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  • ttlk
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • November 01, 2022, 02:50:05 pm
    • USA
Hi everyone, thank you in advance for reading this post if you take the time to read!

I interviewed and was offered a position with an English immersion school, the interview went well and I was offered the position within an hour after meeting the owner. It will be my first year teaching in Korea, but I have prior teaching experience and a degree in English.

Also to note: During the interview I was given info for a current teacher who resigned, and I'll be meeting with him before I move any further in my decision making process.

Please look through the contract if you can, and let me know if this is an offer I should move forward with/how to proceed with negotiating further.

Article 1 (Period of employment) ____ 2023 to ____ 2024
Article 2 (Position) Full-time Native English Teacher for __

Article 3 (Duties) Employee shall perform the following duties:
1. Teach the English language and other related subjects.
2. Prepare teaching materials for English class(es).
3. Assist with the development of teaching materials related to English language
education.
4. Support activities related to English language education and other extracurricular
activities within the place of employment.
5. Perform other duties as designated by Employer including various English programs
in ___.

Article 4 (Salary)
1. Salary: The Employer will pay Employee a monthly salary of 2,250,000KRW for the
for the contract. The salary will be given to the Employee on the 25th of each month.
2. 4 major insurances (employment insurance, safety insurance, national pension, and
health insurance) will be applied and deducted from the salary.
3. 1,000,000KRW of airfare will be provided at the end of the contract (1 time).
Severance will be paid at the successful completion of this contract.
4. Every year of contract renewal, the employee will receive 100,000KRW raise.

Article 5 (Housing)
1. Employer shall provide employee with housing. The employee shall pay for the
utilities (gas, electricity, and etc).
2. If employee has his/her own housing, employer will provide housing allowance of
300,000KRW per month.

Article 6 (Hours of teaching and vacations)
1. Working hour: MWF: 9:00-18:00, TTh: 9:00-17:00 OR MWF: 8:30-17:30, TTh: 8:30-16:30.
It depends on what class you are assigned to.
2. Holiday: summer vacation: 5 days, winter vacation: 5 days, all Korean national holidays.
3. When there is a national holiday in the week of summer and winter vacation, it will
count as a vacation day.
4. The employee agrees to work on Saturdays that have special events like
admission seminars, Orientations, Musical, and etc. Saturdays with special
events are expected to be no more than 3 days per year and the employee will be
noticed about those days in advance.
5. The employee can request 3 sick days per year. If the employee is to use more than
3 sick days, wage for that day will be deducted from salary. Also, the employee is
responsible of finding a substitute native teacher from the 4th sick day of the year.

Article 7 (Codes of Conduct)
1. Employee shall observe his/her Employer's requests about his/her duties defined in
this contract.
2. Employer shall evaluate Employee's performance of official duties.
3. Employee shall devote his/her full working hours and occupational attention to the
defined duties in these terms and conditions.
4. Employee shall not damage or tarnish the reputation of the teaching profession.
5. Employee shall not be employed or involved in other paid business (including part-
time jobs) without Employer's permission.
6. If Employee has a contagious disease or other illness, Employer may prevent
Employee from performing duties.
7. Employee must try his/her best to cooperate with the directors when he/she was
given complaints from parents about working attitude, hygiene, general attire, tattoos,
and etc.

Article 8 (Resignation)
1. If employee desires to resign from ___ and thereby terminate this contract, he/she
must give employer a written notice of resignation date and reason for it. The notice
must be given before 60 days of resignation. Employee shall work until the employment of a replacement teacher.

Article 9 (Termination of the Contract)
1. Employer may terminate or cancel this Contract upon occurrence of any one of the
following events:
1 If Employee causes damages to __ or its reputation because of his/her
inadequate behavior and working attitude.
2 A closure of the class.
3 If Employee fails to perform or unsatisfactorily perform any of the duties stipulated
in this contract and/or shows delinquency that can cause difficulties in leading the
class.
4 If Employee fails to perform his/her duties consecutively for 2 days or more without
any excuse.
5 If any of the information provided in Employee's application is false or not accurate.
6 Employer will have the right to dismiss Employee for past, or current conduct of
seriously jeopardizing any student or staff, or for past, or current criminal activity. In
such instances, Employer has the right, under this agreement, to terminate the
contract.
7 If complaints (both inside and outside of ___) are brought up and bring on
public criticisms because of Employee.
8 If Employee abuses students or shows any kinds of violence to them.

Article 10 (Contract Renewal Conditions)
Employee should convey his/her desire to renew his/her contract in writing 4 months
before the end of the contract period.

Article 11 (in addition) For the matters not stated in this contract, ___ related rules for teaching staffs shall be followed. For other matters, the Employer will gather opinions from other staff members and decide.


  • 745sticky
  • The Legend

    • 2363

    • March 26, 2020, 01:52:57 pm
    • Korea
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2022, 01:22:44 pm »
1. Teach the English language and other related subjects.

what are "other related subjects"?



