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Contract changes for next year.

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Our school has hired an external advisor, who is actually a retired university professor form a renowned university in BKK. She has taken it upon her to rewrite the contracts for us foreign teachers. Luckily enough our academic director let me read the first draft, and I do feel that some things are still open for discussion. I have done some research, but would also like to hear from others who might have experience with what should be in a teachers' contract and what isn't according to the Thai Labour Law.

 

1. 'The teacher is eligible to have three days' sick leave with pay.' suddenly appears in our contract. If I am right, then Thai Labour Law Section 57 states that we are entitled to 30 days sick leave with pay.

2. When resigning a teacher needs to give 2 months notice, instead of 1 moth (in our current contract). My research says that it probably should be 1 pay cycle (and in our case this would mean 30 days or 1 month). But I can't seem to find the exact article in the Labour law that states that.

3. Probation will be changed from 90 days to 120 days. Research gave me 2 different answers. First that it is not stipulated in Thai law. The second answer is that it can never be more than 119 days. Any info on what is correct ?

 

There are actually more 'worrying' things in the contract, but there it just comes to negotiating with people that have common sense. 

The positive thing in this story though, is that it is not forced upon us yet. They gave it to read and we were able to express our concerns, and ask for some changes. The school will discuss it again. In the meantime, I am gaining some info to stand a little stronger in the next round of discussions.

 

 

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New executives often like to 'mark their territory'.  Unfortunately, you are the ones being <deleted> upon when she does this.

 

I would recommend giving your Dept. Head clearly stated counterpoints, both in writing and spoken.  She will probably negotiate, but she may feel that 'she has to win', in which case it will come down to who management sees as more valuable, her or the foreign teachers.

 

I've seen this sort of situation play out both ways.  At one school I taught at, the EP program was decimated when all of the foreign teachers left at the end of the year, due to a new Director coming in.  I've also seen a couple of annoying mid-level Thai Administrators shown the door when the foreign teachers started to brush up their CVs.

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No way I'd sign that.

 

I'd expect my WP in hand in 60 days. 90 if the school was totally incompetent but I would never work at such a facility. Why this can't happen is that during this period you've no WP and therefore should run away from this shi++y job quickly.

 

I've never called in sick myself but believe for men sickdays are 30 per year. Like that. 

 

Your contract can't contravene Thai labor law lol. The consultant has no clue but endangering the school from the teachers walking.

 

I know a very, very good school here in BKK with an abysmal contract. It's not just the horrible 38k the terms are dreadful. They churn through teachers. Can't attract NES. That's a top 5 public. Forewarned.

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I believe the OP has gotten the facts under Thai Labor Law correct.   I think there is a limit on probation, and I recall reading it can go for up to 6 months.  

 

I've only hear of probation going for 6 months once and it wasn't in education, but in a field where you might want to have an employee on staff for a long time to determine their technical ability.  

 

The three days MAY be predicated on the number of working days that a teacher has.   Most schools I know of will only pay for 3 to 5 days, but will keep someone on staff if they are hospitalized and out of work for up to a month.  

 

 

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If it's a government school, yes 30 days sick leave. This is the rule for government workers. My wife is a civil servant and allost never takes any sick time (as this can affect yearly increases). Also, government workers get only 2 weeks holiday a year. Is that the same for the OP? If you get 2-3 months holiday a year ina  government school, I wouldn't push the issue on gettign 30 days sick leave (which is excessive in my opinion, anyway). I've never taken more than 2-3 days sick leave a year in nearly 20 years. 

Private schools seem to make up their own rules - we get long paid holidays+bonus, but also a shore period for sick leave + penalties for other trivial things. 

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The OP is correct with 30days sick leave being stipulated under labour law. The other thing is they shouldn't have any probationary period on a fixed term contract. If the contract isn't renewed it gives you a better argument for severance as a probationary period is a feature of a non fixed term contract. If you do a web search I believe the law firm Tilleke & Gibbins in Thailand wrote an article highlighting this point. 

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30 days sick leave seems to be healthy, but it all depends on the circumstances.

 

If somebody has caused an accident, the school can quickly get rid off the teacher if he/she is absent for more than a week or longer. 

 

 If the accident was not the teacher’s fault, they could not just dismiss them.

 

( Happened to me when I almost got killed by a speeding idiot on drugs, being absent for more than three weeks.)

 

You didn't mention any personal days off that include renewing your passport, visa trips, etc...perhaps worth to include it.

 

If they are not able to figure out in 90 days if a person is suitable for being a teacher, they should at least offer a work permit and the right type of visa for the probationary period. 

 

Another essential part that should be in a contract is the annual pay raise. 

 

  One more point is the dismissal procedure. Thai laws stipulate that the employer has to write a warning letter if not satisfied with the teacher's performance to give him/her a chance to adapt/change, etc..

 

I'd love to attach my contract, but it's not in my interest to make people cry. So any other contract looks good to me......

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Mmm, who pays the piper, calls the tune. She needs to save the school money to justify her own salary.

 

A: I recall there being a provision allowing an employer to expend the P.-period by another 30 days, upon serving the employee a notice or addendum.

 

The notice period is a cruel hoax, as schools do turn around and i. "accept" the notice, laying you off paq, often instantly. At other times, they may ignore their own notice period and bulldoze teachers with some cruel scams involving Thai letters the employee cannot read...

