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First contract, please help!
« on: October 15, 2021, 01:03:35 am »
Hi all,

Just received my first Hagwon offer, could someone look through the contract and highlight anything concerning? I've noticed a couple of things I think are red flags already, but I'm very new to this.

1. EMPLOYMENT OF EMPLOYEE
Employer hereby employs Employee to teach English language in form and manner and
under the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement.
Employee hereby accepts employment from Employer to teach English language in the
form and manner and under the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement.

2. PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT
Employee will be employed to teach English language at the address of the principal office
as above (herein after referred to as “Institute”).
3. TERM OF RENEWAL & VOLUNTARY TERMINATION
 3.1 The term of this Agreement shall be Twelve (12) full and consecutive months from
the next day of arrival in Korea, specified in Section 4 of this contract.
3.2 No later than four (4) full months before the date of termination of this Agreement,
Employer and Employee shall consult together and shall agree either to an extension or
termination of it.
3.3 In the case of the Employee resigns voluntarily within twelve (12) months, Employee
is required to inform Employer no later than two (2) full months before the date of
voluntary termination of this Agreement.

4. DUTIES OF EMPLOYEE
 4.1 During the term of Agreement the Employee shall accept and strictly comply
with the instructions, supervision, training, and discipline of the Academic
Director and shall carry out such assignments as directed by the Academic Director.
These duties shall include ELS instructions in all phases of the program, administrative
duties related to the classroom duties, administrative at scheduled staff meetings,
workshops, and school sponsored outings and any other duties as may be assigned by the
Academic Director. The Academic Director is responsible for establishing standards of
performance relative to the Employee and also empowered to take necessary steps to
assure that those standards are met.
Monday through Friday are teaching days except for scheduled public holidays and
vacation days.
4.1.1 There is a teacher’s meeting twice a week which is unpaid. One of the meetings has
a demo lesson. Teachers can exchange ideas with each other, and can learn or teach to
other teachers.
4.1.2 During lunch time, and snack time, teachers will eat lunch and snack with the kids.
Teachers can't eat lunch outside, because the kids are too young, so teachers will help kids
during snack and lunch time.
4.1.3 Principal and vice principal will often watch teacher's lessons, because teacher's
lesson plan needs to be checked for improvements and kids’ behaviors as well.
4.2 During the term of Agreement, the Employee will be required to accomplish the
assigned duties for 30 clock hours (30 teaching hours) each week. (one month 120
hours). Working hours are: Monday through Friday : 9:00AM-6:00PM
 4.3 Each teaching hour in excess of 30 hours a week is considered as overtime.
(1 overtime clock-hour, 18,000 won)
 In order to maintain the quality of lessons one hour of preparation time prior to classes
each day is required from the Employee. This preparation time is not included in the
calculation of any overtime hours, which the employee may be required to work. The
Employee is required to attend in a staff meeting a week.
4.4 Employee shall not be permitted and shall not have the right to work outside of
Institute. Since Institute employees are full-time employees such approval will normally
be denied.
4.5 Employee understands and agrees that at all times during the term of this
Agreement; Employee shall strictly obey all laws, regulations provisions,
instructions, and guidance from the Government of Korea or any local
government or officials thereof.
4.6 Every three incidents of unexcused tardiness by Employee shall be penalized as one
lecture hour of unauthorized absence.
4.7 Around two hours of preparation time can be asked during possible each events in
a year. (New year, Korean Thanksgiving, Christmas, Summer Festival, Market
day…)

5. COMPENSATION AND OTHER TREATMENT OF EMPLOYEE
5.1 Salary
Institute shall pay Employee as compensation for all services rendered the total
aggregate monthly salary of ___2.2_Million won for each month of contract period with
Institute. Payment of salary shall be made in won and commenced from the first day of
teaching. The employee salary will be paid on the 10 th of each month. Korean income
and resident taxes will be withheld.
5.2 Tax
Income Tax will be deducted from the monthly salary according to the Korean Tax Law .
a. The “Employee” will be required to file an annual tax return each taxable year
while employed at the ILS with the local tax office.
b. Any taxes owed to any foreign government(s) are the sole responsibility of the
“Employee.” The “Employer” does not involve itself in foreign tax law.
5.3 Severance Payment
Employee will be given an additional one/twelfth of annual salary for completing the
contract period. This amount will be paid at the time of, and is dependent on, completion
of the full contract term. This amount is also subject to Korean income and resident taxes.
Should an Employee renew for another term, payment of the additional one/twelfth of
annual salary shall be carried over until the Employee severs ties with Institute.