4. The employee agrees to work on Saturdays that have special events like
admission seminars, Orientations, Musical, and etc. Saturdays with special
events are expected to be no more than 3 days per year and the employee will be
noticed about those days in advance.

this is just a me thing, but if a m-f job throws in the occasional saturday its a pass. also "expected to be no more than 3" nah, give me a concrete number, or at least a maximum



Also, the employee is responsible of finding a substitute native teacher from the 4th sick day of the year.

 :rolleyes: no.



7. Employee must try his/her best to cooperate with the directors when he/she was
given complaints from parents about working attitude, hygiene, general attire, tattoos,
and etc.

this is a red flag that the director definitely values the whims of parents over the opinions of professionals. id pass based off this alone, unless you think you'll float by well enough that it won't be an issue



  • Renma
  • Expert Waygook

    • 506

    • September 01, 2014, 06:09:42 am
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2022, 02:15:02 pm »
Article 4 (Salary)
1. Salary: The Employer will pay Employee a monthly salary of 2,250,000KRW for the
for the contract. The salary will be given to the Employee on the 25th of each month.
2. 4 major insurances (employment insurance, safety insurance, national pension, and
health insurance) will be applied and deducted from the salary.
3. 1,000,000KRW of airfare will be provided at the end of the contract (1 time).
Severance will be paid at the successful completion of this contract.
4. Every year of contract renewal, the employee will receive 100,000KRW raise.

airfare and salary are on the low end but the others are fine. I don't know what 'safety insurance' is though?

Quote
Article 5 (Housing)
2. If employee has his/her own housing, employer will provide housing allowance of
300,000KRW per month.

300k housing means you can expect a slum for accomodation, assuming this hagwon is in a large city.

Quote
Article 6 (Hours of teaching and vacations)
3. When there is a national holiday in the week of summer and winter vacation, it will
count as a vacation day.

This is terrible. 5 days summer and 5 days winter and red days are crap to begin with but sadly the norm for hagwons. However, they will count red days during their designated week as part of your 10 vacation days. They are skimming off your days here.

Quote
5. The employee can request 3 sick days per year.
Pretty lame but better than 0 I guess. Also what sticky said

Quote
Article 8 (Resignation)
1. If employee desires to resign from ___ and thereby terminate this contract, he/she
must give employer a written notice of resignation date and reason for it. The notice
must be given before 60 days of resignation. Employee shall work until the employment of a replacement teacher.
Only 30 are legally required

Quote
Article 9 (Termination of the Contract)
1. Employer may terminate or cancel this Contract upon occurrence of any one of the
following events:
2 A closure of the class.

7 If complaints (both inside and outside of ___) are brought up and bring on
public criticisms because of Employee.

What does #2 mean here? and #7 is far too broad. I doubt they will be giving you 60 days notice when Minsu's mom complains and they decide to fire you under clause #7.

As sticky says, this sounds bad. It's been 8 days though so I imagine it's too late  :undecided:


Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2022, 02:23:56 pm »
Agree with sticky on all of the above.

Also, keep in mind that schools, including hagwons, must pay overtime to teachers for working on Saturdays if those Saturdays fall outside of that teacher's standard schedule and/or if they make the teacher go over their max working hours for the week. And most don't.

I wouldn't work at a school that throws that kind of stipulation into their contracts. It's a red flag for setting unrealistic expectations.

The second MAJOR red flag is the one where they expect the employee to find a substitute. No. That's the employer's responsibility in every and all cases. Can they ask you to reach out to someone? Yeah, np. But trying to make that a contractual obligation? It stinks of incompetence, and indicates toxic management. It's also fairly common for certain hagwons to expect the employee to pay for that substitute. As if we should pay them for the opportunity to work for them, lol.

No. Under no circumstance should you ever work for a school that adds these types of conditions in their contracts. Hard pass.


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4717

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2022, 04:58:14 pm »
OP, this is probably a horrible employer to work for.

Poorly written contract, get fired for "not performing duty for 2 consecutive days"...whatever that means. No differentiation between working and teaching hours. Completion bonus (separate from severance) no longer a thing in Korea?



Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2022, 11:31:41 pm »
Some points, and some corrections on where others were right and wrong.

1. The concern about teaching English "and other related subjects" is huge. You cannot legally teach anything other than English if you're going to be on an E-2 visa. Most likely, nothing would happen, but it's a risk.

2. Saturday events are important promotional events for hagwons. It would be better if they were paid, but they won't be in most cases. At least you're being told in advance.

3. Expecting a newbie native speaker to find their replacement is hilarious, yes.

4. The clause about complaints from parents is understandable. It's likely that a previous teacher showed up smelly, dirty and didn't give a damn. Just try not to do that.

5. 'Safety insurance' is a poor translation of 산재보험. It's insurance for workplace accidents. It usually comes packaged with unemployment insurance which would be useless to an E-2 visa holder. It's better to tell the employer not to apply, and both the employer and employee will save a small amount of money.

6. 300k housing is fairly standard. Better to take the allowance and spend an extra 150k to get something decent. Arranging housing in Korea is very easy compared to other countries.

