Learn to write. You said, 'always expect... ...the hardly legal and the downright unethical when working overseas.' Not 'often', or 'sometimes', or 'frequently'. Year 5 Literacy. Why does a kindly old cove like me get all snotty about this? Because the forum is read not just by us old lags and serial jesters, but also by newcomers to the whole idea of venturing to another country. It is grossly unfair on what (I would venture) is a majority of decent schools across the globe, to be tarred with the same brush. We all know that there are certain employers in Spain who treat teachers as seasonal migrant workers. They probably wouldn't get away with it if there were not a plentiful supply of teachers prepared to behave as such. But it's been just as clear, reading comments on Spain over the years, that while salaries there are low - if you want to become a slum landlord beck in the UK, you neeed to look further afield - there are reputable schools that behave ethically. To be conciliatory, serverservant, your aspirations are normal, modest and shared by us all: Fair enough, indeed. And as for I emphatically do not think it is OK and have never said so. I do think that six months is a crazily short time either for an employee to be conceded lifelong rights or for that employee to start buying a house and settliing in for the long run. I'm genuinely puzzled by this EU Law concept. Spain is in the EU, yet employers get away with the practices you describe. Ruritania is in the EU, yet we have a national Labour Code (this year's edition runs to 1,600 spellbinding pages) which tells us we can offer two one-year contracts, after which the employee attains permanence. And 'permanence' like 'always', is a big strong word. Sorry to keep on being contradictory, but in my neck of the woods, once an employee has rounded the two-year mark it is well-nigh impossible to get rid of him/her on grounds of incompetence, however carefully documented. If that person has no shame, s/he can blithely carry on being a burden to students and colleagues for year after year. 'Just cause' for dismissal can only be found in unethical actions like theft, cheating, drunkenness-on-the-job or inappropriate amorous involvement with a student, not in merely being p*ss-poor at your job. Never (no, never) would we but we would like, very occasionally, to have more power to persuade incompetents that the game is over. If you have such a mechanism in Germany, all well and good, but it doesn't exist here. Maybe the TES could hire a lawyer to join us on the forum, and (for £396 plus VAT per line) explain to us just where the EU has overall jurisdiction in labour law, and just where the peculiarities of each country take over. Then another lawyer would sail in with a different, though equally costly, opinion. I'm sincerely delighted that after six disappointing countries you have found peace, fulfilment and security in Germany, serverservant. So have I, and many of my colleagues, in Ruritania. Because you certainly need not always expect 'overseas' schools to deliver the 'hardly legal and the downright unethical'.