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Contract Questions
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Is a sticky regarding contract questions worthwhile?
Yes
83%
 83%  [ 10 ]
No
16%
 16%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 12

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Jelson



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am accepting a job with Web International- what sorts of things should I demand in the contract? Right now, the contract states nothing about medical insurance or securing me a visa. While it mentions a housing stipend, it does not say they will help me find housing. Should I request all of these things in writing?
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China.Pete



Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 547

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 8:06 am    Post subject: Visa and Medical Reply with quote

The contract is part of the process of getting you a visa. You may want to specify that they will obtain a visa for you, and pay for any required fees and health exam. (Helping you with the visa is something they will normally do; who pays for it is more of an open question.) If the contract doesn't specify that they will provide even the mediocre coverage which is common in China, then you will be expected to pay for it yourself. So, yes, you'd better ask for it if you want it.
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englishgibson



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 4345

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: Legal validity of contracts Reply with quote

Mysterious Mark wrote:
It's been stated that in order for a contract to be legally binding, it needs to be written on SAFEA paper, have a SAFEA stamp, and be in Chinese, with an English translation being optional.

I don't remember coming across any first-hand evidence to support these claims. It may be that they're true for SAFEA contracts but that SAFEA contracts are not the only contracts under which foreign teachers can legally be employed.

Is there a general law stating that all contracts of any kind must be in Chinese in order to be binding?


I think that you've made an excellent point there.

Private mills employee their staff under their own contracts most of the time.
Speaking of SAFEA contracts, they are supposed to have thier "serial numbers" and any ammendments can only be attached on employers' separate contracts/attachements. It does get hairy there. Wink
Somewhere on this thread I saw a copy of one of the SAFEA contracts posted by TW, but I am not familiar with that one. At the moment I don't have a copy to prove otherwise, however I'll work on it when I have time.
I've seen a SAFEA standard contract with a penalty of 2000 american dollars for breaching and it's a one-way if you know what I mean. This is only one example of many that seems to be different from the copy posted on this thread.

By the way, according to some employers the SAFEA contract is mandatory in order to get a Residency Permit (sticker in passport) for the purpose of working in China.
One of things in China that reeks of double standards or incompetence as it looks.

Cheers and beers
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bettsmac



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:05 am    Post subject: Job-related Posts - Contracts Reply with quote

I would like to vote "Yes" to having this topic as a Sticky. Besides posting a reply how do we register a vote?
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tw



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 3898

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: Re: Legal validity of contracts Reply with quote

englishgibson wrote:
Somewhere on this thread I saw a copy of one of the SAFEA contracts posted by TW, but I am not familiar with that one. At the moment I don't have a copy to prove otherwise, however I'll work on it when I have time.

I've seen a SAFEA standard contract with a penalty of 2000 american dollars for breaching and it's a one-way if you know what I mean. This is only one example of many that seems to be different from the copy posted on this thread.


The one I had posted was scanned from an original SAFEA-issued contract (the booklet one) I had signed with Dalian Institute of Light Industry minus the Chinese side, pasted into Word and edited of all spelling errors. So trust me, it is definitely an actual SAFEA contract. Very Happy
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englishgibson



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 4345

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:28 am    Post subject: Contract Questions Reply with quote

I don't doubt your honesty, but I doubt the honesty of the ones who issue, copy, or provide those contracts to foreign employees.
We are talking about ONE STANDARD CONTRACT that has been issued by the Chinese government. According to my knowledge, this contract has a clause in that states the breach of the contract by the employee (not the employer). This breach of contract is penalized from 500 to 2000 American dollars. That's all I am saying. Your copy doesn't seem to have stated that and that's where my doubts have come in.

Peace
and
cheers and beers
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tw



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 3898

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: Contract Questions Reply with quote

englishgibson wrote:
According to my knowledge, this contract has a clause in that states the breach of the contract by the employee (not the employer). This breach of contract is penalized from 500 to 2000 American dollars. That's all I am saying. Your copy doesn't seem to have stated that and that's where my doubts have come in.


Look closely.

Quote:
When either of the two parties fails to fulfill the contract or fails to fulfill the contract obligations according to the terms stipulated, that is, breaks the contract, it must pay a breach penalty of US $500 to 2,000 (or the equivalent in RMB).

If party B asks to cancel the contract due to events beyond control, it should produce certifications by the department concerned, obtain Party Aís consent, and pay its own return expenses; if Party B cancels the contract without valid reason, it should pay its own return expenses and pay pay a breach penalty to Party A.

If Party A asks to cancel the contract due to events beyond control, with the consent of Party B, it should pay Party Bís return expenses; if Party A cancels the contract without valid reason, it should pay Party Bís return expenses and pay a breach penalty to Party B.
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englishgibson



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 4345

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:21 am    Post subject: Contract Questions Reply with quote

Yes, that's the right one. Wink

By the way newcomers to China, the State Administrations of Foreign Experts Affairs Contract has got on its cover that COPIES ARE INVALID.

Cheers and beers Very Happy
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KingSimon



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 29
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This website might be useful to you; www.efl-law.com/china but of course its blocked. You'd have to use a back door server to get there.

