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  • helppp
  • Adventurer

    • 28

    • March 03, 2014, 01:43:22 pm
    • Daegu South Korea
Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« on: December 08, 2014, 12:59:28 pm »
I work for a public, (government) school and have just suffered a serious bereavement. I wouldn't be contemplating this if it weren't serious but it is. Can anyone tell me what happens if I break my contract and leave early to go home at any point prior to the contract's natural conclusion?

I've heard rumours that you get black listed from the country and can never enter again, as a tourist or for work in both private or public positions. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Also just out of morbid curiosity would it be different if I worked in a private institution, (hagwon)? I'd sooner ask here and get the relevant information before deciding whether to take the matter further and have to address with my school.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 01:01:51 pm by helppp »


  • Tiggercs
  • Waygookin

    • 20

    • November 06, 2012, 06:50:46 pm
    • Jeollanamdo
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2014, 01:22:19 pm »
I think if you do a midnight run you I'm pretty sure you'd get blacklisted by immigration.

It will say in your contract about what'll happen. For example, in my contract (public school), it says you'd have to give 60 days written notice, otherwise they would report you to immigration. What does your contract say exactly?

Why don't you talk to your co-teacher and let them know the situation and ask what your options are?


Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2014, 01:41:44 pm »
I know people who have pulled a midnight run, not finished phone contrac, unpaid bills and still came back without a problem. They had to pay back the phone company before they got a new one. You can for sure come back and work at a hagwon, but I don't know the current way the public schools are doing things. Good Luck
"Keep 'em comin', sweets, I got a long drive. Do me a favor, will you? Would you mind washing off that perfume before you come back to our table?"

Ernie McCracken


  • Space
  • The Legend

    • 2288

    • May 09, 2012, 10:11:12 pm
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2014, 02:07:03 pm »
Who do you work for? Is there a bereavement clause?

Maybe you need more time but there could be a few weeks in there. Talk to your coworkers. explain the situation. They could be understanding and give you some unpaid leave.


  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 02:08:48 pm »
I would simply explain that you have a family emergency, and that you need to leave.

Then, take leave without pay, and if you can return within 3 months, you should be golden.

Most Koreans are very understanding when it comes to family emergencies.


  • nimrand
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • April 07, 2013, 07:40:28 am
    • Lawrence, KS
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2014, 02:10:12 pm »
I'm very sorry for your loss.

I've been told by the coordinator of my province that if you leave without at least telling them that you're leaving and why, that they will report you to immigration and that will prevent you from getting another VISA.  It might be an empty threat, but I suspect it is true.  However, it's not automatic, and I also suspect it's a highly bureaucratic process, and that, if you're lucky, you might even get back in even if you are "black listed."  Also, if it's been more than a certain number of years (say, 10 years or so), they probably wont care anymore.

It might be worth just telling your school, instead of just not showing up some day.  You'd have to judge that for yourself based on your relationship with them and how reasonable they are.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 03:10:54 pm by nimrand »


  • donuts81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1364

    • October 20, 2010, 10:23:37 am
    • Korea
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2014, 02:11:14 pm »
Tell your school. They'll be fine. You are an employee not a slave.
"You can't hurt me now, Mr Lee. I've lost all feeling"


Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2014, 02:14:33 pm »
If you suffered a death in your family back in your home country, the contract says that you will get a week off for a funeral leave. However you may also want to take a few extra sick days or paid vacation days for the time you will need, and then you will have to come back and finish the contract for good. That is the only way you will avoid being blacklisted from entering Korea.

The issue is whether or not these Koreans are really all that sympathetic with foreign workers who are in such family distress. Koreans always take their familiess first before a foreigner's family, that's how I feel.


Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 02:19:13 pm »
I would simply explain that you have a family emergency, and that you need to leave.

Then, take leave without pay, and if you can return within 3 months, you should be golden.

Most Koreans are very understanding when it comes to family emergencies.

Sorry for your loss. This is great advice. You should try to talk to your employer. They might let you take extra time off, or in the event of a family emergency allow you a early release.

Family is very important here. So they might be more accommodating then you expect.

Good luck hope everything works out for you.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1766

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2014, 02:22:31 pm »
Talk to your school and negotiate something.

I once knew of someone who had a public school contract, and within the first few weeks of the start of the semester had both parents die. That person got the standard 1 week (x2) off in the contract, and asked for a few more weeks off. Had to wrap up all the affairs for both parents. Didn't come back until way into the second month.


  • Artisis
  • Veteran

    • 233

    • August 21, 2013, 04:52:28 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2014, 02:48:24 pm »
I never heard of people being blacklisted from Korea for not completing a contract. I would talk to your school first to see if you could work something out. The worst thing that might happen is that you will not be able to work for EPIK again.


  • helppp
  • Adventurer

    • 28

    • March 03, 2014, 01:43:22 pm
    • Daegu South Korea
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2014, 08:28:16 am »
First, thanks for all the replies. For the record I'd never quite do a "midnight run" in the sense I'd always go and tell them what I was doing even if it was only 24 hours before the flight leaving. I just think that's the right thing to do.

My contract says I should give 60 days written notice otherwise I will be "reported to the Korean immigration service and it shall affect the Employee's ability to freely enter the Republic of Korea in the future". Could anyone say definitively if they think this applies to hagwon posts only it sounds like it? I'm just wondering if I would be blacklisted from public positions even if I did follow that procedure and left? I'm just trying to weigh up my options and see if I leave before the 60 days if that's korea over for me.

Because of the nature of the situation I'm in, unfortunately if I do have to go home it would have to be for a very considerable amount of time so I doubt taking leave would help. I'm holding off speaking to my co-teacher about it just until I have all of the information to hand because I know this will cause an absolute riot if I go through with it.


Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2014, 08:45:49 am »
I'm sorry to hear about your loss and I hope you will be all right.

If you have a good relationship with your school, I doubt there will be any problems. I believe that contract clause is there to deter midnight runs and equivalent crappy behavior. Be honest about what you need and see what your school says. They may release you, they may even hold your position- I can't say for sure, as I don't know your school, but I don't believe you will have any problems coming back to Korea.
NOTORIOUS D.G.P.


  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: Breaking a public school contract repercussions
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2014, 08:53:30 am »
Without giving unnecessary details, years ago, I had an elderly family member who needed 24/7 care to recover from a serious fracture.  Long story short, I wanted to go home to help, so she wouldn't have to be institutionalized.

I informed my school, and they said "go" without any hesitation.

I returned 3 months later with my job still intact.

Give them the benefit of the doubt and explain how important your family is to you.

What is it you think you have to lose?

Have a little faith :smiley: