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Author Topic: Job Transfer  (Read 1829 times)

scotto858

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Job Transfer
« on: August 21, 2015, 11:27:47 PM »
If I break my contract prematurely, pay the fine stipulated in the contract, and go to another school --- how exactly would I be "barred" from working somewhere else in China?   

I understand there are release letters and recommendation letters...  I understand I would not get a recommendation letter, but is a release letter a physical piece of paper I bring with me?

Also, at this point in time, is it possible to swing into HK on a tourist visa and re-do the visa process with a new school?

---I browsed the board for these answers but did not see a specific answer here ---

I have no specific problems here -- aside from a lack of vacation and only having 1 day per week off -- Oh and the fact that the school could not care less about my existence.    So yea its like a little G-rated prison camp -- but other than that I'm fine... but I sure as  bqbqbqbqbq am starting to wonder why I am sticking around here... other than some moral compulsion to fulfill an agreement-- which is odd because the school finds it perfectly OK to leave out any courtesy when it comes to me.   

Should this be a no-brainer? Should I just tell the school to eat it and go to a better place?  Or is this something I should be sucking up and just going through with? And most importantly, what should I be worried about legality-wise when/if it comes to releasing myself from this odd vacation/prison camp?

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2015, 07:40:47 AM »
I am not a lawyer. This is not advice.

If I break my contract prematurely, pay the fine stipulated in the contract, and go to another school --- how exactly would I be "barred" from working somewhere else in China?   

I understand there are release letters and recommendation letters...  I understand I would not get a recommendation letter, but is a release letter a physical piece of paper I bring with me?

Also, at this point in time, is it possible to swing into HK on a tourist visa and re-do the visa process with a new school?

In general, breaking a contract and paying a breach penalty is what it is. Your employer may be pissy about finalising the details, but you ought to be able to get a release letter. (My non-legal understanding is a release letter is little more than a statement that a contract has concluded. Whether that conclusion arrived prematurely or not, it's over, and a release letter should be available.)

Take note of course that foreign affairs officers are likely to know one another. Especially within a province, they are all likely part of the same provincial foreign affairs bureau. Depending on how grand a collection of tyrants they are, they might well have unofficial blacklists. I don't know if such things exist for real, but they might. Either way, if you're trying to stay in the same city, you're likely to run into foreign affairs officers who do NOT want to piss on each other's patch.

Generally speaking, if HK visa runs still exist, right now is not a great time to be doing one just because whoever is going to employ you that way is probably questionable. But... who knows. It could be okay.

Quote
I have no specific problems here -- aside from a lack of vacation and only having 1 day per week off -- Oh and the fact that the school could not care less about my existence.    So yea its like a little G-rated prison camp -- but other than that I'm fine... but I sure as  bqbqbqbqbq am starting to wonder why I am sticking around here... other than some moral compulsion to fulfill an agreement-- which is odd because the school finds it perfectly OK to leave out any courtesy when it comes to me.   

Should this be a no-brainer? Should I just tell the school to eat it and go to a better place?  Or is this something I should be sucking up and just going through with? And most importantly, what should I be worried about legality-wise when/if it comes to releasing myself from this odd vacation/prison camp?

Do I understand correctly and you've just recently arrived there? And found you don't like it? What you describe is, honestly, pretty much standard. Being employed in China, particularly in a high-turnover industry like "teaching English", comes with none of the HR niceties you might find in an English-speaking country. China is a G-rated prison camp. (Unless you go live somewhere like Suzhou or similar dens of iniquity.)
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teacheraus

