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No July Pay for Short Term Contracted Staff

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by happygreenfrog, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Two Indonesian International schools have confirmed that when you join their staff after the commencement of the school year but stay to the end of the final semester, you will be paid only until the end of June, when term finishes, despite the academic year running until the end of July.
    Further, they confirm that should you be offered renewed terms, these will commence from August 1st meaning you have missed a salary payment in July, hardly renewing a contract.
    This does not happen in the UK, with contracts running from 1st September to 31st August but has anyone any experience of this overseas? It seems rather bizarre and wrong for a reputable school to do this.
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    It happens in many schools around the world, but perhaps not in as overt a manner as you mention.
    For a lot of schools, the holiday pay is earned as a percentage of your normal work, so if you work a month, for instance, you have accrued 4 days holiday pay or whatever the going rate is for that school.
    However, if you are taken on during the school year, then you are on a short-term contract so it is the school's discretion whether or not they wish to pay you for any holiday time. If they are renewing your contract then this would clearly start when the new school year started. The school academic year may finish in July, but if you are only taken on to teach short-term, then it would be strange for the school to keep on paying you when there is no teaching going on.
    As has been mentioned many, many times by many, many people, abroad is not the UK.
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Generally I don't see the issue with this if the terms are clear at the start. 12 months pay are for a full school year's worth of work. If someone teaches only part of the year, they are not entitled to July the same way someone else is who taught the full year. The less of the year they taught, the less I'd have a problem with this.
    But in the end, what matters most is not what or how people are paid, but whether there were shady dealings. If the school lied, misled, implied or obfuscated, than it's wrong. If the terms were clear but the teacher didn't read the contract or assumed when they should have asked, then the teacher has my sympathy but not much else.
    Arguments based on Blighty do not really apply to overseas schools due to completely different conditions and laws. And even back home there are issues. My friend got caught in a situation when she took on a maternity leave, a few years back. It worked out that if the original teacher returned for the last day of term, the original teacher would get summer pay and my friend woudn't. If the OT didn't teach that day, my friend would get full summer pay but the OT wouldn't. Guess who came back for that last day? I'm not pretending to understand pay and conditions in England, not having had to deal with them for decades, but it's hardly accurate to think it's the land of milk and rosey contracts.
    When dealing with contracts, it's best to ask and be sure before signing.
  4. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    I'm obviously a naive fool and I guess it all comes with experience. Just not easy for teachers with our personal traits to also be skilled negotiators when it comes to contracts, though I know a few who are.
    Having 10 months of the academic year ahead of me when I joined my present school, I was rather surprised to discover I was only paid for 9 months of that period, and also received no performance bonus or contract renewal bonus. It left a bitter taste when I was offered the following year extension only to discover these were allowances my fellow colleagues had enjoyed the previous year and an 'extension' did not quite mean what one would assume it meant.
    As suggested, I need to begin to read contracts more carefully in future, though would still appreciate some honesty from employers who know they are fundamentally taking the ****.
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    The employers are not taking the ****. You had a contract and you didn't read it carefully enough or ask questions before signing it to ascertain where you stood.
    Accusing your employer of lying is not going to replace due care and diligence on your behalf. The least your employer can expect of you is that you look after your own interests.
  6. Even state schools in other countries work differently from the UK. In NZ schools you get paid a proportional part. It works out that for every 10 weeks worked, you get three weeks' holiday pay. This includes any between terms. So when I worked the second half of the year, for example, I got paid for the two-week break between terms 3 & 4 and for about 2/3 of the summer break.
  7. Well put Karvol, a very valid point.
  8. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    No one has been accusing anyone of lying my dear friend; I know one boss who'd have your head in a noose for that one and your hands tied in a legal case.
    When one first moves into the world of overseas teaching, why would anyone be expecting bonuses, renewal payments or missing months of salary if you have predominantly worked in the state sector? I can read my contract as many times as I want but if I am unaware of these particular benefits, how can I possibly know what I'm potentailly missing out on.
    Once aware of them, which an extended more regular contract revealed to me, one of course wises up, but equally I felt annoyed I undersold myself the first time round. My naivety you could say, i plead guilty. Yet equally my employer has to consider my reaction when i discover this and possibly should bear that in mind when offering that initial contract. A happy employee is a good employee.
  9. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    No-one gets paid for the whole summer vacation if you haven't worked a full year here and I wouldn't expect to anywhere else either. It's a no brainer really.

  10. HGF. I think I have to say at this point that if it wasn't included in your initial contract and you subsequently found out that it was in others then when you took a contract renewal then you should have asked about these allowances.
    Also do I have a memory that you were employed through an agency (think you said that somewhere) so this may have led to lack of the bonuses.
    Ultimately it wasn't in your contract that you were being paid for July or that you get bonuses etc so no real point in bringing it up unless that was just the final straw for you for the school who have been treating you so badly for months...

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