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One hour unpaid?
« on: June 26, 2019, 08:19:12 pm »
so my contract says I have to work one hour unpaid per day. so if my hours are 2-8 I have to come in it at 1. Thing is im the only foreign teacher at my hagwon. When I turn up at 1, office is dark and the lights are off. The other teachers arrive at 2. Should I stop bothering to go early? I don't want to stay late.

My first contract said I just needed to work my hours, but it was an independent contractor contract. I got it changed for medical insurance but in the end I registered and pay myself. so i'm thinking this contract means nothing anyway.

should I go and hour early and what happens if i dont?


  • stoat
  • Veteran

    • 220

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 07:33:20 am »
Don't you need any time to prepare your lessons?


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1579

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 08:23:40 am »
Itís illegal to make you work an hour without pay. Absolutely stop going in early.


Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 09:23:05 am »
Don't you need any time to prepare your lessons?

Yeah but I prepared at home and the lesson doesnít start till 3. I genernally donít need 2 hours to prepare and if I did I would go in early.


Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2019, 09:23:52 am »
Itís illegal to make you work an hour without pay. Absolutely stop going in early.

I figured, it says for meetings etc but itís  literally only me there early.


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1579

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 09:36:20 am »
15 minutes early may keep you in their good graces. But your call. Also meetings need to be paid.


  • lhelena
  • Veteran

    • 102

    • March 11, 2018, 01:57:14 pm
    • Anseong
Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 10:18:00 am »
Yeah anything that is part of your actual job (including meetings and planning periods)  should be part of your work hours. And all work hours should be paid. I don't see how this could even make it into a contract. That's insane.


Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 11:56:53 am »
Yeah, keep in mind that just because it's in a contract doesn't mean that it's legal or enforceable. The law always trumps contracts, and a lot of businesses are guilty of putting illegal clauses and terms in their contracts to dupe their employees into thinking that they have a right to do so. They can require you to attend meetings -- they can't make you do so for free.

If it's work-related, they have to pay you for your time. Not doing so is illegal and falls under criminal jurisdiction because it is considered wage theft and embezzlement, meaning that they not only face fines and penalties, they could face prosecution for breaking the law, too.

I'd just stop going. If they say something to you about it, cite the law, and make sure you secretly record any private "talks" they have with you about it. Report them to the MOEL if they try to push you into working for free or fail to pay you what you're owed.


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1224

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2019, 09:04:13 am »
Most hakwons except for the highest paying ones, do have a shortage of foreign teachers.  So, you can probably throw your weight around a bit.  An employer may try to give a different impression but the reality as confirmed through first rumors and by some recruiters I know is that the hakwon industry does have a shortage of teachers.  Hard to fill positions lately.  So, you can probably get away with a bit of things.  Who are they going to replace you with? 


Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2019, 10:55:05 am »
Yeah, keep in mind that just because it's in a contract doesn't mean that it's legal or enforceable. The law always trumps contracts, and a lot of businesses are guilty of putting illegal clauses and terms in their contracts to dupe their employees into thinking that they have a right to do so. They can require you to attend meetings -- they can't make you do so for free.

If it's work-related, they have to pay you for your time. Not doing so is illegal and falls under criminal jurisdiction because it is considered wage theft and embezzlement, meaning that they not only face fines and penalties, they could face prosecution for breaking the law, too.

I'd just stop going. If they say something to you about it, cite the law, and make sure you secretly record any private "talks" they have with you about it. Report them to the MOEL if they try to push you into working for free or fail to pay you what you're owed.

I wanted to stop going, I don't mind to go early to prepare but it means being there two hours before my first class, I don't need that much prep. I just thought they might bring it up later that i broke the contract or something. but theres literally nobody there when i arrive.


Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2019, 10:55:57 am »
Most hakwons except for the highest paying ones, do have a shortage of foreign teachers.  So, you can probably throw your weight around a bit.  An employer may try to give a different impression but the reality as confirmed through first rumors and by some recruiters I know is that the hakwon industry does have a shortage of teachers.  Hard to fill positions lately.  So, you can probably get away with a bit of things.  Who are they going to replace you with? 

Yeah I know theyve have a problem with teachers, since im married to a korean its easier for them as well.


Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2019, 10:56:56 am »
Yeah, keep in mind that just because it's in a contract doesn't mean that it's legal or enforceable. The law always trumps contracts, and a lot of businesses are guilty of putting illegal clauses and terms in their contracts to dupe their employees into thinking that they have a right to do so. They can require you to attend meetings -- they can't make you do so for free.

If it's work-related, they have to pay you for your time. Not doing so is illegal and falls under criminal jurisdiction because it is considered wage theft and embezzlement, meaning that they not only face fines and penalties, they could face prosecution for breaking the law, too.

I'd just stop going. If they say something to you about it, cite the law, and make sure you secretly record any private "talks" they have with you about it. Report them to the MOEL if they try to push you into working for free or fail to pay you what you're owed.

not even really work related, its just me sitting alone in a dark office because nobody has arrived yet haha


Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2019, 11:42:45 am »
not even really work related, its just me sitting alone in a dark office because nobody has arrived yet haha

Requiring you to be at the office for any reason would be work related. Just because they're dumb about it and don't actually get you to do something while you're there because they can't be arsed to be there early, too, doesn't make it any less so.

They probably just threw that bit into the contract in case they ever actually want teachers to show up early for anything. No one else is following it and probably won't unless the owner actually sets up a real meeting that (s)he doesn't want to pay you guys for (and if that ever happens, cite the law and bring up the MOEL if they argue), so I wouldn't worry about not actually showing up that early unless you personally want to work on stuff on your own time.


Re: One hour unpaid?
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2019, 09:18:52 pm »
not even really work related, its just me sitting alone in a dark office because nobody has arrived yet haha

Requiring you to be at the office for any reason would be work related. Just because they're dumb about it and don't actually get you to do something while you're there because they can't be arsed to be there early, too, doesn't make it any less so.

They probably just threw that bit into the contract in case they ever actually want teachers to show up early for anything. No one else is following it and probably won't unless the owner actually sets up a real meeting that (s)he doesn't want to pay you guys for (and if that ever happens, cite the law and bring up the MOEL if they argue), so I wouldn't worry about not actually showing up that early unless you personally want to work on stuff on your own time.
yeah im hired as an independent contractor anyway so I think I only have to work my actual hours. Ive not been coming early anymore and nobody seems to have noticed.