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2015, 11:44:42 PM »
What you describe is the simple reality of China. Not grounds for leaving a job unless you are leaving China as well. That is simply honest. Unless you are a real expert in a field, in normal university life here, an English teacher is insignificant in the wider scheme of things, unless and until you have actually established a relationship with them, and that can take years. Life is not that different for the Chinese teachers either, not when you get right down to it. The group is simply more important than the individual. That which you are describing is something you need to learn to deal with, one way or another if you are to survive and thrive here. You are likely to feel the same wherever you go.  If that is your only reason for asking an employer to release you early you are less likely to get them to cooperate with you. And it will make many other employers reluctant to take the risk of employing you, because you may simply do the same to them. Think very carefully before you act. It could potentially make it difficult for you to get another job in China, while sticking it out, while looking for another better job to move to is often a better option.
Sometimes it seems things go by too quickly. We are so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take the time to enjoy where we are. (Calvin and Hobbs)

scotto858

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2015, 09:12:14 AM »
OK I think that's what I needed to hear.    agagagagag

dragonsaver

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2015, 12:24:11 PM »
Welcome to China  ahahahahah ahahahahah ahahahahah   uuuuuuuuuu

It is only as bad as you want it to be.  Think about how bad it could have been and you will be much happier   bjbjbjbjbj
Be kind to dragons for thou are crunchy when roasted and taste good with brie.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2015, 12:48:36 PM »
In the olden days, there used to be a measure of fuss made over foreign employees, particularly in universities. Banquets were held. You'd be a (reluctant and puzzled) guest of honour. Your school president might even deign to lay eyes upon you in some awkward and preposterously meaningful 30-second meeting. You'd be a prize calf.

That was a different China.


/nostalgia
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scotto858

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 07:16:17 AM »
There is another school offering to buy out my contract so I can leave -- actually offering 2 days off per week, a more 'happening' location, and more money for comparable hours.

Assuming the legalities can all be buttoned up nicely, I am really wondering why I shouldn't go for it.

Lets put it this way. Getting someone to even say "hello" at my school is like pulling teeth. Nobody is interested in fostering a relationship of any kind.  So... should I feel bad about dumping the school?  Its not like its my girlfriend. It doesn't care about me... and the only thing holding us together is a contract which will be terminated according to its own text.

What am I missing here?   mmmmmmmmmm

::disclaimer:: I understand that I'm typing out loud, and I will make the decisions as the cookie crumbles, but has anyone else been in this "greener grass guilt" situation before?

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2015, 08:17:55 AM »
"Buy out" in the sense that they will pay your breach penalty?

What you're missing is that relationships in Chinese institutions and/or workplaces are formed only very slowly. Part of it is you're foreign (in the true sense of the word - different base language, different cultural expectations, different appearance, etc). Part of it is you are formally transient. You're not actually expected to stay. But maybe the largest part of it is Chinese do form relationships only very slowly anyway. They are parsimonious with their ties of obligation possibly in large part because the society they know functions according to those relationships. And you, a foreigner, really only offer what to them is superficial companionship.

Hang out for a few years and start to grow on people and the place will begin to look different.


That said, there's no really compelling reason to stick with one place if you're not feeling its potential. Cutting a contract short to go to a better one will burn your present place of employ some, and that could come back on you if someone has a mean streak, but whatevs. Sometimes you just gotta go.
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Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2015, 12:15:35 PM »
Without a release letter, your new school almost certainly won't be able to get a foreign experts certificate for you. If you ask your present employer as to the possibility of leaving / paying breach penalties / release letters etc, your relationship will almost certainly sink to toilet levels, and you could be in a very bad situation; unable to leave an employer who doesn't trust you.

It's difficult to offer advice when I don't really know all the ins and outs of your situation, but these are the assumptions I've jumped to.

You don't really know your new employer yet.

You can't possibly know whether your potential new employer is a good one.

You're in a new city so you don't possess enough local  information and knowledge to make a good decision yet.

You're working at a University, but it sounds as though the new job would be at a language mill. The thing about Unis isn't the 'pay rate', it's the small number of hours meaning that you have more freedom and wiggle room, including acquiring part-time work at anything from 150-300 per hour.

I don't doubt that your new job is sucky, but a year on the ground will allow you to make a more informed decision.

If your leaving would leave your current employer in the lurch, I'd expect them to be very annoyed, and they absolutely could make your life a living hell.

