The Greenlist of English Schools in Japan

Thoughts and Opinions on Teaching English in Japan, plus many lists of good schools in Japan at our homepage. You can post your resume or job for free too. Check out the homepage!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Fairly typical Contract in Japan?

 Below was the old Kevin`s English Schools contract.  I just post it here for the interest of teachers who may be coming to Japan.   I think it is pretty standard.  We had a clause on not opening your own school near us (within a few kilometres) for a few years after teaching for us.  I knew we could never enforce this.    It was just to discourage the jerks who might work for a short time then jump ship, and start up their own school nearby.   (Unfortunately it sometimes happens.    People lie and never intended to work for you for a long time.)

It was to protect our family business.    It would be pretty unfair to hire someone then have them set up their own school right in the neighbourhood.     You may have to imagine how terrrible this can be if you are in a small market, and have your own business.     It can be devastating.    It can make the difference between paying off your house and losing your house.     I don`t feel I am being dramatic, just realistic, and honest.

Of course, I am not a lawyer, but my understanding of contracts is,that whatever both parties agree to, and sign to, makes the contract valid.  So you can put pretty much anything in a contract if both parties agree to it.     I could be all wet on this, but that is my take.     If one party refuses then the contract must be changed, or they agree to not work together.

In Japan you will find often unfortunately, that what you have been promised is completely different from what you get.    This is part of the culture here.   I`ve gone into this at the main website.

This contract was originally based on the old ECC contract (where I had worked), - so I had a copy of it, and made changes of course, to suit our situation of being a small school.    ECC if you are not aware of this, is one of the largest in Japan.

There has been much debate about legalities on the internet to do with teaching and contracts.  Again the law seems very strict.   Yet most Japanese companies do not follow the letter of the law in terms of labour relations.   Nor do government controlled agencies.    My wife works for the Japanese government, she is a junior high school teacher.   She frequently works unpaid overtime.    So do most Japanese.

I don`t say the above is right.  I just say that is the way it is in Japan.No one pays much attention to the law unfortunately.    People work really hard here, and that is what is expected.    I never expected so much from our employees.    But I am Canadian.

I was editing our KES homepage and need to update the website.   I don`t plan on hiring anymore full-timers for our school but wanted to keep a copy of this old contract just in case, and to share it as an example for teachers.    I`m sure you can find things wrong with it.  I am not a lawyer.   I tried to be fair when I made it.   I did consult with my brother who is a lawyer.    And as I said, I based it on the contract of one of the largest English schools in Japan.

I think a contract tends to evolve over the years as you find things missing and find things that need to be changed.    Anyway, here it is:


Contract With Kevin's English Schools               

This contract is made by and between Kevin's English Schools 2659-4 Tsukahara, Minami Ashigara City,Kanagawa Prefecture, 250-0117, Japan and Tom Smith. Hereafter called the teacher.
This contract will remain valid for the period of one year, beginning the_____________________ day of ________________________and ending on the ______________________ day of ____________________________________.

During the first twelve weeks probationary period of the contract, the teacher may be terminated by Kevin's English Schools with one week written notice, for failing to perform his/her duties to the satisfactionof Kevin's English Schools. The twelve week probationary period clause can be waived if marked with an 'X'here___.  By marking the previous blank with an "X" Kevin's English Schools agrees to waive the probationary period. (This is sometimes done for teachers with previous training and/or experience.

The teacher agrees to use his/her skills and expertise as an English teacher at Kevin's English Schools andcooperate with Kevin's English Schools in attaining its' educational goals.  Kevin's English Schools will renumerate the teacher and assist him/her to secure the proper visa status by guaranteeing her/his employment. After the probationary period, or if it has been waived, this contract may be terminated with one month prior written notice by either the teacher or Kevin's English Schools.

Kevin's English Schools shall pay the teacher a salary of ______________Yen/Month for up to 28 hours of teaching per week.  Overtime shall be paid at the rate of 14,000 Yen/Month for work over 28 hours per week and up to 29 hours per week. Another 14,000 Yen/Month shall be paid for overtime work over 29 hours per week and up to 30 hours per week. A contract completion bonus of 100,000 will be paid after all bills related to the teacher`s apartment have been paid.  
The teacher agrees to attend school events and staff meetings approximately once per month. The teacher isn`t paid any extra for attending these. School events may be parties, picnics, hiking trips, or other enjoyable activities. The teacher will be paid the cost of commuting to and from these events.

*The teacher shall be paid for the cost of commuting to and from work. This will entail the payment of the teacher's public transportation costs. The teacher shall be paid train and/or bus fare to and from work.

*The teacher will not be paid for transportation to and from Japan.
The schools will have two weeks of holidays in August and during the Christmas/New Year`s period. Teachers will be given exact dates later. The teacher will be paid her/his usual salary for these vacation days.

All Japanese national holidays are observed except for a few on Mondays. The teacher will be given a list of which Monday national holidays are work days.

* The teacher will receive two regular days off per week. These are_______________________________________________________.
The teacher agrees to never teach his/her own private lessons in any of our schools or apartments, nor to allow anyone else to teach lessons within our schools or apartments. The teacher agrees to not start her/his own English school (defined as five or more students taught English by the teacher) within 6 kilometres of one of our schools, for a period of up to three years after the termination or expiration of this contract.

The teacher may teach part-time at another English school, as long as her/his work performance is kept to a high level, as deemed by Kevin's English Schools.
The teacher agrees to encourage potential students to study at Kevin's English Schools, and to promote our schools in general.

During the two week training period the teacher shall be paid 1,000 Yen/hr for the two weeks of training,plus transportation expenses to and from work and home. The training salary consists of the time the teacherspends in classes observing teachers, teach.

The teacher agrees to allow some events to be held in his/her classroom. This is required as the teacher is living inone of our schools. No pets are permitted in the school or apartment. The teacher agrees to keep the apartment cleanand in good order. The teacher agrees to pay rent for the apartment of 63,000 Yen/Month, and all utilities.

The teacher pays her/his own telephone fees.
The teacher does not have to pay key money.
This is to certify that this contract was signed this_______________day of____________, in the year,______________,by
Manager                                                                                  Teacher