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  • 1 Post By chingleutsch

Cowboy Employment Contract?

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  1. #1

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    Cowboy Employment Contract?

    Slightly different subject for me. A friend has been offered a NET job with one of the tuition colleges which will sponsor a visa. She is somewhat uneasy about them, and after being told the summary terms my concern is that they appear to be skirting on legality.

    1. Visa - they want her to start "training" before the visa comes through.

    2. Wages - If she leaves early (before 1 year) they want to deduct a month's wages. Is this against section 32 of the EO (deduction of wages), this is a clause I have never heard about.

    3. Paid leave - this appears to be near minimum statutory levels. Is this normal?

    4. Sick leave - they want to limit that too to seven days. Elsewhere I heard that you automatically accrue 2 days for each month worked.

    What is the "normal" pay for a TEFL certified NET. Given the contract, are these normal terms? If not should she just drop it and look elsewhere? I saw another post elsewhere describing the pay and conditions in less than complimentary terms, how bad are they?


  2. #2

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    Sounds dodgy to me.

    1. If she is not employed elsewhere then entering HK for training requires a Training Visa.

    2. If it's in the contract I suspect this is OK. (Or they can make it OK by making it a one year fixed term contract)

    3. That would be zero in the first 12 months then? I've no idea if that's normal for language schools.

    4. This is covered by the legislation: http://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/...seGuide/05.pdf

    As I understand it, the "training" is often essentially unpaid probation. At the end of which they actually start the visa application process if they like you. End result is you have 3 months or so working illegally which gives them complete power over whether, when and how much they actually end up paying you because you have no leg to stand on legally, and you've probably committed to accommodation, services etc by that point.


  3. #3

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    PDLM, how is it OK if it is a one year contract?

    EMPLOYMENT ORDINANCE - SECT 32 Restriction on deductions from wages


  4. #4

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  5. #5

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    If it's a fixed one year contract then she can't leave before the 12 months is up (or at least, not just because she feels like it).


  6. #6

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    Most of the language tuition centres seem to be running pretty cowboy-style operations ... in answer to your specific questions:
    1. "Training" generally means that they show you around and then ask you to start teaching. The more reputable (less disreputable?) places do actually pay you for this time once your work permit is approved. See if your friend can ask another expat working there about their experience.
    2. Absolutely normal, standard penalty for breach of contract on the teacher's part (not that it is normally exacted if the offender has left HK)
    3. Paid leave - right at the bottom end of legal is bog standard for these jobs.
    4. Very common.
    In tuition centres, the "normal" pay for a TEFL cert. NET or anyone else, is as little as they can get away with. A couple of the bigger places will stretch to 20K+ for a qualified and experienced teacher, but most of those expect their staff to be on call for social occasions & free-talk sessions with students outside of regular working hours. I have heard of 20+ year experienced teachers being offered as little as 10Kper month.

    fth likes this.