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Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Work Permits, Employment Qualifications, Employer Problems
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Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby jesus80 » 27 Apr 2016, 20:34

Alright, I'm freaking out.

My girlfriend just said that she has no contract where her salary (or anything else) is written.

The context for this conversation: years ago she joinned a (crappy) company where they offered her 45,000 NTs/month. At that time she told me that the company was declaring a lower salary than the real one for reducing costs. Probably the minimum, I don't know. I got very mad over that, and some time later she told me that it should be OK because she was paying taxes so the Government should be aware of what her salary is actually.

Today, talking about retirement (I don't have a retirement fund yet but I assumed that she had), she said that she only has the "crappy one, several hundred per month". I asked her about this, and she said that the company doesn't declare her full salary. I asked her if she has a contract, she said NO, and that in Taiwan normally companies don't give you a contract, only "the good ones".

I'm not going to reproduce all the things I've called her.

I want to know if what she says is true, if that's legal, and what I/we should do regarding this situation. Honestly, I'm ready for taking this to the government, if that makes sense.

Holy fucking cow...
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby hsinhai78 » 27 Apr 2016, 21:44

jesus80 wrote:Alright, I'm freaking out.

My girlfriend just said that she has no contract where her salary (or anything else) is written.

The context for this conversation: years ago she joinned a (crappy) company where they offered her 45,000 NTs/month. At that time she told me that the company was declaring a lower salary than the real one for reducing costs. Probably the minimum, I don't know. I got very mad over that, and some time later she told me that it should be OK because she was paying taxes so the Government should be aware of what her salary is actually.

Today, talking about retirement (I don't have a retirement fund yet but I assumed that she had), she said that she only has the "crappy one, several hundred per month". I asked her about this, and she said that the company doesn't declare her full salary. I asked her if she has a contract, she said NO, and that in Taiwan normally companies don't give you a contract, only "the good ones".

I'm not going to reproduce all the things I've called her.

I want to know if what she says is true, if that's legal, and what I/we should do regarding this situation. Honestly, I'm ready for taking this to the government, if that makes sense.

Holy fucking cow...


This has been very common in the past and is still very common now.
But it's not so much about crappy vs good companies or whether underreporting salaries is legal or not (it is not). It is more about Taiwanese with average degrees from average colleges accepting these conditions and not speaking up or bettering their own professional skills or educational background.

Your girlfriend's response should worry you more than the conditions she voluntarily works under. How could any sane person accept an arrangement where the salary is underreported and consequently the pension is worthless. I myself would not suggest entirely relying on the public pension scheme, it is however a safety net that together with a private pension fund can lead to a comfortable monthly amount. Did your girlfriend make any arrangements for a private pension fund? I suppose not.

Save the time and effort of going to the government. Ditch the girl, she seems to be irresponsible, naive and lacks foresight. You deserve better.
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby finley » 27 Apr 2016, 22:02

I get the impression the OP is in his 20s or early 30s, so presumably his GF is just a few years out of college and (like most people on this little island) has a worthless degree and doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. That doesn't make her irresponsible as such ... just young and naive. And TBH when you're that age, you sometimes do have to just suck it down for a year or two to pay the bills.

I suggest rather than dump the girl, the OP might encourage her to improve her skills, tell the boss where he can shove it, and start climbing the ladder of life, instead of assuming she'll be on the bottom rung forever.
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby jesus80 » 27 Apr 2016, 22:09

finley wrote:I get the impression the OP is in his 20s or early 30s, so presumably his GF is just a few years out of college and (like most people on this little island) has a worthless degree and doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. That doesn't make her irresponsible as such ... just young and naive. And TBH when you're that age, you sometimes do have to just suck it down for a year or two to pay the bills.

I suggest rather than dump the girl, the OP might encourage her to improve her skills, tell the boss where he can shove it, and start climbing the ladder of life, instead of assuming she'll be on the bottom rung forever.

No. She's has a university degree ("English business" or something like that), and she's far from being 20. She's making 45k which I assumed that for Taiwanese standards is OKish... I'm also closer to 40 than to 30.
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby finley » 27 Apr 2016, 22:22

45K is pretty good. This may be why there's a mutual agreement to keep it under the table.

Even so, a lot of people here do just wander through life assuming they'll die at their desk. You might be able to broaden her horizons a bit. Show her there are other possibilities.
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby jesus80 » 27 Apr 2016, 22:31

Thanks for the advice, Finley. As for the contract... is that normal, as in legal? to have no contract in paper?
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby finley » 27 Apr 2016, 22:37

I believe it is actually legal to not have written contract. Evasion of tax, social security payments, and other employer responsibilities ... not so much.
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby Gryphon » 27 Apr 2016, 23:15

I could be wrong, but I thought only foreigners require a contract in order to get a work permit and ARC. Locals don't need a contract, but they might need an offer letter?
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby aphasiac » 28 Apr 2016, 13:53

No contract is very common; in fact it's possibly even the norm?

Why do you think so many people want government jobs, it's because they actually follow labor laws.
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Re: Can/do Taiwanese work without a contract??

Postby Icon » 28 Apr 2016, 14:09

aphasiac wrote:No contract is very common; in fact it's possibly even the norm?

Why do you think so many people want government jobs, it's because they actually follow labor laws.


Eh, not really. If they can ^%$#@, they will. They do follow them a bit better than the rest. Tiny itsy bit.

My Taiwanese friends tell me people here do not really care about signing contracts because anyways, most are so riddled with illegalities, that makes them useless. So they do not really care for it.

And before we critizice Taiwanese, raise your hands eveyone who has signed a contract where they take a portion of your salary so they "insure" you stay till the bitter end?
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