teacher resigning early-financial penalty?

expatinjkt

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I just started a new contract as a teacher in a school in Jakarta. Due to personal reasons out of my control, I need to resign. The school has mentioned a financial penalty where I have to pay out the remainder of contract, but have not given me many details beyond that just yet.

For the expat teachers on this group? Is this actually applied? Is it legally enforceable? I do not want to just leave them hanging, as that would be unprofessional, but I also cannot afford to pay the penalty. What other action could the school possibly take against me, and what would happen to my visa? And is there anything else I need to consider?

Any information or advice would be highly appreciated as my situation is time-sensitive.
 

Bad_azz

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I just started a new contract as a teacher in a school in Jakarta. Due to personal reasons out of my control, I need to resign. The school has mentioned a financial penalty where I have to pay out the remainder of contract, but have not given me many details beyond that just yet.

For the expat teachers on this group? Is this actually applied? Is it legally enforceable? I do not want to just leave them hanging, as that would be unprofessional, but I also cannot afford to pay the penalty. What other action could the school possibly take against me, and what would happen to my visa? And is there anything else I need to consider?

Any information or advice would be highly appreciated as my situation is time-sensitive.
You could perhaps find them a replacement. It may smooth the way somewhat.
I don't know about the legalities - I guess it depends on what you signed in the contract, & 1 point of note IF the contract is only in English it isn't legally binding in Indonesia - to the best of my knowledge.
 

expatinjkt

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You could perhaps find them a replacement. It may smooth the way somewhat.
I don't know about the legalities - I guess it depends on what you signed in the contract, & 1 point of note IF the contract is only in English it isn't legally binding in Indonesia - to the best of my knowledge.
Thanks for the reply! I've thought of that too, and have been looking (any Primary teachers out there please give a shout!). Unfortunately the contract is in both Bahasa and English.
 

Travellingchez

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Are you already here in person? That will make a difference eg if they have already paid housing , visa costs etc. Also will you remain in Indonesia afterwards if you are here? It is this clause that means many teachers do an over night flit and leave the country to avoid paying back the costs.
 

Bad_azz

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Thanks for the reply! I've thought of that too, and have been looking (any Primary teachers out there please give a shout!). Unfortunately the contract is in both Bahasa and English.
I sent you a PM :)
 

expatinjkt

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Are you already here in person? That will make a difference eg if they have already paid housing , visa costs etc. Also will you remain in Indonesia afterwards if you are here? It is this clause that means many teachers do an over night flit and leave the country to avoid paying back the costs.
I'm here in person, yes. No, they haven't paid my housing or visa yet, which I think is quite lucky. I do want to stay in the country a little longer, though, and I can definitely understand why teachers would take a flight in the middle of the night to avoid this (although I'm not saying I support that course of action, and I do not want to do that at all)
 

Bad_azz

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If they are not yet out of pocket then I doubt there is much they can chase you for other than flight costs & possibly recruitment of a replacement.
 

colroe

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I'm here in person, yes. No, they haven't paid my housing or visa yet, which I think is quite lucky. I do want to stay in the country a little longer, though, and I can definitely understand why teachers would take a flight in the middle of the night to avoid this (although I'm not saying I support that course of action, and I do not want to do that at all)
Also depends on your existing visa status. You mentioned they have not paid for your visa yet? Are you on tourist visa?
 

ChrisTex

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Usually the fine for breaking a contract for teachers is 20-30j. It depends on what is written in your contract. This is usually to get back the cost of the visa.

As others have said, a lot will depend on if they have paid for the visa and/or housing. Again, it depends on what is written in the contract: do they provide the housing or give you housing allowance.

Also, what type of school is it? This could make a difference too for possible future employment in Indonesia and your situation.
 

expatinjkt

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Well I was switching school, so I was already in the country and the process has been about visa transfer rather than visa from scratch. I'm supposed to get housing and flights, but the housing was pending and the flight money hadn't happened yet since I was already in the country.

I work at a primary school. And yeah, I can imagine they might try to make it difficult for me to be employed in Jakarta :/

Thanks for all the support btw everyone! Seeing similar points makes me less nervous about this whole thing (although the feeling of guilt it another situation). I have been really freaking out about worst case scenarios.
 

Bad_azz

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Well I was switching school, so I was already in the country and the process has been about visa transfer rather than visa from scratch. I'm supposed to get housing and flights, but the housing was pending and the flight money hadn't happened yet since I was already in the country.

I work at a primary school. And yeah, I can imagine they might try to make it difficult for me to be employed in Jakarta :/

Thanks for all the support btw everyone! Seeing similar points makes me less nervous about this whole thing (although the feeling of guilt it another situation). I have been really freaking out about worst case scenarios.
Guilt is not worth apportioning, it solves nothing and only creates negativity, afford them the courtesies they have afforded you and don't let it eat at you - as you stated, the situation was outside of your control.

Also I think what ChrisTex meant was is it a national school, an international school, private school, language centre... that sort of thing rather than primary/secondary etc.
 

expatinjkt

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Guilt is not worth apportioning, it solves nothing and only creates negativity, afford them the courtesies they have afforded you and don't let it eat at you - as you stated, the situation was outside of your control.

Also I think what ChrisTex meant was is it a national school, an international school, private school, language centre... that sort of thing rather than primary/secondary etc.
Ah I see! It's a private school that applies the Cambridge curriculum, so I guess that would make them an international school rather than a national one. Main language is English
 

ChrisTex

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It could be a national plus school like mine who uses Cambridge. The reason I asked was if the school in theory could blacklist you if they have several schools under the same name(like a foundation, EF, Wall Street English, etc...). It just depends on how you go about things.

