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3 year contract in China

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by skvo, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. skvo

    skvo New commenter

    I seem to remember there were some caution tales about length of initial contracts in China - something to do with claiming allowances back? Can I ask for your wisdom please - is signing 3 year contract potentially bad idea - Thanks!
  2. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Potentially... but it depends on the school. If you are at a good school and the deal and expectations are fair, then three years is actually a nice amount of time to settle, enjoy the school its environs and learn a bit about the culture. Just go into it with eyes wide open and understand all of the 'consequences' should you need to leave before the three years is up.
  3. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I have a 3 year contract with a "get out" at two years - I know people who have used this and as far as I know no attempt has been made to claw back allowances.
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    The 3 year contract does allow the school to recover rent and flight allowance from the teacher if the contract is not completed. It would be a good idea to check there is a two year get out written into the document.

    The second reason for a long 3 year contract is to prevent staff getting a third contract as under Chinese Labour law you can be considered an employee after your third contract.
  5. Mickyd197se

    Mickyd197se Occasional commenter

    Depends. Are there yearly flights as part of the contract?
  6. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    I'd be very wary of a three year contract.

    I did sign one once and the first year was very difficult, both in the school and in the location in general. In those circumstances, the thought of seeing out another year is very different from that of being tied in for another two.
    I left at the end of year one (albeit giving lots of notice) and sometimes wonder if I'd have stayed for a second year if it had been a two year deal.
    Teachallover likes this.
  7. tiler

    tiler New commenter

    Could you expand on this?
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, maybe China is not everyone's cup of tea and therefore anyone planning to make the move to the Middle Kingdom should do as much research as possible. On the whole, teachers who have already taught elsewhere seem to enjoy China a lot more, whereas newbies find it tough going. Putting your toes into the water for the first time is not quite the same thing as jumping into the deep end. Therefore I would suggest that introducing three-year contracts might not be a sensible move for most schools in China, so ley us hope that they keep the two-year, standard contract length.
  9. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    In China under Chinese Labour Law if you are given a 3rd contract you are now considered an employee and not just a contractor. You them are treated as a full employee with better rights under the Chinese law, you could resign giving only 20 working days notice.
  10. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Article 14 An open-ended labor contract is one where the employing unit and the worker have agreed not to stipulate a definite ending date.

    An employing unit and a worker may conclude an open-ended labor contract upon reaching consensus through consultation. If a worker proposes or agrees to renew the labor contract or to conclude a labor contract in any of the following circumstances, an open-ended labor contract shall be concluded, unless the worker requests the conclusion of a fixed-term labor contract:

    (1) The worker has been working for the employing unit for a consecutive period of 10 or more years;

    (2) The worker has been working for the employing unit for a consecutive period of 10 or more years but less than 10 years away from the statutory retirement age when the employing unit introduces the labor contract system or when the State-owned enterprise has to conclude a new labor contract with him as a result of restructuring; or

    (3) The worker intends to renew the labor contract after he has consecutively concluded a fixed-term labor contract with the employing unit twice and he has not been found in any of the circumstances specified in Article 39 or Subparagraph (1) or (2) in Article 40 of this Law.

    Basically it makes it harder for the school to terminate your employment unless you break the labour law.
  11. skvo

    skvo New commenter

    Two flights a year
  12. skvo

    skvo New commenter

    Thank you for sharing, I had a very difficult start at my current school, but am seeing it through - two years are manageable time to endure. 3 might be too much.
  13. alvtes

    alvtes New commenter

    chinese labour law says u can quit with notice 30 days usually

    so basically there is no difference usually

    but in china, pls be aware of chinese style management

    they will try to say you cannot quit
    they will add illegal terms in ur contract
    they will withhold your paycheck if they know ur lieaving and play games like asking you to sign more contracts or deducting ur pay or etc
  14. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I can see no benefit to the staff in having a 3 year contract. It would appear to be a large multi national company trying to reduce costs and claw back expenses from staff.
    Teachallover likes this.
  15. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Like any contract, it's really up to the individual what works for them (as it is for the school too.) Three years didn't bother me for a number of reasons - not least that you don't spend the first year running to keep up before spending your second year trying to find a new job! I'm also pretty sure that if you had a "get out" clause in the contract and the school tried to get your expenses back, the worst that would happen is that you wouldn't get a visa in China (potentially no / bad reference too, but most sensible people would understand why, which I guess excludes a large number of international SMT....)
  16. walkingfred

    walkingfred Occasional commenter

    I am on a three year in Beijing and it has been fine. Depending on the quality of the school, you can also get out early. That certainly has not been a problem here for the few folk who have struggled and wanted out at two years.
  17. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    The new normal in China?
  18. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Unfortunately a lot of the international schools in Shanghai run a cartel so as to make business more profitable.

    The financial package on offer to staff is near identical in several schools. So if one school starts to issue a 3 year contract several others will follow.

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