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  • lip_glossary
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • January 30, 2013, 11:39:46 am
    • Incheon, South Korea
Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« on: April 29, 2014, 09:36:27 am »
I'm coming up on four months until the end of my contract, and I've been having some concerns lately about how my school is handling/will handle some things.  My current hagwon is a franchise of a large, well-known company, so I don't know if that will help in terms of rights/outlets for getting help or recourse. 

The owner of my school has been coming down on the native-speaking English teachers at my school for the past few months.  Usually they are for petty things like starting class late  because students were asking questions about class-related things.  The owner does not seem to like to spend money unless forced to, and I worry that this situation is causing her to issue petty warning in hopes of draining teacher's severance pay or getting to fire them before she has to pay this money. 

So far, I have not had any problems with her personally.  However, she recently asked me to stay for another year.  I told her that I think I will go home because I haven't been back in two years, and I'd like to see my family.  No matter what reason I gave, she kept insisting that I think about it.  I told her that I would let her know for certain in a month.  My answer, of course, is still no, but I am worried that she will take this personally and make trouble for me my last few months. 

So first question:  Is there any way I can present my rejection so as to offend her the least? 

The second issue is key money.  My boyfriend and I put up half the key money for our apartment and my school put up the other half.  We both signed the housing contract.  Does anyone know how returning the key money will work?  Will it just be transferred into both of our bank accounts?  Our landlady is just a little old woman who went through a realty company, and I don't know that they have our account information.  Who would be best to approach about this when the time comes?

The last thing I'm concerned about is getting my final paycheck and severance.  I have been told that the school might try to make me wait until the next payday to get my last check and severance.  However, my boyfriend and I plan to leave Korea for good shortly after my contract is up, meaning my bank account would be closed.  Is there any way I can make sure that I get paid on my last day or the day after? 

I know it's a lot , but any help would be appreciated.


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2703

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 04:38:33 pm »
The last thing I'm concerned about is getting my final paycheck and severance.  I have been told that the school might try to make me wait until the next payday to get my last check and severance.  However, my boyfriend and I plan to leave Korea for good shortly after my contract is up, meaning my bank account would be closed.  Is there any way I can make sure that I get paid on my last day or the day after? 

Regarding the above quote, why don't you just leave your bank account open? Bank accounts in Korea automatically close after about 4-5 years of no activity (e.g. no withdrawals/deposits/etc.) in that account, so you don't actually have to bother making the effort to go close your bank account, unless you really prefer to close it yourself. Just FYI.


Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2014, 07:21:18 pm »
Yes, the above post is correct.
There's no need to close your bank acct. In fact, it will probably be left open anyway in case you come back. Just leave it open, set up online banking with remittance, and then send it to yourself online.

The really sketchy thing is your housing deposit. I'd bet your old landlady has no idea you paid half of the deposit. She will pay all your deposit back to the Korean, 99% sure.
You need to be very proactive about getting that back. Heavy communication on that one.


  • amoonbot
  • Veteran

    • 192

    • November 15, 2010, 08:59:54 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2014, 10:36:33 pm »
Did you send your half of the key money directly to the landlord/real estate agent? If so, they will most likely return your half to your account. If you gave it to your manager who then sent it to the landlord/real estate agent, your manager would receive it the lump sum , and would have to send the half to your account.


  • lip_glossary
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • January 30, 2013, 11:39:46 am
    • Incheon, South Korea
Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 08:31:42 am »
My boyfriend and I were there along with the manager when the contract was signed.  We both signed it.  The school gave their half of the money and we transferred our half to the landlady, so it should be on record somewhere that we gave half the money. 

I'm concerned about the owner depositing my check and severance into my bank account after I leave because I'm not sure that she'll pay me everything since I'd be out of the country and unable to fight her on it.  I'd rather get everything while I'm still here.  Plus while I have overseas remittance set up at my Korean bank, I have no idea how to set up online banking for my account.  I tried once but they wanted me to download stuff to do it, which I'd rather not do.  It would be preferable to just take care of everything while I'm here.


  • phoebe100
  • Super Waygook

    • 273

    • November 08, 2011, 01:15:36 pm
Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 09:48:17 am »
I'd agree with getting it sorted before you go. Yes, you could leave your account open and deal with it after you've left but things don't always go to plan and if something was to mess up you could lose out or it could cause you a lot of hassle. In theory the hagwon and landlady will pay you the right amount after you've gone and you'll be able to access online banking from home etc...but......

I've left and returned to Korea a few times now and always wrap things up before I'm out of the country, that way you can deal with any issues while still here. Better safe than sorry.

As for letting her down gently about not staying I find "family reasons" are always a good way to go. As in you'd" love to stay" but you can't because [insert whatever convenient family reason works for you here].


  • country09
  • Expert Waygook

    • 653

    • January 05, 2011, 10:04:21 am
Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2014, 09:51:12 am »


I'm concerned about the owner depositing my check and severance into my bank account after I leave because I'm not sure that she'll pay me everything since I'd be out of the country and unable to fight her on it.  I'd rather get everything while I'm still here.  Plus while I have overseas remittance set up at my Korean bank, I have no idea how to set up online banking for my account.  I tried once but they wanted me to download stuff to do it, which I'd rather not do.  It would be preferable to just take care of everything while I'm here.

If you are that worried you can always get an extension on your visa. If not then you need to set up online banking. Your employer has two weeks to pay you your severance so it is not against the law if they wait until after you leave.

I am sorry to say but if you don't set up online banking you may be out of luck on transferring your money to home. If you start demanding payment before it is required to be payed it may result in problems getting the full amounts owed to you. Rocking the boat when money is involved is never good. You seem to have a good relationship with your hagwon. You need to talk the end game with them and raise your concerns about the key money. Setting up online banking is not hard. Almost all banks have an English service phone number to help you figure out what needs to be done.


  • country09
  • Expert Waygook

    • 653

    • January 05, 2011, 10:04:21 am
Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 10:00:08 am »

I've left and returned to Korea a few times now and always wrap things up before I'm out of the country, that way you can deal with any issues while still here. Better safe than sorry.


This is obviously the safest way to go but I want to point out that it is up to the employers discretion. You will not get anywhere with the labor board if you demand the severance before the date is is required to be sent by.



  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2703

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 11:53:16 am »
I'm concerned about the owner depositing my check and severance into my bank account after I leave because I'm not sure that she'll pay me everything since I'd be out of the country and unable to fight her on it.  I'd rather get everything while I'm still here.  Plus while I have overseas remittance set up at my Korean bank, I have no idea how to set up online banking for my account.  I tried once but they wanted me to download stuff to do it, which I'd rather not do.  It would be preferable to just take care of everything while I'm here.

Okay, but I just meant as an FYI, you don't need to go out of your way to close your bank account before you leave (unless you really want to), as it will close by itself eventually after 4-5 years of no bank activity in your bank account. That's all.


  • phoebe100
  • Super Waygook

    • 273

    • November 08, 2011, 01:15:36 pm
Re: Manager issues, key money, and last paycheck
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 02:03:28 pm »

I've left and returned to Korea a few times now and always wrap things up before I'm out of the country, that way you can deal with any issues while still here. Better safe than sorry.


This is obviously the safest way to go but I want to point out that it is up to the employers discretion. You will not get anywhere with the labor board if you demand the severance before the date is is required to be sent by.

For sure. I've never had an issue with getting everything before leaving and if you do, then that would be a good indicator that you're going to have issues getting it. If you bring it up far enough in advance there really shouldn't be any problem having it all ready before you leave. Best bring it up sooner rather than later.