5.4 Paid Vacation
 Employee will receive Ten (10) paid vacation days during the contract year, 5 in
summer and another 5 in winter time. National holidays, Saturdays and Sundays are not
to be counted as vacation time.

 5.5 Housing
The Employer shall select and provide the Employee a furnished Single housing with
no sharing. Institute shall provide furnishings (Air conditioner, Washing machine, a Single
sized bed, a Gas stove, etc) and monthly rent fee.
The cost of monthly housing service, all utilities, water, gas, electricity, internet, cable
TV, and telephone charges for accommodation provided by employer will be paid by
employee. Newly built housing is about 30 minutes away from the school.
Or Institute shall provide housing allowance.
 5.6 Medical Insurance
 Employee will be covered by Korean national health insurance. The cost of
this coverage will be borne half by Employer and half by Employee. Payment will be
made by monthly deduction from Employee's salary; a like amount contributed by
Employer.
5.7 National Pension
 Employee will be registered to Korean national pension. The cost of
the pension will be borne half by employer and half by employee. Payment
will be made by monthly deduction from Employee's salary; a like amount
contributed by Employer.
5.8 Airfare
 Employer will reimburse the airfare within the budget of 1M Korean
won after completing of 2 weeks quarantine unless exemptions apply.
Employer has the right to deduct the expenses if employee terminates
contract within 6 months period of the contract term.

6. DISMISSAL BY INSTITUTE
6.1 Institute shall have the right at its sole discretion to dismiss Employee for clear and
frequent neglect of duties under this Agreement, including, but not limited to frequent
absences from Institute without approval of the Academic Director, or good reason
thereof, or for inability to perform duties such as sicknesses, especially when it hasn’t
been informed to the Academic Director before the Agreement was met. However, before
any such dismissal, Employee shall be warned of dissatisfaction with performance and
shall be afforded at least twenty (20) working days in which to remedy the situation.
Criminal or other conduct inside of outside Institute that would in the opinion of the
Academic Director and owner seriously jeopardize any person or the reputation of its
students, or its staff, will cause for immediate dismissal and no warning or time for
remedy will be allotted.
6.2 In the event that Employee is dismissed for any of the reasons set forth in 6.1 herein
above or for any of the reasons set forth herein below, Institute shall have no duty and
shall not be obligated to pay the cost of return airfare to the point of hire for Employee,
and also that Employee is dismissed within 3months of from Employee's point of origin
to Korea.

7. COVENANTS
7.1 Employee here by agrees, covenants, and undertakes that he/she will not
undertake any teaching duties or employment with any persons or organization other than
Employer without prior written approval from Employer of the specific employment
contemplated by employee. Failure to comply with this article causes for immediate
dismissal.
In the event that Employee fails to complete this one year term for any reason, Employee
must reimburse the full amount of the airfare to Employer.
7.2 Employee here by agrees, covenants, and undertakes that he/she will not
disclose teaching materials, syllabus details, or any other information relating to the
academic program, whether verbally or in written form, to individuals or corporate
entities not employed by Employer.

8. MERGER CLAUSE
 This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding between the parties with respect
to the subject matter here of, and supersedes all pervious negotiations,
commitments, and writings with respect here to. No modification of this Agreement will
be binding or have any legal effect unless set forth in a written agreement amending this
agreement and signed by both parties here to. Furthermore, this contract nullifies and voids
any previous contract between the two parties.
 Employer and Employee have executed this Agreement on the date indicated below.
 Intending to be legally bound here to, and In Witness whereof, and Employee have
appended their signature.


Thanks in advance!


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2293

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: First contract, please help!
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2021, 01:32:11 pm »
4.1.1: teaching meetings like this should def be paid, or come under regular work hours.
4.1.2: I believe you are required by labor law to get time where you don't have to look after the children, eating your lunch with them may count as work, and you'd be required to have time where you can just relax during the day. I think it's 30 mins for every 4 hours worked or something (someone can correct me if I'm wrong).
4.2: 30 teaching hours is a bit on the high side, but oddly enough, I haven't seen the teaching hours this low in a hagwon contract in awhile. Also, they should define what is a teaching hour, based on their wording earlier, where the kids aren't old enough to eat by themselves, that age range tends to have 40 mins as a teaching hour, but they've also mentioned clock hour, so it could either be 40mins or 60mins.
4.3: 18k won per hour/teaching hour is a little bit light, I think the standard is meant to be about 20-25k won (this is another reason I mentioned getting clarification on what a teaching hour is by the school, cause typically it's a teaching hour is 40-50 mins).
4.6: This is a bit unfair, if you are only late by 1-2 minutes, but it happens 3 times, they could dock your pay by an hour.
4.7: this is something I haven't seen before but, a couple of those holidays the school will have to be closed, so I'm not sure what they are really asking here.

