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Working visa question.

AussieBird

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Intro: Can I take the visa and walk?


I have recently received a new work visa but will not start work until April, however after rereading my contract, I've found a clause that is worded in such a way that it appears that they are going to try to screw me over and the job schedule contradicts what I was told in the interview. Reading the relevant articles of the law, it is also apparent that what they are asking would not be legal i.e. getting me to work more than 40 hours and with no extra pay. Anyway what I'm getting at is this, and I don't feel good about it, but taking into consideration that they are trying to own me, I was wondering if I could just give notice before the job starts and take the visa with me? Is this possible given that the law says that you can walk out on the day, without notice, if you r contract contradicts the reality of the job?
 
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orochi

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If you've got the visa, it's yours. Your employer cannot revoke it.
Look for a new job that falls within the guidelines of your current visa.
Good luck!

ETA:
Though backing out before the your upcoming contract begins is an interesting case. I'm curious to see if there's anybody who has been through this before.
 

Glenski

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People have bailed out the day they arrived, and never even met their employers at the airport. As orochi said, once you have the visa stamped in your passport, it is yours. That won't actually happen until you go through immigration, though; bear that in mind. So, if you bail out before setting foot here, the employer may be within his rights to revoke his sponsorship, and immigration might (who knows?) put a flag on your COE to not allow you to enter.

That said, consider this.
You had the opportunity to read the contract and discover this earlier.
You signed it anyway. Now the employer has assigned classes and filled seats with paying customers (students) who may have taken the course because of your face in the brochure (another employer expense) or at least because of your name/nationality/credentials.

Employers are used to foreigners bailing out early, yes, even this early. There is a glut of teachers here, so there will probably be no real delay in finding a replacement. But, you have not even started the job and you are bailing out. We have only a few words you wrote here to explain why, with no experience in the office yet. Is it really worth it to bail out now, untested and untried, and perpetuate the saga of untrustworthy foreigners?

Think of it another way, too. Where are you going to live? The employer probably at least had a furnished apartment for you.

Last thought. I spoke to a Japanese lawyer a month ago. It was about apartment contracts, not work contracts. However, he said that any illegal clauses in a contract are superceded by the law. Perhaps this means you are not obligated to abide by such a contract. Remember this when/if the employer tries to take it out on you by infringing any financial penalties.
 

orochi

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Or you could speak to your employer NOW and clear up any problems.
Or did you sign it already? Even if you did, there may be some room for negotiation.
 

AussieBird

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Thanks again guys.

I just get the feeling that this school is gonna mess me around, partly because their mood has changed since signing up. Of course I understand that it is not a good thing to do but having reread the contract, I've found a purposefully vague clause which would see me working beyond the legal limit some weeks and as many as fifty hours others, over six days, even though elsewhere they state five days; sort of like the tough sh*t clause. So, I feel this could be the best time to jump ship,they still have time to find a new teacher and I still have time to find a new job. I wouldn't have said yes to the job if they'd been clear on this. The law on the Union site says that if the contract doesn't follow the law I can quit without notice or if it does comply with it, I can still just give thirty days notice. Therefore, what I want to know is, do I need to give thirty days notice and is there anything that they can do against me if I do or don't?
Thanks for your advice and info; any further info would be very appreciated.
 

orochi

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What do you think they can do with you?
Penalties should be outlined in the contract.

Is there anybody at the union you can contact? They would probably have the best legal advice.
 

AussieBird

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Response to Orochi.

Not knowing much about the law here other than that which I've read on a website related to it, I am just a little concerned that they'll kick up a fuss down at immigration or threaten to take me to court.
 
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Sounds dodgey.

Look for a different job.

If you want to check on what you are asking, give the Aussie Embassy a hoot (presuming you are an OZ), also, good idea to check with the Japanese immigration and your local ward office.
 

Glenski

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You are not obligated to follow any illegal clause in a contract. So, if they ask you to work overtime and not get paid for it, point that out to them and don't work the OT until they promise legality.

Do you need 30 days notice? Well, if THEY give YOU 30 days notice, they need to pay you for those 30 days. As I wrote before, you haven't even come to Japan yet, have you? Apologize and tell them you cannot work there. Done deal. Japan is so saturated with teachers that they'll have no problem filling the slot. They will NOT hunt you down.
 

AussieBird

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Glenski

Already here and already have the visa which they helped to get by putting there signature on the contract only. Aside from that and offering me the job of course, they did nothing else to secure the visa and also it was just a renewal of a visa which I had already had anyway. Do I need to give them thirty days notice or does the fact that the contract is not entirely legal mean that I have every right, legally, to quit without notice? Could they get immigration to void the visa? Will I have to go through any procedure that would lead me to have to deal with them later when I start with a new company i.e. a letter of release?
 

orochi

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As I mentioned before, any penalties related to you breaking the contract should be outlined in the contract.

Anything regarding your visa should be taken up with the labor union, immigration, or a lawyer.
 

Glenski

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And, in addition to what orochi wrote, if you actually have the visa, it's yours. All they can do is cancel their sponsorship, so rather than waste more time online, I'd suggest looking for that other job, which you should have been doing anyway.

Employers don't cancel visas. They don't issue them, either. Immigration does both.
 

AussieBird

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Thanks Glenski

Have already set up interviews so that bit is done; it's the visa bit that I'm worried about. So, if they withdraw sponsorship, does that mean I keep the visa and just get my next employer to sponsor me? Will I need a letter of release for this and if so, what can I do when this current school refuses to give it?
 
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