Ending an English Teaching Contract Early


 First off, it is important to mention that this isn’t any legal advice. This is based on the experiences of other teachers who lived in China for many years. If you are considering leaving your English teaching contract early. There are few consequences for not completing your contract.

The first task you must do before considering leaving is reading the contract you signed. They should have provided you a copy for you on the day of signing. This is to better understand how to opt out of the contract properly. Most contracts are going to say the Employer will charge or sue you for any loses they incur since you are ending the contract early.

This is a scare tactic or an excuse to not pay all the amount of money the school owes you. Please expect that this will happen as the school will try and save as much money as possible.  Most places it will be an empty threat, but shady organizations will try to screw you over. Remember if you are in a very bad situation please go to the local police or Visa office. If you have a legal work visa you do have rights and are protected if the employer is breaking the law.


Here is sample contract of a resignation process. Yours would probably be similar to this:


Scenarios #1: (BEST CASE)

If you are wanting to go back to your home country or switch jobs within China, you must give 30 days notice. Your employer will give you all your paperwork in a week and you are free to go after the 30 days. The employer will pay you all the money you owe, and you get to move on with your life.

Scenarios #2: (WORST CASE )

You give no notice and you travel back home ASAP. The employers will be angry so don’t expect to receive any money they owe. If you worked in China, there is a blacklist made by the government for people who just run off. By doing this scenario as long as you don’t plan on going back to China anytime soon ( 3 years to be exact) then it’s fine (I don’t recommend doing this).

Scenarios #3: (MOST COMMON)

You give 30 days notice and your employer holds your paperwork to leave or switch jobs while only paying you 80 percent of your final paycheck. Expect at least a week before getting your job back any longer then that is unreasonable. You must be on top of them, ask every day or say you will stop working until you receive it. If this doesn’t work, then getting the Visa officers involved or local police. I wouldn’t take this final step until you are entering the 3 weeks of the 30-day notice. They are naturally going to take their time since you will no longer be making them money. So be patient but be stern, as it a delicate balance.

Final thoughts

These are situations most people experience when trying to leave early, the main consequences are money, paperwork or blacklist. As long as you resign properly you can sit back and relax, drink some coffee because  leaving a contract early is not as stressful as you

Please leave a comment or questions below

Regards your helpful Loawai,



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