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Terminating a Contract Early
« on: November 07, 2019, 12:30:47 pm »
Hello everyone,

I am employed at a small hagwon (I am the only foreign teacher) and I have been considering terminating my contract early. I have a few questions regarding what might happen once I terminate my contract.

1. My contract states,

"If, for any reason, the teacher chooses to terminate the contract before the full completion of the contract period, he/she must give the school a minimum of 60 days written notice. Otherwise, this termination shall include specific financial terms. (One Months’ salary to the financial obligations of School)."

Does this mean as long as I turn in a 60-day notice, I am clear of any legal action?

2. After I put in my 60-day notice, will I be able to transfer visas (to a new sponsor)? Or do I need a letter of release as well?

3. I would intend to stay in Korea even after the termination of this early contract. Are there any precautions I should take in terms of finding a new job?

As for legal issues in the contract, there are only a few things I noticed.

1. I was not given the 3-day orientation and training I was contractually obligated to.

2. My boss denied any and all days off despite me finding both a substitute and accepting an unpaid day off.

Thanks for any insight! I will more than willing to send you a copy of my contract in order to gain a better understanding. Thanks, all.


Re: Terminating a Contract Early
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 08:35:26 am »
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"If, for any reason, the teacher chooses to terminate the contract before the full completion of the contract period, he/she must give the school a minimum of 60 days written notice. Otherwise, this termination shall include specific financial terms. (One Months’ salary to the financial obligations of School)."

Usually, you don't need to give any notice if you're finishing and leaving the country.  But it's a case of 'you signed it, you stick to it' so you would have to give 60 days as you've agreed to it.  If you don't mind me asking, how long is it until the end of your contract?  Are you halfway through?

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Does this mean as long as I turn in a 60-day notice, I am clear of any legal action?

To be fair, their clause above saying 'one month's salary' is illegal as it doesn't say what it is for.  If a school, gives you an airplane ticket to come to Korea then they can ask for that back but it would have to be worded like that.  But if they start mentioning fees for finding a replacement or recruiters' fees then that is illegal, they can't do that, because they can just make up figures.  So in short, it depends what exactly they're talking about.  As for legal action?  I wouldn't worry about that, it's just what the hagwon might try and claw back if you say you're finishing, as in their reaction and if there are problems whether you would want to fight it out with the Labour Office.  Do you get the feeling they'll take it well?  Or do you think they'll be looking for some retribution?

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2. After I put in my 60-day notice, will I be able to transfer visas (to a new sponsor)? Or do I need a letter of release as well?

Like I said, this depends on your hagwon.  They are under no obligation to give you a LOR, even if you do your notice period.  You would need that to transfer smoothly, if you find a new job. 

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3. I would intend to stay in Korea even after the termination of this early contract. Are there any precautions I should take in terms of finding a new job?

As in change to a D10 while finding work if you don't find a job straight after?  It depends on your hagwon now.  If you're nice, finish up and get everything done and dusted, get an LOR then you're looking good for moving on without a problem.  But it really depends. 

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1. I was not given the 3-day orientation and training I was contractually obligated to.

2. My boss denied any and all days off despite me finding both a substitute and accepting an unpaid day off.

Obviously, we can't know your whole story from your post here and your relationship with the school.  They probably wanted you to start straight away so forewent the training.  My public school contract mentioned an orientation but I never had it as I went straight into teaching.  Number 2 is a bit more worrying as this can say a lot about your boss and why I say how smoothly this all goes depends on how they take it.  The diversity of someone's working life here is really different, so we can't say for sure how your boss will react.  But if you wanted a day off and found a subsititute and wanted to take a unpaid day, but they refused, you could be looking at difficulties. 


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Re: Terminating a Contract Early
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 02:38:29 pm »