7. Parents, by law, pay based on a certain number of minutes per month. Usually they get slightly more than they pay for, because the number of taught minutes per month varies depending on the calendar. Hagwons try to take holidays in a way that avoids going under the advertised minutes in any given month, so as to avoid the financial loss and massive hassle of refunding parents who demand it. However, red days are counted as a deduction, much like a tax deduction. Therefore, by tacking holidays onto red days, the hagwon can take a week's holiday without having to offer refunds. A lot of hagwons do this. It is logical.

8. 0 days' notice are required by law. However, if you cause losses by violating the contractual notice period, you can be successfully sued within Korea. You would probably have to cause significant damage for the employer to go to the effort of suing you, but they could win if they proved damages.

9. Parents complain about lots of random crap. The hagwon wants to have the right to fire a teacher who is actively damaging the business. Obviously the clause could be abused, but it's likely that this clause is a reaction to something that transpired with a previous teacher.

But this is all academic, because OP either signed or refused this contract already.


  • Renma
  • Expert Waygook

    • 506

    • September 01, 2014, 06:09:42 am
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2022, 10:45:54 am »
For me it would be a hard pass and if you want the employee to care about/accept those factors they need better remuneration than 2.25m without teaching hours outlined. Not my problem that Saturdays are important for the boss if its unpaid,  or if the boss is charging parents for more minutes than what he can provide for that month.

Still, its always interesting and appreciated to get insight from the other side.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5651

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2022, 01:25:54 pm »
Article 9 is the "throw you under the bus" clause meaning the cowardly owner or manager won't defend you and stand up to complainers.  They'll just go wobbly at the knees and blame you for any complaints and give you the boot quickly.  Add in the awful pay and low end rental allowance, plus long workday, it's just awful all the way around.  Personally I think people out there should get together and boycott Korea for two or three years until Korea starts offering better pay and work contracts.  But, I suppose folks will come over anyways.  So, good luck.  See if you can find a better contract if you can. 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2022, 02:26:53 pm »
...I think people out there should get together and boycott Korea for two or three years until Korea starts offering better pay and work contracts. 

What a brilliant idea!!! Do you think you could lead the movement. I would back you all the way.


  • Renma
  • Expert Waygook

    • 506

    • September 01, 2014, 06:09:42 am
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2022, 02:49:42 pm »
Come on hangook, you've abandoned us once by refusing modship. Step up and lead our exodus like a modern day Moses.


Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2022, 03:07:24 pm »
Personally I think people out there should get together and boycott Korea for two or three years until Korea starts offering better pay and work contracts.  But, I suppose folks will come over anyways.  So, good luck.

I get the feeling that this is true. Even if EVERYONE moved to China tomorrow, others would take their place. Hangook77, have you considered upgrading your credentials? I originally resisted the idea but since then I've come around.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 04:25:16 pm by Billy Herrington »
Beyond Inappropriate


  • Bakeacake
  • Expert Waygook

    • 550

    • July 12, 2010, 01:35:40 pm
    • Pohang South Korea
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2022, 03:11:26 pm »
Article 9 is the "throw you under the bus" clause meaning the cowardly owner or manager won't defend you and stand up to complainers.  They'll just go wobbly at the knees and blame you for any complaints and give you the boot quickly.  Add in the awful pay and low end rental allowance, plus long workday, it's just awful all the way around.  Personally I think people out there should get together and boycott Korea for two or three years until Korea starts offering better pay and work contracts.  But, I suppose folks will come over anyways.  So, good luck.  See if you can find a better contract if you can. 

you'd be replaced by afrikaans speaking Limpopoan in a second, and would be forgotten twice as fast. And the government could save 500,000 won a month to boot.


  • ttlk
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • November 01, 2022, 02:50:05 pm
    • USA
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2022, 05:23:30 pm »
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who gave input on the contract! I was able to meet with a native teacher who has taught at 3 schools in Korea, he confirmed that this was a great school and it is different from his past ones. I was also given the info on other teachers and why the school had vacancies to begin with outside of the owner knowing - and there were no red flags on the school's behalf.

The owner of the school was also fluent in English, so I was able to meet with her to talk about all of the things that people have also pointed out in this thread! Unfortunately there were no comments by the time I had this meeting, but I covered all these bases and more during that negotiation meeting by consulting groups on fb, reading blogs, and reading the current labor laws in Korea. I think based on location, other offers and other contracts that I have read, plus the explanation for a lot of the clauses; this school was the best fit for me.

Thank you again for all of the help + support!


Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2022, 01:50:16 pm »
You will probably be OK. A lot of the stuff that people expressed concern about was likely due a previous teacher being a dick.


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2415

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2022, 10:56:08 am »

6. 300k housing is fairly standard. Better to take the allowance and spend an extra 150k to get something decent. Arranging housing in Korea is very easy compared to other countries.


I thought 400k was standard. :o


Re: Contract Review (pls help, first time applicant for teaching in Korea)
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2022, 02:29:40 pm »
I thought 400k was standard. :o

It is for public school teachers. No idea for hagwon teachers, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it was hagwon standard to give less than 400k.