 

If it's a private school, you no longer can just walk to Labour Court. No, you will need a document from OPEC, certifying that the school is operational etc.

 

Personally, I would like to ask you one question: Will new-starts be working legally?

 

Many schools won't bother 1. with a contract and 2. a B-VISA etc. during the Probationary period. Making you lie at Immigration and vulnerable.

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The new teachers are even more vulnerable now, as they may be required to burn through their allowable border crossings and tourist visas during the probation period, and even more so if they did a TEFLol course, first.  It is amazing how non business-like people in school administration are.  Quite a few did it to get out of the classroom.  Many couldn't run a lemonade stand if their lives depended on it.  Can't do basic maths?  Become an education major.

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On 11/22/2019 at 7:21 PM, Number 6 said:

No way I'd sign that.

 

I'd expect my WP in hand in 60 days. 90 if the school was totally incompetent but I would never work at such a facility. Why this can't happen is that during this period you've no WP and therefore should run away from this shi++y job quickly.

The OP never mentioned anything about WPs. I'm assuming that you're assuming the lengthened probationary period is a period during which the teacher is without a WP. That's possible, but not necessarily true. Lots of schools have probationary periods in the 4-6 month range, and there's not necessarily a connection to when you receive your work permit. I received mine (although it's then turned over to the school, anyway) within a few weeks of starting, and my formal probation period lasted much longer.

 

My understanding of labor law (or at least "labor law reality") is that a WP application must at least be in process for your employment to be legal.

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My understanding of labor law (or at least "labor law reality") is that a WP application must at least be in process for your employment to be legal.

 

Some years back I was told by an immigration officer the same thing.   Immigration would not take any action as long as the paperwork was being processed.  

 

The schools I was involved with started the WP process as soon as someone was hired.   In some instances it was completed by the time the person actually started work (that was rare, but it did happen).    Even probationary employees who didn't look like they would make it through probation were processed.   If they were released from employment, we stopped the process.  

 

 


 

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Translation of Private Schools Act

Part VI

Working Protection

Section 86. A business of a formal school particularly in the part of a director, a teacher and educational personnel shall not subject to the law on labour protection, the law on labour relations, the law on social security and the law on compensation. However, a director, a teacher and educational personnel shall receive return benefits not less than those prescribed in the law on labour protection.

Working protection, an arrangement for the working protection committee and minimum benefits of a director, a teacher and educational personnel shall be in accordance with the rule prescribed by the Commission.

 

So no need for compliance in private schools with labour protection, relations (?), social security nor compensation. But benefits must be "not less than those prescribed in the law on labour protection". Seems contradictory to me.

 

Labour Protection - remember, Private School teachers aren't subject to the law on labour protection, but shall receive benefits not less tha the law on labour protection.

 

Sections 32 and 57 - sick leave. If you are sick for more than 3 days, you must provide a doctor's note. Maximum 30 days sick pay a year.

 

Section 23 - working day. Eight hours per day, maximum 48 per week (6 day working week). Where hours worked in a day are less than eight (eg day 6, Saturday) these may be made up in other days, but the working day should not be longer than 9 hours. For days where employees work over 5 hours, there should be one hour break (not counted to the working day). So a school could get away with giving you 07:30 to 17:30 with an hour lunch break (or an hour divided up into smaller breaks).

 

Chapter 3 is hilarious. Women, know your limits!

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, naboo said:

So a school could get away with giving you 07:30 to 17:30 with an hour lunch break (or an hour divided up into smaller breaks).

I'm taking no legal position here, as I'm no expert and the laws seem unclear (and contradictory, as naboo points out).

 

But to any school that thinks a 10-hour work day will fly because it's legal: good luck ever getting qualified, quality international teachers.

 

Anything that pushes daily contract hours beyond 8 needs to come with some big caveats: there's a long lunch period and you have no monitoring duties (i.e. you're free to leave), the last period of the day is free unless you're running an extracurricular that day, etc. Really, neither teachers nor students are well-served by ~9 hour school days, so you've got to question any administrator who thinks it's appropriate to have everyone on the clock so long. 

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@ Scott

@ scottidd

 

May be true but it only takes two weeks at best to actually process the paperwork. I seriously doubt stack of papers sitting on admins desk constitutes "in process"

 

For all intents and purposes schools do not file paperwork on teachers they believe are suspect. Although better schools that file due to legalities will usually keep a weak teacher for the year. Replacing in October can have just as bad outcome. Thais are not pro active.

 

I was merely stating that personally at 60 days I'd ask the admin where my WP was. 75 days I'd write a letter of I don't have my WP in 90 days in gone because I'm not working without a WP. I've always had my WP in 21 to 80 days. It's not half the hassle people think it is.

 

When grades are due expect to put in a few big days, at least good teachers. Eight or nine hour days fine. All the other lazy teachers will never match this effort. You certainly don't need to do ten hour days regularly although I'd actually suggest it until your third year and you really know your ass from your elbow.

 

If you are worried about too many  or if you're slipping out early - you're no teacher. Having said that the school should not be pushing responsible teachers to make up for the irresponsible. That just ends in resentment.

 

 

 

Edited by Number 6

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