Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Korean Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Need help with current situation.

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Job-related Discussion Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Kylome



Joined: 26 Jun 2012

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:58 am    Post subject: Need help with current situation. Reply with quote

I am currently under contract to a hagwon and I am not particularly thrilled about some of the recent developments. I have taught in Korea before and coming back I was hoping things would be just like last time but unfortunately I have yet to feel that way. I arrived a couple weeks ago and these are a few of the things I have noticed thus far.

1) The owner of the hagwon is attempting to split my salary into a “deductible pay” and a “bonus pay”; obviously doing this for tax evasion purposes. He also has no idea how to tax at the proper level for the original salary or the smaller one even though he has been running a hagwon for years. He originally tried giving me the 3.3% tax rate instead of the proper 1.7%ish I should be getting based on my salary. The recruiter I worked with also tried persuading me to believe this and I refused. Should I be concerned that they are not listing me as an employee and how would I go about finding out if I am?

2) The owner tried telling me that no one he worked with before wanted to pay into pension (including North Americans) and wondered why I was so concerned with it. At the same time telling me there is an additional 0.5% added onto my side of the pension that covers some kind of “hiring insurance” which I have never heard of. This all leads me to believe he is setting it up so that he pays substantially less to the government than what is required and pocketing whatever might be left over. From what I have read this could leave me with a hefty bill when I am eventually able to contact the pension office or tax service.

3) The accommodations are not as specified in the contract and the apartment was either lacking some items or the items that were provided were very dated and/or broken. I am not a Korean real estate expert by any means but based on my location I get the impression that my living accommodations are not on the level of which they should be.

4) There are no breaks between classes for the most part. Often times a schedule will run five or more hours without even a ten minute break. I believe Korean law stipulates a break must be given if you work eight hours but this schedule substantial alters what is meant by a “teaching hour”. Thirty teaching hours literally means thirty hours of class work and not thirty classes. On top of this there is office work to be done and extra assignments.

There are more things I could list but those are the main ones I felt merited a response. Additionally I feel as though I was misled by my recruiter who either blatantly lied about the hagwon I would be working for or was woefully uninformed. I specifically asked if this hagwon was at all connected to another school that had numerous complaints against it and was told that in no way was there any connection. I later found out it is in fact the same owner to which my recruiter simply said you can’t believe everything you read online. The only problem is I have recently met former employees who have backed up those online claims and reiterated the fact that the owner participates in unethical employment practices.

My major question is how I should go about exiting this job with the goal of finding a new teaching job in Korea. If I were to wait for my pay report would I have enough information to take to the Labor Board and file a complaint with the end goal of transferring my E2 Visa to a D10 Visa while I look for another position? I am not owed very much money at this point (enough to cover the flight) I simply want to move on and find a decent hagwon I can work at comfortably.

I am open to any and all suggestions at this point.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of questionable practices but nothing specifically forbidden in the labor acts.

You might make a case with the tax office but that will be an uphill battle.
Same with the pension office (since you haven't been there long enough to get an ARC so you can't be registered yet.

options:
Bite the bullet for a few months, get your ARC and then get a job in China.
(you'll need the ARC to apply for a "Z" visa in Korea).

Put up a stink and raise a fuss. You MIGHT be able to get out with a LOR.
Failing that you will be unemployable in Korea till your contract expires.

Wait till he actually breaks labor law and you can file a legitimate claim at the labor office. Then you can get out from under him without the LOR and still able to get a job.

You might want to actually READ the labor standards act so you know when you have a legitimate labor office claim and not something based on hearsay from "Dave's".
http://www.moel.go.kr/english/topic/laborlaw_view.jsp?idx=254&tab=Standards

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
YTMND



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Location: You're the man now dog!!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
4) There are no breaks between classes for the most part. Often times a schedule will run five or more hours without even a ten minute break. I believe Korean law stipulates a break must be given if you work eight hours but this schedule substantial alters what is meant by a “teaching hour”. Thirty teaching hours literally means thirty hours of class work and not thirty classes. On top of this there is office work to be done and extra assignments.


Explain to him once that you should be able to take a break after a block of 4 normal classes (40-50) minutes.

Then after the 4th class go to the teacher's room, but do NOT go to the 5th class until you have taken a break. By going, your actions at least show you are willing or "willed" yourself. Don't.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kylome



Joined: 26 Jun 2012

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:
Lots of questionable practices but nothing specifically forbidden in the labor acts.

You might make a case with the tax office but that will be an uphill battle.
Same with the pension office (since you haven't been there long enough to get an ARC so you can't be registered yet.

options:
Bite the bullet for a few months, get your ARC and then get a job in China.
(you'll need the ARC to apply for a "Z" visa in Korea).

Put up a stink and raise a fuss. You MIGHT be able to get out with a LOR.
Failing that you will be unemployable in Korea till your contract expires.

Wait till he actually breaks labor law and you can file a legitimate claim at the labor office. Then you can get out from under him without the LOR and still able to get a job.

You might want to actually READ the labor standards act so you know when you have a legitimate labor office claim and not something based on hearsay from "Dave's".
http://www.moel.go.kr/english/topic/laborlaw_view.jsp?idx=254&tab=Standards

.


Thank you for the reply.

I have already gone to immigration to apply for my ARC and it should be here in a few weeks. After that I should be able to contact the Pension office and Tax Service to see if my deductions are being paid properly and if they are not then what recommendation would you make? I have a suspicion that he has been running tax/deduction schemes for a while now because he seems to only know how to do things the wrong way. He directly said to me we should at least put something into pension because the government has actually started checking up on those things recently. Comments like that make me extremely weary of his employment.

I read the Labor Standard Act last night and there really is not anything yet that I could go to the Labor Board with as a complaint. It is a shame that as a foreign teacher you have to wait to be taken advantage of before you can leave your job to find a new one.

One thing I forgot to mention that my employer forged my signature on the contract he is currently using with changes from the original. I know contracts do not mean a whole lot in Korea so it probably does not help me at all.

Going to China at this point is not likely to happen. One of the main reasons I came back to Korea is because I have a lot of Korean friends here and really only want to teach in this country.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttompatz wrote:
Lots of questionable practices but nothing specifically forbidden in the labor acts.


What about that "hiring insurance" malarkey?

Kylome wrote:
I know contracts do not mean a whole lot in Korea so it probably does not help me at all.


Actually, that's not the case. The very first thing the Labor Board, the Tax Office, the Pension Office, and the Courts look at is the contract. Contracts are meaningless insofar as the employee doesn't stand up for himself when the employer piddles on the contract or the law.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CentralCali wrote:
ttompatz wrote:
Lots of questionable practices but nothing specifically forbidden in the labor acts.


What about that "hiring insurance" malarkey?


Sounds like unemployment insurance.... although foreigners used to be exempt since we could never collect... with the changes and D10 that may not necessarily be true any more. (I'll have to ask).

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
rowdie3



Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Itaewon, Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a terrible job, a shady employer, and a crap apartment. Get out as fast as you can and find a new job so that you will have a happy year.

No sense in sticking around to see what else they will rip you off on until they eventually find a reason to fire you in the eleventh month and not pay your air ticket or severance.

Follow whatever procedure you need to follow to switch over to the job seekers visa, move into a friends or a cheap place for a week or two, find a new job (inspect schedule, school, and housing before signing, and off you go).

The no pension and no breaks between classes are absolute deal breakers. Run for the hills and don't look back.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Kylome



Joined: 26 Jun 2012

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to be able to simply leave but I need to have a way of doing that. If I leave the country how long until I can reapply for an E2 Visa? I have all of my documents but only one copy of an apostle diploma and criminal check left.

I don’t have any experience dealing with the negative side of hagwons since my last job treated me so well so thank you to anyone who can help.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rowdie3



Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Itaewon, Seoul

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I would you, I would send Ttompatz a private message as he is the expert about Visa affairs and would likely be willing to help.
It sounds like as soon as you have your ARC card in hand, you can switch to the job seekers visa, but I would get that information confirmed before you do anything. Give current job whatever notice you need once you have this, but be careful that you aren't working for free - i.e. you work a last month and then you have to fight them for the money. If you sense anything like this might happen, then give them a week's notice and get out then. They've already broken the contract you've made with them by being shady and you don't owe them anything nor should you feel guitly for leaving. Good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Job-related Discussion Forum All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2013 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International