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The end is nigh! Well, maybe.
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5775
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: The end is nigh! Well, maybe. Reply with quote

So I may well be wrapping up my stay in China at of the end of my contract, June 30 . . . or not, depends on contract negotiations and where my head and heart are at that time.

Anyway, my school has always treated me fairly and honestly, have well-compensated me over the years, etc. However, since I made it known to them recently that this year or next (depending on contract offered) will be my last year, I know that some schools tend to simply write off foreign employees regardless of their history. I'm not saying my school will try any underhanded deviousness, but one never knows around here. I've been reading about Chinese labor laws for foreigners, severance pay, ending the contract legally and amicably, but would like some clarification from those that may be better in the know than I.

1. Severance pay - - from what I understand, if the school chooses not to offer me a new contract and has no binding reason not to do so, they would need to offer me severance pay (an average of one month pay x the 9 years that I've worked here). I noted that the pay they should offer me wouldn't be more than 3X the average local pay of Suzhou (say, for example, the local pay is 4000 rmb, then my severance offered could be no more than 12,000 x 9, regardless of the fact that I currently earn more than that amount). Has anyone ever pursued and gotten severance pay? Is it folly for me to expect it, should this scenario come about? Again, I'm expecting a contract offer, but . . . ???

2. If they offer me a contract and I don't agree to it, then I should expect no severance pay, correct? What if the contract is entirely unreasonable and they won't negotiate change (for example, they try to drop my current salary by a thousand or two per month or they try to foist more job responsibilities on me than I currently have or previously have had)? If I balk at that, is the no-severance-pay still on my shoulders?

3. My current residence permit expires July 10 or thereabouts. This means that, after the end of the school year, should I decide not to return, I can still wrap things up for those few extra days without worrying about penalties, if I leave the country on or before that final date. Is this correct?

4. If there are problems to be dealt with, should I go to the Suzhou Labor Bureau or the Education Bureau? I think I know where the Education Bureau is (unless it has changed locales recently) but not sure of the former. Any Suzhou members know about these places?

Once more, I'm not really anticipating anything going wrong, but just trying to prepare myself if it does. Any other pearls of wisdom regarding this topic that anyone wants to share are welcome. Thanks.
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Good luck on collecting those funds. Not saying it does not work out for anyone but...I've yet to hear of it FWIW.

2. Right. If you refuse a contract you'd no longer be eligible for any severance pay AFAIK. Maybe things are different here though.

3. It's wise (maybe required) to be out the day before it expires. You should be able to convert to an L visa if you want some more time before heading home.

For advice...I would not push the severance pay issue too hard. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when you bring it up with your employer though. They can find any number of ways to make your remaining time uncomfortable.
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teenoso



Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 241
Location: east china

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know anything about Chinese labour laws or severance pay , but it sounds like you want to leave , rather than your employer wants you to leave. So why would they risk having to pay severance by not offering you a contract?
You have been there a long time , but in my experience (with one year contracts only) the school always asks : are you interested in renewing? If yes they make a contract offer , if no the contract expires and you go on your merry way. But the ball is in your court.

And yes , you are fine to stay in China until the expiry of your RP; if you need to stay longer than that , the school should be able to get you an L visa for 10 or 20 more days more
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just curious, kev7161, where have you seen ANYTHING about severance pay in China? Besides never having heard of it, I've never even thought about it with regard to foreign employers.
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard it's in the labor laws but....that's where my knowledge on it ends.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1377

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen severance pay in contracts for private for-profit schools. I am not sure if severance pay is a mandatory stipulation of employment, though.
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5775
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here, I'll be happy to help:

http://www.rplawyers.com/articles/lawful-termination-in-china-severance-pay-calculations-and-conditions/

http://www.chinalawblog.org/law-topics/employment-law/95-the-termination-of-employment-contract-and-severence-pay-in-china-employment-law

Let me clarify something: I've been a reliable and dependable employee for this school for nearly 9 years. I don't call in sick, I don't drink (thus never hungover), I come in early and stay late most days, I do the work asked of me and then some, in other words, I am an example of a good, solid employee, esp. compared with some of the riff-raff we've had come through our doors! This school always needs good, reliable, knowledgeable teachers because they have such a huge "international" department and several teachers always leave at the end of a school year.

