If you feel you are the victim of any of the below practices, or other forms of
unfairness or deception, let us know.
at the 11 Month Mark of the Contract
at the 11 month mark of a 12 month contract on nothing more than spurious allegations
- designed to defeat the teacher from receiving his/her severance pay and return
at the 5 Month Mark of a Contract
no reason at the 5 month mark - designed to defeat provisions of the Korean Labor
Law that requires 30 days notice of dismissal after 6 months of working or pay
in lieu thereof- some employers consistently employ teachers for 5 months, then
dismiss them time and time again. It should be noted this is an abuse of the Labor
Standards Act and misunderstanding (innocent or deliberate) that clearly says
the time line is 3 months (and not 6 months) as applied by Schools and some Labor
because the employer alleges the teacher has 'assaulted' students - and the school
has lodged a complaint with the police - seems very common when the teacher is
close to receiving substantial end of contract bonuses. Given the 'shock' of being
approached by police and having to defend oneself against false allegations, some
teachers have suffered financial loss and great stress during the process.
Accommodation With Strangers
Teachers forced to share accommodation with Korean friends of the school owner
despite the contract guaranteeing single accommodation
not completing Immigration requirements within the first 90 days as required under
Immigration law - designed to have the teacher forced from Korea for breach of
Immigration laws. Note some TEFL Recruiters are openly advertising illegal practices
for new teachers -
Being Sold to New Owner
'sold' to new owners who refuse to accept the contract previously entered into
by the former owner - and the new owner refusing to pay any obligations under
the old contract despite the old contract maturing in days or weeks - thus the
teacher being denied annual leave entitlements, severance pay, return air fare.
Some of our inquiries have shown the new owner to be a family member of the previous
Borrowing Money From Teacher
'borrowing' money from the teacher with promises to pay it back - and not doing
so - if this happens it is a clear warning that the school is close to bankruptcy
owners who have contracted to pay the return air fare to the teacher at the end
of contract but have calculated the fee based on exchange rates that existed 12
months ago - and thus given the fluctuations in currency values, the teacher sometimes
has lost 15% of what should have been paid based on the actual purchase fare.
Some schools include in their contract that the teacher must pay an 'apartment
security deposit' (ASD) of 600,000 Won which is deducted from the initial pay,
and is designed to cover any outstanding apartment expenses or damage caused willfully
or negligently by the teacher during his stay - some schools have fabricated stories
and reasons as to why the' ASD' should not be refunded - thus one should be very
wary of signing this type of contract.
EPIK Renewal Process
few EPIKs have reported that despite being promised renewal contract up to the
very last minute, the promise did not occur, thus causing the Epik teacher great
stress as to end of contract plans and preparations - given the Epik contract
is a government contract this tends to show the Epik recruiting advertising pages
to be false and misleading or that Provincial Offices of Education are totally
ignoring the promises that were offered to the teacher to induce him/her to sign
up for the EPIK contract.
Vague Contractual Conditions On Working Times
Many contracts are written with vague and misleading information as to how many
lessons a teacher must work weekly. Employers couch contractual terms in such
vagueness that one is not really sure just how long 'a lesson' really is. Contracts
note lessons being 30 or 40 or 45 or 60 minutes, but never explaining what that
actually means. The end result is that employers interpret that vague clause to
get the greatest amount of working time out of the teacher possible - and there
is nothing you can do once you have signed the contact, short of a legal challenge
- This practice is also couched in terms such as "Sessions" which has
some vague meaning that includes a 28 or 30 day period, as the employer sees fit.
This practice is not only confined to private schools, but can be found in Contracts
provided by Institutions of Higher learning, especially colleges. If you sign
the contract without being perfectly clear what is
expected of you, you may find your working hours greater than you imagined.
Sadly we have received many reports of Teachers arriving at Incheon
International Airport following being hired from their home country - and
as soon as the school owner sees them and sees that they are NOT Caucasian, the
school owner refuses to have anything to do with them - in fact abandoning them
in the airport.
See Korean Human Rights Commission for remedies.
Illegally or be Dismissed
Recently we have become aware of schools demanding
teachers work in breach of Korean Labor Laws, namely working at second and third
locations and working without a visa. The school directors have told the teachers
they will sacked (dismissed and deported) should they refuse to do as told.
Some Employees believe their Employers are paying into the National Health Insurance
Scheme. Money is deducted from the Employee's pay. Later, when the teacher begins
a new contract with a new Employer that Employer goes to Register the teacher
but finds the teacher NOT registered by the previous school who never paid a penny
to the NHIC. Thus the NHIC will NOT enroll/cover the teacher until back payments
are made. This is around 700,000 Won the teacher must pay. If your employer says
he has enrolled you in the NHIC but you don't have a Medical Card from the NHIC
and your employer accompanies you to the doctor/ hospital to pay your bills, you
can assume your employer is cheating you and the NHIC.
Demanding Recruiter's Commission Back
If you resign from your job, or are dismissed before the contract term is up,
the Employer will/may deduct the "Recruiter's Commission" from your
final pay. But two issues arise here:- (a) The employer falsifies the amount he
paid the recruiter (b) the Employer will often get the money back from the Recruiter
in any event -
we have discovered that some job vacant position that appear on Job vacancy sites
are false non existent jobs placed by Recruiters - and in two cases, the Job Board
site - to generate (a) resumes for the Recruiters, and (b) the appearance of a
viable Job vacancy Board. We discovered these facts through a rather complex set
of maneuvers (a sting) and caught the wrong doer out. Unfortunately, you the teacher
probably are not in a position (as we with our resources) to achieve this. All
we can recommend is that you (a) Deal directly with the employer and not a recruiter
or third party unless they are well recommended
recent scam by Korean operators who pose as Recruiters is to have the teacher
open two bank accounts. The recruiter has the information to Bank Book #1 where
you pay goes. The Recruiter then transfers money to Bank Book #2 - the teacher's
bank book. Usually there is an amount of money missing - sometimes Bonus pays
and other entitlements are misappropriated by the Recruiter at the end of the
received from a teacher: August 2003
addition to adding to your list of deceptive practices, I will explain the deception.
My employer has always paid expenses for his teachers. When monthly bills
arrive (telephone, electricity, Internet, water, gas, apartment maintenance) the
teacher gives them to the owner. The money is deducted from the employee's monthly
pay and the bill is (supposedly) paid. However, the owner is now in SERIOUS financial
trouble and bills are not being paid.
Presently, my telephone bill has
not been paid in 4 months and is turned off. The apartment maintenance has not
been paid in almost 1 year and the complex is threatening a lawsuit. My cable
has not been paid in 4 months. You get the picture. He also was conducting the
same scheme with health insurance. However, he recently had to pay considerable
back payments. As of August, I am paying my bills myself. As you know, it is simple
enough to pay them at the bank.
The above practice has been ongoing for
the 4 western teachers in his employ. To my knowledge, the most serious delinquency
is the apartment maintenance. As I stated, my maintenance fees are 300,000 won
in arrears. The same is true of two other apartments. One apartment is 520,000
won in arrears.