But come on, you know there's no legal protection for foreigners, not in a fight, not in a divorce, not in a business deal and certainly not for something so pointless as an agreement with a 'foreign teacher'. Contracts only reflect what was once thought. They don't last.

Contracts are mainly broken for two reasons

1) business is business, and
2) because they know there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

If I am wrong then please tell me of an incident when a foreigner won compensation from a Chinese court. I've been here a long time too and like you i've seen heard and been involved in many a breach, but my advice is this - when it happens you take it on the chin and you move on.
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Amazelle



Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Chongqing, China

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject: contract termination Reply with quote

The breach policy concerns me but most contracts I have been given have that on there.

What if I'm just really homesick and want to leave? Would I have to pay? What if there is a family emergency back home and I leave and don't come back?

Last contract I had people could also just up and leave, which was good for the teachers, but maybe not the school.
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tw



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 3898

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: contract termination Reply with quote

Amazelle wrote:
What if I'm just really homesick and want to leave? Would I have to pay? What if there is a family emergency back home and I leave and don't come back?


Unless you MUST leave (e.g. family emergency), try to complete the contract of try to arrange for a six-month contract. We have all been homesick, so you must mentally prepare yourself before getting the ride to the airport in your home city. If down the road you find yourself wanting to return to China to teach, the new employer might not be able to get you the necessary paperwork for your work visa because your former employer didn't give you a release letter AKA letter of recommendation which states that you have completed your contract.
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MITCH



Joined: 18 Aug 2006
Posts: 58
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. I have noticed an employer who has a SAFEA license, but their contract is vastly different to the SAFEA sample contract supplied on this website.
Their contract is not bilingual either.

How does SAFEA feel about this phenomenon? Do they care?

Any SAFEA employees out there willing to respond with more information or contact details?

2. By the way can anyone furnish an EF contract, code of conduct, and the job description for the DOS position?

3. Does EF have a SAFEA license? And do they follow the SAFEA contract?

4. I'm concerned, there should be some kind of regulation of the industry in China. Are the companies licensed by SAFEA supposed to follow any Code Of Conduct?

What is the code?, and is the company in #1 a rebel?
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englishgibson



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 4345

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:11 am    Post subject: Contract Questions Reply with quote

Mitch, as far as I know the EF has not followed the SAFEA contracts/regulations. Some may not even have that license depending on what city in China they are in. EF has got their own contract, code of conduct and job description. You may find more of what you want to know on EF site. EF recruiting office in EF Head Office in Shanghai has got a standard EF contract for a DOS or teacher and it updates that on regular bases. Of course EF centers try to push their amended/adjusted contracts to FTs routinely. Unfortunately, it's often up to the FT to show some negotiation skills.

Now, SAFEA contract does not have a code of conduct or a job description specified and it's up to the employers to have their attachements to contracts to fill in their "will". SAFEA contract is designed to provide Chinese employers with a sense of security as well as it is to make the Chinese Foreign Affairs look more official and uniformed and it is not intended to look out for the interests of FTs in China. The ambiguity of its Chinese English wording in it is supposed to provide a sense of flexibility to the employers, but I bet you've that before. It's up to the SAFEA contracted employees (FTs) to follow up with their contract attachements appropriately or to their needs as well.



Quote:
But come on, you know there's no legal protection for foreigners, not in a fight, not in a divorce, not in a business deal and certainly not for something so pointless as an agreement with a 'foreign teacher'.

On one hand, I agree with that above. "Fighting" in China is rather unwise for a foreigner.
On the other hand, I'd say that some written agreements between FTs and employers have had effects on the FTs jobs/work.
As it's been said before, contracts are a new concept for a country like China. Laws in China are well written and its judicial system is "well aware" of what to do or what not to do. Smile


Peace to Chinese legal system
and
cheers and beers to the hard working FTs in China Very Happy
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MITCH



Joined: 18 Aug 2006
Posts: 58
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hot Off The Press:

A "famous" institution in my city gave me a contract today, and we can see what you were saying about the SAFEA contract providing employers with more flexibility. When they can add and delete whatever they please.

Unfortunately the stubborn school presidents, and the poor president's assistants have an even harder time trying to please FT's. Here is another example of why they rub us the wrong way, and fail to find teachers.

VI. Party B's Obligations
1. Party B shall observe the laws, decrees and relevant regulations enacted by the Chinese government and shall not interfere in China's internal affairs.
2. Party B shall observe Party A's work system and regulations concerning administration of foreign experts and shall accept Party A's arrangement, direction, supervision and evaluation in regard to his/her work.
3. Party B shall complete the tasks agreed on schedule and guarantee the quality of work.
4. Party B shall respect China's religious policy, and shall not conduct religious activities incompatible with the status of an expert.
5. Party B shall respect the Chinese people's moral standards and customs.
6. Party B shall not stay alone with female students in Party Bís apartment, shall not take picture alone with female students and shall not fall in love with female students

You would think that clause 5 did the job.

* If it wasn't for #6 i would have taken the job. Wink
Laughing Laughing Laughing
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MITCH



Joined: 18 Aug 2006
Posts: 58
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everybody, what I really mean is, I love taking photos with my students, not for any other reason. Embarassed

China continually confronts us with absurd things, and I just want to ask if anyone else has received a contract recently which has any unusual obligations, or requirements?
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