I'm not saying I'm expecting to get severance pay. I'm not saying the school must or should give me severance pay. However, if/when I decide to leave, regardless if it is this year or next, it should be on my terms based on my employment history with this one school. Now, I'm not naive. I realize they have absolutely no loyalty to me once they hear that I'm considering leaving. On the other hand, they have a legal obligation to offer me a new contract. If I don't accept it or do decide this is my final year, that's fine. See you later, no harm, no foul, no extra anything. But if they start talking behind closed doors and decide that I have been, I don't know, teaching wrongly or something, and won't offer to renew my contract based on a trumped up reason, then, yes, I would expect them to follow the published Chinese labor laws.

I was just asking if anyone had any more knowledge than what I've researched on my own. And yes, teenoso, I fully expect them to offer a contract for next year, thanks. It seems you get exactly what I'm asking. And I obviously wouldn't even bring up severance pay unless something goes awry. For all those interested, from what it reads, they should offer you severance pay even if you only have worked at a place for as little as six months, depending on circumstances.
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5775
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some clarifications from what I've read:

1. This law took effect January, 2008, so if I were to claim severance pay, I'd only be eligible for pay from that date, so about 5 years (to date) of pay instead of 9 - - bummer!

Quote:
The term "monthly salary" refers to the employee's average salary during the 12 months prior to termination or expiration of his/her employment contract, which is applicable to contracts that take effect on or after 1 January 2008. Prior to the implementation of the Employment Contract Law, no such provision existed. Therefore it should be noted that the period of service prior to 31 December 2007 should be excluded when calculating the period eligible for severance pay unless such a provision was provided for in the employment contract prior to 31 December 2007.


2. A new contract must (should?) have the same or better provisions as compared to the previous one. If they tried lowering pay or something, I would still be able to not accept and expect the severance pay.

Quote:
The law stipulates that an employee shall be paid severance pay based on the number of completed years of service upon contract expiration, except in cases where the employee chooses not to renew the contract despite that the same or even better terms and conditions are being offered by the employing unit.


I'm actually kind of reading into that, but it's what I'm understanding.

(from: http://www.chinalawblog.org/law-topics/employment-law/95-the-termination-of-employment-contract-and-severence-pay-in-china-employment-law )
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ecubyrd



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure I've seen you post about severance pay on here before, op. It always peaked my interest how things work here. In the ROK, one was due for a payment equal to one month's salary each and every year worked.

Admittedly, I didn't read any of the links. Is it a labor law thing that you/we are entitled to? I know that when I leave my current position I am due the equivalent of 1 month salary after 3 years service at the school.
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5775
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I may have commented on a thread that was started about labor laws or something. I've been "considering" leaving China for the last 3-4 years, so it is something that I was surely interested in before, but now my certainty of leaving is much stronger. It's just the money, dang it! Hard to leave that!
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3325
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: The end is nigh! Well, maybe. Reply with quote

kev7161 wrote:
So I may well be wrapping up my stay in China at of the end of my contract...........I made it known to them recently that this year or next (depending on contract offered) will be my last year....


that law you referenced wrote:
The law stipulates that an employee shall be paid severance pay based on the number of completed years of service upon contract expiration, except in cases where the employee chooses not to renew the contract despite that the same or even better terms and conditions are being offered by the employing unit.


bro, you, like, told 'em, you won't renew. i'd, you know, like, guess no severance.
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kev7161



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5775
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bro, read the entirety of the posts instead of cherry-picking . . .
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well....that would be the most pertinent part I believe.

I really don't see this ending up in your favor no matter what. I wish you luck though and hope you keep us posted.
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 1333

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you get a 'lump sum' payout, e.g. severance pay, I'll eat my hat.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too. I'll eat Shroob's hat.
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