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Contract Breakdown

Contrary to what you may or may not believe / have been told, almost all contracts in Korea are roughly the same. The difference with most contracts is the location of the school and the possibility of a few different perks - although these are generally not specified in the contract. All contracts offered by IPR meet the Korean labor code and have a lot of the same components which are generally as follows:

Working times
Every contract specifies the number of hours that you are expected to work. The majority of contracts are 120 hours per month with some being as little as 100 hours or somewhere in between.

Of note, you must realize that there is a difference between the teaching time and the working time.

Teaching time refers to the hours that you spend in the classroom (also referred to as contact/face time) with your students. This is more often than not between 25-30 hours once you add up the actual minutes. The remainder of which is what you will spend at the school and is considered working time.

Working time is the total time that you spend at the school. This generally is about 40 hours, and is used for such things as marking, prepping for classes, surfing the web and general administration.

So as a general example you will be expected to be at the school between 8-9 hours per day but will only teach 6 hours of that per day. It is safe to presume that the school will want you there 1 hour before your class and then there will be breaks in between classes - added to you face time, this equals your total working time.

Airline tickets
As part of your contract you will be supplied with an airline ticket. The airline tickets provided by the school will fly you from the closest international airport to Korea. It's a general rule to consider the first half of your trip paid for after 6 months of work in Korea. Should you quit or be terminated prior to six months of your contract you will have to pay back the ticket fees. Additionally, after you finish the balance of the contract (the last 6 months) your ticket will be considered paid for.

Please note: You may be provided upfront with a one-way or a roundtrip ticket, although this is up to the school. A one-way ticket is more convenient to schools as even though a one-year open may be cheaper, it provides more flexibility to you and the school for booking your return. To qualify for a one-way ticket you must have a visa already in your passport or you will not be allowed to board by the airline

** IPR always makes sure that your ticket is provided up front and paid for by the school, so you will not be asked to advance this expense.

Housing & Utilities
As part of your contract your housing will be supplied. Housing varies in size and is dependent on a number of different issues - the population density of where you are living and if you are living alone or with a roommate. Your housing will be furnished with the basics but rest assured there is usually lots of stuff left in the apartment from the generations of teachers that have been through there.

In all contracts the housing will be supplied but it is quite usual for the teacher to pay the utilities. Utilities are phone, cable, water, heating and electricity. Generally these work out to be no more than $60-75 per person per month.

Housing Deposit
Some contracts will have a clause in them about a housing deposit. This is similar to a security deposit, and has become more popular over the years as more and more teachers are not fulfilling their obligations and running out on their last month's bills. Generally, these are taken off in the first couple of months of a teacher's salary so as to not overtax their salary at the beginning of their contract

Salary & Taxes
Your salary will obviously be specified in your contract with the date that it is to be paid. Salaries are paid monthly by the school and usually on the same day every month. As far as taxes are concerned, the school will deduct taxes according to the laws of Korea but it is quite acceptable to expect your taxes to be deducted between 5-7% of the monthly salary. Although your taxes are not refundable, they can be used as a tax credit in a few Western countries, so you will not be double taxed.

Another deduction that may or may not be specified in the contract will be a pension payment. This is taken off as a normal deduction but some schools have found ways of opting out of pension payments. Should you be deducted for this, it's normal and it's also refundable or transferable from the pension office. You can either ask for a refund to be sent to your account in your home country, or you can elect to keep it in the Korean system.

Overtime Work
Most contracts will have a clause for overtime work and a rate that generally falls between 15-20,000 SKW (South Korean Won) per hour. The fact is that they have to specify this in the contract according to the provisions of the labor code, although it's rare that you will have to do overtime.

Severance Pay
All contracts will have a provision for severance pay. Once you've completed a full year of employment, the employer needs to pay you one month additional salary. So in short, under any 12 month contract you will be paid 13 months of salary.

Dual Employment Prohibition
Under any contract there will be a clause stating that you're not allowed to work anywhere else other than with the employer that has employed you. The reason is that they have sponsored you and thus you need to work there. In essence that means that under the contract you are agreeing only to work for the employer and nowhere else.

Medical Insurance
All contracts will have medical insurance included in them. You're fully covered with the usual practice being that 50% of the premium is paid by the school and 50% of the premium is paid by the teacher.

It is important to note that this will generally kick in sometime during the first month of your arrival and you will not be covered if you travel outside of Korea. Should you wish to seek additional coverage, you may want to ask your IPR representative about this.

Orientation and Training
Most contracts will cover an orientation/training period. Although they can vary greatly they are generally anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.

Holidays and Vacation
All contracts will have a clause about national holidays and vacation time. No teacher will be expected to work on national holidays (10-14 days per year).

Vacation that is allotted under the Korean labor code is 10 working days per year. When weekends are taken into account it translates into 2 full weeks. Generally, you will receive one week off in the summer and one week in the winter. These are laid out according to the school schedule, but should you require a time off for a special event please let your IPR representative know and they will deal with this on a case by case basis.

Sick Leave
Some contracts will outline sick days while sometimes this clause will not be included. Usually schools will give 3-6 days off if a teacher is sick under the contract but should they not get sick- this won't be an issue. If you are sick neither IPR nor your boss will want you in and around your students. Again, these will be treated on a case by case basis. In the past, some teachers have taken advantage of sick days and turned them into "hangover days", this has had a negative impact on these schools and they're a lot more skeptical of someone calling in with an illness. Some will require a doctor's certificate.

Leaving a contract
Under every contract there will be a termination clause for both the school and the applicant. Anyone is free to leave/terminate their contract at anytime as long as the dissolution clause is followed. Generally this means that notice is given between 30-60 days in advance of the separation time.

Length of contract
Contracts are always a year in length as they must be under E-2 Visa stipulations set down by Korean immigration.

Some Perks
As much as any contract is the same some will have some perks that will be included. For instance some may give a relocation allowance meaning that they'll give you a stipend upon your arrival to buy things for the apartment, or they may include a cell phone (usually this will not be specified but it will be given). Again these vary from contract to contract, and are added bonuses.

So mostly all contracts are the same, and should you have a questions about anything listed above or that you find in your contract please feel free to contact your IPR representative and we will help you out where we can.


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Inter Pacific Recruiting Inc.
617 Bloor St. 2nd Flr.,
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
M6G 1K8

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617 Bloor St. 2nd Flr., Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1K8, CANADA
Email: apply@interpacificrecruiting.com   Tel: 1- 416-238-1400   Fax: 1-416-352-6161 Toll Free : 1-866-375-2742 (ESL-ASIA)

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