthly statements with all of that info. In the case that a problem regarding anything arises later, then you will have that info as proof to what you have paid etc.


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2017, 09:48:57 am »
Oh yeah, slight update.  The boss has arranged to take me out for a welcoming meal with all the other teachersmy deposit money tomorrow haha....  Feel like he's trying to smooth things over after being caught out.

FTFY.


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2017, 01:11:47 pm »
Another update.  Friday night, I talked to the recruiter who informed me that the school doesn't pay pension.  I told her that I was under the impression that that was illegal.  She came back with a threat, "I have 300 other clients, I do not need you to make trouble for me!"

Wow!  I was quite shocked! 

Isn't pension mandatory?  I understand that Americans get back everything that goes in so that's another huge benefit for me.

How do you think I should handle this?  Going back to America is no good and I've literally only been here for 3 weeks.  I need to make it to the end of the year, but feel like this school is going to take every opportunity to shaft me...  I'm kinda even expecting that they won't pay severance at the end.  Everything adds up to SHADY.


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2017, 01:21:48 pm »
The operation of the hagwon has nothing to do with the recruiter.  Your boss should not have suggested that you speak to the recruiter.

Maybe you should speak to the labour board, find out what is legally required, and what options are available to you.


  • Lurch
  • Expert Waygook

    • 727

    • September 05, 2011, 08:31:17 am
    • Chungju
Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2017, 01:54:50 pm »
I feel that the reason we have a contract is to protect us (the employee) especially from being taken advantage of.

Such optimism! Contracts often mean little in Korea. That, and the English one you've read isn't even your contract. That's just a translation - that may or may not be entirely accurate - of the real, Korean contract.

That said, you are accorded some rights. The labor board can inform you of exactly what those are.

Your recruiter sounds like a piece of work.


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2017, 02:27:05 pm »
Another update.  Friday night, I talked to the recruiter who informed me that the school doesn't pay pension.  I told her that I was under the impression that that was illegal.  She came back with a threat, "I have 300 other clients, I do not need you to make trouble for me!"
Isn't pension mandatory?  I understand that Americans get back everything that goes in so that's another huge benefit for me.

How do you think I should handle this?  Going back to America is no good and I've literally only been here for 3 weeks.  I need to make it to the end of the year, but feel like this school is going to take every opportunity to shaft me...  I'm kinda even expecting that they won't pay severance at the end.  Everything adds up to SHADY.

Yes, Pension and Health insurance are mandatory. Your recruiter is betting on the fact that you're too new (scared) to force the issue. Don't let it go. Also that answer is not the answer of someone who cares about any of their clients.

As others have said, call the labor board and find out your rights. Keep going in to work but begin planning to quit and move jobs as soon as your contract and finances allow it. You'll need a LOR which might be difficult to get but you're right, everything looks shady and unless there is a complete 180 degree switch in actions from your boss I'd say prepare for the worst. Good luck.


Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2017, 06:42:40 pm »
Thanks for all the advice!  Plan on talking to the manager tomorrow about overtime pay.  Twice a week I literally teach from 2:30 - 10:00 with only short, 5-minute breaks between classes.  Barely time to use the toilet and definitely not enough time to eat something to refuel.

I'm also going to mention medical and pension again to the manager.  I will say that the recruiter has said that the school doesn't pay pension, but I will say that both the school and I need to pay or we may both be fined and end up paying more money in the long run.

How do I find out if I'm listed as an independent contractor?  It definitely doesn't say this in my contract.

Under benefits in my contract, it lists medical insurance but doesn't list pension.  Is it normal for contracts to not list pension? 

Will update tomorrow.  Thanks again all!



Re: New Job ~ Two Weeks Deduction?
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2017, 07:56:03 pm »
Thanks for all the advice!  Plan on talking to the manager tomorrow about overtime pay.  Twice a week I literally teach from 2:30 - 10:00 with only short, 5-minute breaks between classes.  Barely time to use the toilet and definitely not enough time to eat something to refuel.
Hmm.  That's ever-so-slightly-less than the 8-hour working period which would trigger an automatic 1-hour break.

Quote
I'm also going to mention medical and pension again to the manager.  I will say that the recruiter has said that the school doesn't pay pension, but I will say that both the school and I need to pay or we may both be fined and end up paying more money in the long run.

How do I find out if I'm listed as an independent contractor?  It definitely doesn't say this in my contract.

Under benefits in my contract, it lists medical insurance but doesn't list pension.  Is it normal for contracts to not list pension? 

Will update tomorrow.  Thanks again all!
Sometimes the contract does not list pension in the hope that the markemployee won't ask about it.  However, not listing it does not magically make the legal requirement vanish.  It's usually a red flag on any contract review on this forum.