Why on Earth would a new school be prepared to pay the breach penalty?

Anyway, unless you know for certain that your current employer are going to be amenable to you leaving early (because for instance you have first hand knowledge of someone else that they've let go early and have given a release letter to) then making any kind of move would be remarkably dangerous.

People should only 'break' their contract if they're in a terrible position (and even then there's a strong argument for staying) or when it's obvious on both sides that a mistake has been made and a divorce is the best option for everybody concerned. This does happen. Schools sometimes realise that they've made a big mistake, and they're only too glad to give a release letter to get rid of their recently acquired looneytunes.

So, it may be worth trying to find out how your employer feels about you by asking if they're happy, while pretending at the moment that you're delighted to be there, and only want to ensure that they reciprocate your feelings of adoration for them.

I think that some new saloonies have probably made rash decisions regarding their choice of employer, and I can only reiterate that contracts in China are often not easy to get out of, unless you're prepared to leave China altogether.

scotto858

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 08:40:17 AM »
Good points --

They are a family that are just starting this school and their only foreigner is a guy that used to work at my school. He has to leave for a couple months but they need a face at the school to open it, so he suggested me and they offered to pay my breach fine along with several other nice concessions if I come in in the clutch.

They speak English and are very pleasant people.   I just don't have cause to leave a residency permit for a different visa, regardless of all the other benefits.

Thanks for the responses.

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 10:18:20 AM »
So would I be right in thinking that this family are not allowed to employ foreigners legally, so they want you to come and work for them illegally?

It sounds as though you've decided against it anyway.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 10:18:50 AM »
That actually could be fantastic. Helping a business get going. Maybe make some friends.

But.........

You really, really ought to be suspicious. There are formalities any Chinese business must go through before it can legally employ foreigners. And if they don't have permission to hire non-Chinese, you won't get a residence permit. And going to work for them after having pissed off a legal employer who does have connections to the foreign affairs bureau....

People get away with these kind of shenanigans all the time, foreigners and Chinese. More so in the past than now, of course, but a lot of it still likely goes on. And I'm not saying this family business is guaranteed to be dodgy. But you might want to go have supper with them one more time and see how many dangerous promises they still want you to make.
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Tree

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 01:32:46 PM »
Job transfers in Zhejiang work like this, your mileage may vary.

You will need to transfer your FEC and Residence Permit to the new employer, to leave you need these three steps.

1) The contract needs to be annulled - the proof of this process is the contract cancellation letter. This document comes from the foreign expert bureau [this name might not be correct]. This can be done by simply completing your contract, or in the terms of breakage do whatever the school requires you to do. There should be clauses in your contract pertaining to this.
2) The school needs to make three copies of a letter of release - one goes to obtain (1), one copy to you to be given to the next school, and one for them to hold
3) The school may or may not give a letter of recommendation. There is a form for this that can be found online. Your new employer may or may not require this for your new FEC.

Note that letters (2) and (3) come from the school itself, while the first comes from a government office.

What enables us to stay and work here are the residence permit and the foreign expert certificate. The FEC is non-transferable - in order for you to legally work at another place your employer needs to cancel this and your new school needs to restart the process.

The residence permit is transferable. You'll need to hold onto your original documents that you used to obtain your Z-visa - your work permit number will be on there. However, the school is fully able to cancel this document along with your FEC, if they do so you must return to your home country to restart the process. This is the potentially expensive and dangerous part of the endeavor.
The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
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scotto858

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2015, 05:31:19 AM »
That, Tree, is the issue -- my current school would not be happy about me leaving and would probably just crush my paperwork.

The family business is just starting up a franchise school. It does seem like fun, and they both speak English. I just don't want to ruin whatever it is I'm doing here... so I'm not going to take the risk  aoaoaoaoao

I feel 3% less adventurous. 2% lazier. and 8% safer.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Job Transfer
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2015, 06:04:21 AM »
Is your primary job so time consuming you can't moonlight?


I don't take second jobs, I don't want to work that much. But it's what people do.
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