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breaking a contract

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by ladyjessica, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. recently had to return from abroad after spending two days in a country prior to starting a teaching post . witnessed a man being beaten in the street and was stopped by the men[ either police or military - not sure ] involved who demanded my passport and visa - which they noted . they also demanded money and my ipod , with menaces , in order that i not be detained / taken away . i had no numbers to ring so i was totally terrified . the individuals concerned told me i had to leave the country and naturally with them having my passport number and visa details , i did just that .
    anyway i did inform the school as soon as i could , leaving money to cover immediate costs . they are now demanding money from me , including costs they never incurred , when in fact i had paid for a number of things .
    what can the school do in terms of suing me for breach of contract ? as i am sure you can appreciate i did explain what had happened and also explained i had no choice but to leave . since then i have been on medication to calm my nerves and certainly will never be returning to the country concerned - sadly , it was wrong place , wrong time .
    help ! i am really upset .
     
  2. recently had to return from abroad after spending two days in a country prior to starting a teaching post . witnessed a man being beaten in the street and was stopped by the men[ either police or military - not sure ] involved who demanded my passport and visa - which they noted . they also demanded money and my ipod , with menaces , in order that i not be detained / taken away . i had no numbers to ring so i was totally terrified . the individuals concerned told me i had to leave the country and naturally with them having my passport number and visa details , i did just that .
    anyway i did inform the school as soon as i could , leaving money to cover immediate costs . they are now demanding money from me , including costs they never incurred , when in fact i had paid for a number of things .
    what can the school do in terms of suing me for breach of contract ? as i am sure you can appreciate i did explain what had happened and also explained i had no choice but to leave . since then i have been on medication to calm my nerves and certainly will never be returning to the country concerned - sadly , it was wrong place , wrong time .
    help ! i am really upset .
     
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    Hello LJ, sounds like you have had a really bad experience.
    Which country were you in and which school?
    I don't think the school can do much regards legal action as they are not governed by UK law.
    You sound like you have done as much as you could in the situation. A number of UK solicitors give you a free half hour consultation prior to advising you what they might be able to do for you.
    I would do this and, depending on what they say, pay them to draft a letter to the school to tell them you are not liable (ie tell them to swing their hook).
    Seriously though, you need to advise readers which country and school so they are aware. Do you know of any similar things happening to people there?
    Bottom line is, if what you are saying is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, your priority is your well being and you were probably right to leave.
     
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Couldn't agree more, but you had better leave out the school. Hopefully the moderator won't pull a thread just for naming a country - though I wouldn't count on it.

    It very likely won't do any good, but I would send the full details (exact time and place, and description of the men) to the county's embassy. If they were police or military and were on duty it just might result in payback.
     
  5. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    Good idea. Also send a report to the British Embassy in that country too so they are aware what has happened to a UK national there.
     
  6. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    Received your PM, LJ.
    yes you were definitely justifed.
    If you haven't reported it to the British Embassy, you should, to help other expats in this country.
     
  7. SUPER.SUPPLY

    SUPER.SUPPLY New commenter

    I am so sorry that you have experienced this. Please could you pm me and let me know the country and school to avoid. Thank you so much. I hope you recover soon.
     
  8. Training_2_Teach

    Training_2_Teach New commenter

    Which country? It's important for us to know.
     
  9. thanks for the responses . i will not name the country or school for obvious reasons ; however i have contacted the british embassy . what is worrying me at the moment are their demands for money .
     
  10. Hi LJ,

    I am sorry that this has happened to you. I can easily sympathize because I have been in a very similar situation. I left a country I was working in because I had serious concerns for my safety (amongst other reasons). Just like you, the school had the cheek to claim that I owed them money when they actually owed me for unpaid salary. To answer your question: you have absolutely nothing to worry about. They cannot sue you if you are a different country, and they cannot make you pay for imaginary costs. Just put the whole thing behind you (I know, easier said than done) and start to move on.
     
  11. I am sorry you had this experience and I think you may have taken the correct action after my experience of police in the middle east. No court in the UK would find for the school given your description of events.
    Just to make a legal point, it is possible for a school to take legal action against you in the UK. BUT they have to be 100% legal themselves to take action in a British Court of Law. We in my school have taken out CCJs agaist staff who have broken their contracts to reclaim airticket and visa costs. In such cases the exteacher has coughed up the money to the school once the registered mail hits their door.
    It is also possible to take legal action in the UK as a teacher agaist members of the school, such as Heads and Directors if they are also British Passport holders. You can take out Personal Damages Claims for stress and metal depression caused by a Heads/Directors actions.
     
  12. thanks for the advice , but them claiming money is worrying me as currently i have no job and no income whatsoever as i cannot sign on . what is really annoying is they want money for my visa [ i paid for it ] and spending money they gave me [ which i returned in full] - apart from the airfare , they haven't given me anything . if anything comes out of this , perhaps it is a warning about being careful where you go .
     
  13. Training_2_Teach

    Training_2_Teach New commenter

    Please PM the country, I don't want to risk my own and family's lives applying to such country,
     
  14. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    I'm guessing you're not a lawyer. British passport has nothing to do with. Making any attempt to sue the head/director/owner/recruiter is a stupid idea.
    I'll leave full comments / thoughts to myself concerning the OP; some of you wouldn't like what I would say, other than in the short description I can't see the school hasn't done too much wrong and certainly didn't create the problem.
     
  15. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Put it down to experience and move on. I would have responded very differently, in the short and long term (just name dropping a Mr <common local name> will scare the cops some of the time if nothing else works), if the incident had happened to me but I have every sympathy for someone who has been robbed and threatened by the police in a country they have just relocated to, and then been asked (threatened?) for money by their employer. If the school isn't equipped to deal with situations like this then it is pretty low down the food chain and there are better places for you to work. Do some supply work, apply again to overseas schools and be straight with them if they ask you about the "gap" in your CV. If you fit the school you'll get the job and if they fit you you'll take it. One thing's for sure - you and mistermaker are not an employee/employer match.
     
  16. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    As for demands for money by the school - ignore them and forget about it - there's nothing they can do.
     
  17. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Come on, MisterMaker, let's have no such coyness here.
    Out with your opinions, sir!
    My heart is as black as yours, and I'm sure I will at least enjoy, and very probably agree with, the nastiness that you are denying us.
     
  18. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    The only thing holding me back is the OP 'metal' state. Don't want to make it worse; if she's the type to do a runner and blame the school, under said circumstances a taste of my opinion may be too much.
     
  19. Sandman

    Sandman New commenter

    The school has made a mistake in that it has a recruitment proceedure that has placed someone totally inappropriate for the nature of the country they have ended up in. Are you still a member of your teaching union they will be a good first port of call for advice and may cover legal costs to defend your position. I would focus on you, your future and look for good advice(citizens advice burea if not a member of a teaching union) to put your mind at rest. This is not a situation to get an ulcer over.
     
  20. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Most schools don't do psychological profiling before hiring staff. Reactions like the OP are certainly not obvious during interviews.
    Unions won't cover overseas work.
    Quite agree.


     

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