If they are transferring the visa, my next question would be, who has your passport. This is critical before you do anything.

I think if you are upfront and honest with them, they might be more understanding. They might be willing to waive the penalty for breaking the contract or reduce the penalty fee. The only thing I see there being a problem is how the contract is written. Again talk to them and explain the situation. You don't have to give specific details, but enough where they have some what of an idea. If it is possible, offer to teach online from your home country(the issue then would be payment) until say Dec. I would say their reaction should guide you to the next step of what you decide to do.

If you have finished your contract from the previous school, they should the ones to provide the airfare. Airfare is only after you finish your contract. Back in Feb and March, schools and China were 'allowing' teachers to 'break their contract' so they wouldn't have to provide airfare.

I think it could go either way and the school might release you from the contract so it can save them money.
 

expatinjkt

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The school doesn't have my passport, which is also how I know the visa process is incomplete. I was also contacted by HR today regarding home address details in relation to the visa, so that tells me that a) kitas unprocessed, and b) my resignation isn't being taken very seriously. As for airfare, I did get the ticket from my last school, and will be using it when returning home after all this is settled.

The contract only states the penalty being for the remaining months after I leave, but nothing about when or how it should be paid, etc.

I think your idea of teaching online for a months is a really good one, but unfortunately will not work in this particular case. I will offer, though, to follow up with students and continue to post work and give feedback until they find someone else. That way, they can find someone without being left in an awkward situation.
 

centurion

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The Manpower Law says that whoever breaks a temporary contract, owns to the other party the remaining salaries. So yes, you would own the remaining salaries to the school if you break the contract.

However, the enforceability of this is weak if you just go back home, under the condition that you have your passport with yourself.

To "transfer the visa", if that means changing the job, sponsorship and KITAS to a new sponsor, you will need approval and a procedure trough the Manpower Ministry for changing sponsorship.
 

expatinjkt

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The Manpower Law says that whoever breaks a temporary contract, owns to the other party the remaining salaries. So yes, you would own the remaining salaries to the school if you break the contract.

However, the enforceability of this is weak if you just go back home, under the condition that you have your passport with yourself.

To "transfer the visa", if that means changing the job, sponsorship and KITAS to a new sponsor, you will need approval and a procedure trough the Manpower Ministry for changing sponsorship.
Thanks for the info. Do you know if the law is enforceable if I stay in the country? If I try to find another job here later, would the Manpower Ministry still approve the change in sponsorship if there was a penalty issue later on?
 

ChrisTex

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The school doesn't have my passport, which is also how I know the visa process is incomplete. I was also contacted by HR today regarding home address details in relation to the visa, so that tells me that a) kitas unprocessed, and b) my resignation isn't being taken very seriously. As for airfare, I did get the ticket from my last school, and will be using it when returning home after all this is settled.

The contract only states the penalty being for the remaining months after I leave, but nothing about when or how it should be paid, etc.

I think your idea of teaching online for a months is a really good one, but unfortunately will not work in this particular case. I will offer, though, to follow up with students and continue to post work and give feedback until they find someone else. That way, they can find someone without being left in an awkward situation.
I had a feeling that teaching online wouldn't work in your case, but wanted to throw it out.

The good news is since the school doesn't have your passport and the visa isn't being processed, you wouldn't owe money for the school processing the visa.

The bad news, is in theory you would still be breaking your contract. Though if you were to just pull a runner, I don't think there is anything they could do other blacklist you with their school. If you were to return to Indonesia, best not mention the school.

I would keep talking to them and let them know you are serious about resigning. Let them know how serious the situation is. You don't have to go into details. To give an example, when I was at univ in Scotland, I had applied for a job as a waiter at a hotel. Originally before I had applied, I was planning on staying over the Christmas break. However I had found out shortly before the interview, one of my cousins had cancer(lymphoma, not that serious, but my cousin was 17). During the interview, I was asked if I was planning on going home at for Christmas. I explained originally I wasn't, but I was needed at home because I had just found out my cousin had cancer. I didn't say what type or what stage, but I gave enough information where they knew it was serious. I got the job, went home for Christmas, came back with a job.

Something else that could play to your advantage is what country are you from? I know the US has placed Indonesia at Level 4: Do not travel. Maybe this is a card you could use.
 

centurion

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Thanks for the info. Do you know if the law is enforceable if I stay in the country? If I try to find another job here later, would the Manpower Ministry still approve the change in sponsorship if there was a penalty issue later on?
To approve the sponsorship change you will need approval from the present employer to start the procedure in Manpower Ministry. I guess the present employer would not be cooperative nor transfer the sponsorship if you are in dispute.

Law is enforceable for a well connected Indonesian party, but it depends on many factors. If the costs are higher than the damage claims, and the probability of collection of the money is low, maybe they would give up. Maybe the school lawyer could try to put pressure for payment instead of going to Court for Industrial Disputes, that is in charge of labour disputes.
 

snpark

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May I ask, you say you want to resign for personal reasons but still stay in Jakarta?

Is this because you have another "better" job offer / more money etc?
 

colroe

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Rule number 1. Always have a valid EPO or MERP in your passport. While I have no doubt there are some decent school owners, most of them do not lose any sleep when cheating teachers out of entitlements. They know you can easily bolt so they manage their staff accordingly by failing to pay air fares, last months salary etc etc. Contracts are meaningless. Which westerner is going to stick around, with no visa, trying to force bad school owners to honor contracts?
 

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