5.1: 2.2 is a bit on the low side, especially for 30 teaching hours.
5.4: this is actually pretty generous for a hagwon. Most of them will give 8-10 days and will include holidays and weekends.
5.5: Get an itemized list of what the apartment will be furnished with, you'd definitely want AC as summers here are brutal.
5.6: they mentioned national health insurance which is good.
5.7: if you are a citizen of NZ or the UK keep in mind, you will have to pay pension, but you can't get the lump sum when you leave.
5.8: 1M is a bit low for airfare, standard is typically 1.3M, I believe airfare here and back got phased out within the last couple of years by Hagwons.

7.1: reimbursing airfare if you don't work the full year is excessive - 6months is the norm, but I think even then, local laws deem you don't have to repay it (I remember people discussing this a couple years ago, and I could be wrong).

I'm not really an expert on contractual stuff, but that is what kinda stood out to me.


  • OnNut81
  • The Legend

    • 2669

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: First contract, please help!
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2021, 03:11:17 pm »
5.4 Never had a hakwan that gave less than 10 days and definitely never included weekends or public holidays.  That's just normal for a hakwan and not generous. 

As for them being so particular about clock hour (never heard that term used (generally a native speaker would write one full hour) that seems like it could be read so many different ways.

If I were to go back to a hakwan, I would ask them straight up how many classes of what duration will I be teaching a week?  If they can't answer accurately, or hem an haw I'd keep looking.  I don't like the fact that the trend has been to eat with the kids, but some people are cool with it.   if lunch is good you get lunch provided.  If it's crap, you'll be hungry during the day as without a lunch break you'll be hard pressed to have a good meal. 

If by the 30 hour gibberish, they mean 30 classes a week for 2.2 I'd keep looking.  Even as a first year.  Sounds like a sh*tty work week. And throw into that they are already telling you you'll be watched anytime by the "principal" and vice-Principal"  (trumped up titles bestowed upon the management themselves) sounds like an unenjoyable atmosphere.  Keep in mind Koreans don't often offer praise but are quick to criticize in a backwards way to motivate employees to work harder and this place gets an all round pass from me. 


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2293

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: First contract, please help!
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2021, 03:19:51 pm »
5.4 Never had a hakwan that gave less than 10 days and definitely never included weekends or public holidays.  That's just normal for a hakwan and not generous. 

As for them being so particular about clock hour (never heard that term used (generally a native speaker would write one full hour) that seems like it could be read so many different ways.

If I were to go back to a hakwan, I would ask them straight up how many classes of what duration will I be teaching a week?  If they can't answer accurately, or hem an haw I'd keep looking.  I don't like the fact that the trend has been to eat with the kids, but some people are cool with it.   if lunch is good you get lunch provided.  If it's crap, you'll be hungry during the day as without a lunch break you'll be hard pressed to have a good meal. 

If by the 30 hour gibberish, they mean 30 classes a week for 2.2 I'd keep looking.  Even as a first year.  Sounds like a sh*tty work week. And throw into that they are already telling you you'll be watched anytime by the "principal" and vice-Principal"  (trumped up titles bestowed upon the management themselves) sounds like an unenjoyable atmosphere.  Keep in mind Koreans don't often offer praise but are quick to criticize in a backwards way to motivate employees to work harder and this place gets an all round pass from me.

I don't check the contract stuff often, I have to be pretty bored when I do, but over the last 2 years, I've started seeing a trend where 8 days feels like the norm and they will include weekends and public holidays when they dictate you can use it. So to see 10 days and not including it, feels generous after seeing other contracts, even if it is meant to be the norm.


  • OnNut81
  • The Legend

    • 2669

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: First contract, please help!
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2021, 03:38:38 pm »
I don't check the contract stuff often, I have to be pretty bored when I do, but over the last 2 years, I've started seeing a trend where 8 days feels like the norm and they will include weekends and public holidays when they dictate you can use it. So to see 10 days and not including it, feels generous after seeing other contracts, even if it is meant to be the norm.

I have seen that as well, but like you, I'm not as current with the hakwans.  If that is the way most of them are going with vacation that is definitely a step backwards.  For a lot of people that are wiling to take certain jobs for a year abroad, the hakwans are misjudging their plans to have a week in Thailand or Vietnam as part of that plan.  Or maybe, Korea is hip enough now, a six day break in Seoul will do it.