Saturday, June 17, 2017

SCAM WARNING: Most China Foreign TEFL teachers are asked to sign illegal employment agreements by job recruiters and private learning centers. These contracts are not valid nor binding. Check YOURS today!

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Both China job recruiters and employers do not want you to know this. So if you don't want to anger your boss, or want to keep a "harmonious relationship" with your job agent or recruiter intact, you should stop reading now and go play a video game or take a nap.  

If however you are tired of being exploited and cheated or do not even know you signed an invalid contract (About 75% of expat contracts signed with TEFL contracts in China are unlawful and thus non-binding).Keep reading. But if you work for a public school or university in China you are 100% safe concerning your contract since they are highly regulated and very compliant with the law.

Here is what you need to know...

According to Chinese law, all employees must sign an "EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT contract with only one party - Their actual direct employer.  It is illegal for you to sign an "employment agreement" with a China job agent or recruiter.  If you do so, that contract allows the agent recruiter/agent to skim huge amounts of money from your salary - often as much as 50% or more.

Legally, agents and recruiters can only ask you to sign a "service" or "fee agreement" and this is where you must be alert and smart. No such agreement should require you to pay a dime NOR AUTHORIZE ANY DEDUCTIONS FROM YOUR PAY. In China it is standard for the employer to pay any and all recruiter and agent fees. But the devil is always in the details, and if you do not read your contract carefully, you will get screwed. Here is one sample contract used by 11 different recruiters in China that are named for you at This is quite typical of a contract newbies are asked to sign, and many do so out of ignorance:

NEVER ever sign a contract that is given to you on the spot. Take it home and read it thoroughly and ask a Chinese friend if the Chinese terms exactly match those in English. Of course, you should never sign a contract that is only in Chinese, and it is important that you only sign a contract that you agree with. If something is vague and unclear it was done so deliberately so your employer can take advantage of you and then simply say that YOU "misunderstood". Also, do not sign a contract in Chinese that does not have a verbatim English translation ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF EACH PAGE and be sure to sign each English and Chinese page. To be extra safe, put your thumbprint on each page as well.

Where you work (exact location) and your exact job description are important to include in your contract or you will find yourself working at many locations and spending at least 4 hours a day traveling on buses and subways between campuses, with barely 30 minutes for a lunch break!

Every single page of your employment contract needs to bear the signature of the employer and your own as well as the date and corporate seal (chop) of the employer. If you do not do this,pages of your contract will be swapped out at a later date, and you will be asked to hand out brochures in some mall or a hot street corner. If you complain they will whip out a copy of their Chinese contract and remind you that you signed off on it in your contract!

Do not assume that you will automatically be given a copy of your contract. You must demand "an original hard copy that is signed and chopped". Be sure that any Chinese who sign the contract both print and sign their complete legal Chinese name and not some fabricated name like "Rosie Tang" or "Jane Zhang". 

As to what should actually be included and excluded from your contract to protect you from abuses make sure all "hours" mentioned in you contract are "class hours" and not "clock hours".  Then look at these suggestions which most veteran teachers insist upon: http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion...-contract.html

If you ignore this post you will one day realize you were cheated out of money, benefits,or both. It will also be of great benefit to you to know and understand that you have 15 employee rights that willprotect you against employer exploitation:  There is no need to dance with the devil in China if you avoid TEFL recruiters and China job agents and remember the 90% golden rule:

"90% of China employers are honest, fair, and ethical, but 90% of China job agents and recruiters are not."

To be fair there are a few honest recruiters in China like Foreign HR, Gold Star, Mercer, Marsh, Hays, etc. but any recruiter who cannot answer these 7 simple questions can be assumed to be a scam artist or identity theft...

If you still have doubts about your recruiter or prospective employer, check these blacklists to be safe and not sorry:


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing fabulous information on related to career. It's my pleasure to read related to search jobs .I have also bookmarked you for checking out new posts.


You are welcome to add your comments, ideas, and suggestions below: Specific questions should be sent by email UNLESS you are on the Blacklist page. We do not accept requests to "please check ABC school" if you are not a current CFTU member. If your school is not on the White List, then check the blacklist.: