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View Full Version : Need to break contract without giving sufficient notice



spyder
April 15th, 2014, 09:33
Hi guys!

My contract states I should give 30 days notice to leave but there is a high chance I will be leaving before that (ultimate decision will be made by the end of the week). It's an incredibly stressful situation but those are the facts. I need to leave. Asap. Looking to book a flight May 8th...Trying to figure out how this will all be done...

What I'm wanting to know is if anyone has ever been through a similar situation before? Has anyone on here broken their contract (or knows someone who did) to leave the country early, but not given the time listed on thier contract for quitting? Maybe even just up and left?

I know someone who went home for xmas, got her December pay (including a bunch of nenkyu) then told them she was quitting in January (from her country). However I'd like to do things the right way (at least as much as I am able) and wondering if people have experienced consequences such as not being paid for work you've done? I realise nenkyu is calculated by length of stay, but I've only taken a little over half. Although I am hoping to fly out a week into May I plan to stop working the day I get paid (end of the month). It's all a little complicated...

So! Anyone been through this before?

therealwindycity
April 15th, 2014, 09:52
Why wouldn't you want your BOE to know? It'll be better to have them on board than to try to keep your move a secret, especially since if you want to do things right you need to tie up a lot of loose ends with your car and insurance, landlord, city hall, cell phone company, utilities and internet, etc. It's not like they can do anything to keep you here if you've really decided to go home.

To be honest, the 30 day thing doesn't really matter at this point since they won't be able to get a new ALT until the August intake anyway, but a little bit of notice is still better than none.

Antonath
April 15th, 2014, 10:06
I'd agree with Windy. Assuming it's an emergency, your CO should understand; get them on board to help with all the paperwork. If nothing else, consider it a favour for your successor, who would otherwise have to deal with a CO that's now expecting them to flyjin at any minute.

spyder
April 15th, 2014, 10:12
Why wouldn't you want your BOE to know? It'll be better to have them on board than to try to keep your move a secret, especially since if you want to do things right you need to tie up a lot of loose ends with your car and insurance, landlord, city hall, cell phone company, utilities and internet, etc. It's not like they can do anything to keep you here if you've really decided to go home.

To be honest, the 30 day thing doesn't really matter at this point since they won't be able to get a new ALT until the August intake anyway, but a little bit of notice is still better than none.


I won't be keeping it a secret, I'll just telling the BOE (well, my schools and PA and the BOE will find out through them as I have zero contact with the actual BOE) and leaving without giving sufficient notice as stated in my contract...

I was just hoping to hear from some people who have broken their contract without giving the set notice. Whether that be people who just got the hell out of here or at least tried to do the right thing, as I am planning to. I haven't said anything yet because there are some factors which could result in my staying. 90-95% sure I'll be going though. I'll say something once I am 100% certain.

My PA told me they would get an early arrival at this stage, as those new JETs agreed to come from April.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
April 15th, 2014, 10:15
I second (third?) the points above - your job isn't a prison, if you really need to break contract and leave then you do it - BUT be aware that if you decided to go fly-by-night it affects the reputation of the programme (which most people here don't care about) but more importantly negatively affects the way your replacement will be viewed when they arrive and the attitudes of their co-workers as they continue working (which, unless you're a really terrible person, you should care about). Unless you're leaving to keep ahead of the law and hiding out until then, is it really such a problem just being at least vaguely helpful to your employers and future replacement?

You're skipping out, and it's going to cause a bit of hassle whatever you do - but don't try to pass that hassle on to the next guy down the line if you're capable of mitigating it somewhat. That's just rude.

Edit: Anyway, assuming you're going to do the vaguely right thing, one of my friends left a month ago because of a death in the family and a few other back-home circumstances. She left as soon as possible and her BOE were very understanding, and helped her out as much as they could. Now, how helpful that is to you I have no idea - this kind of stuff is always situational - but to bang on the same drum as before, the more people know what's going on the easier it is for everybody involved, including you.

spyder
April 15th, 2014, 10:27
Yes, as I've said, I am planning on telling them as soon as the decision is 100% made. This is just a very stressful situation and I'd like to know what I'm up for/potential consequences for not following the contract. Hopefully everyone will be sympathetic at work and it will be a fine good bye....

therealwindycity
April 15th, 2014, 10:28
I won't be keeping it a secret, I'll just telling the BOE (well, my schools and PA and the BOE will find out through them as I have zero contact with the actual BOE) and leaving without giving sufficient notice as stated in my contract...

I was just hoping to hear from some people who have broken their contract without giving the set notice. Whether that be people who just got the hell out of here or at least tried to do the right thing, as I am planning to. I haven't said anything yet because there are some factors which could result in my staying. 90-95% sure I'll be going though. I'll say something once I am 100% certain.

My PA told me they would get an early arrival at this stage, as those new JETs agreed to come from April.

If I recall correctly, early departure JETs have already left for Japan, haven't they?

In any case, as long as you're planning to tell them before you actually leave, I would't worry so much about 30 days specifically. It's not the letter of the law, it's the spirit of the law - give all the relevant people a heads up and as much notice as possible. You said that you're going to tell them as soon as you know for sure and you're in contact with the PA, so I think you'll be fine. I'm sure that people will be understanding.

Antonath
April 15th, 2014, 10:35
Yes, as I've said, I am planning on telling them as soon as the decision is 100% made. This is just a very stressful situation and I'd like to know what I'm up for/potential consequences for not following the contract. Hopefully everyone will be sympathetic at work and it will be a fine good bye....
The problem with asking for advice on a JET forum is that people who have to leave abruptly generally don't hang around on them after they've left. We can give you second-hand stories like SomePeople's, and can reassure you that for all the horror-stories ITIL revels in, most COs and schools will be understanding if you have to leave for an emergency. But first-hand advice in this situation will be hard to come by, precisely because it is an emergency.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
April 15th, 2014, 10:44
Yeah, like Antonath said, I could theoretically try to get in touch with my friend that left under similar time-constraints, but in all likelihood by the time she got back to me you'd already have gone. Nature of the problem, I guess.

Obviously you don't want to tell us specifically what the reasons are, and that's fine, but I do have one question - based on your reason for leaving, how do you see your co-workers / bosses reacting? because things may be different here in some ways, but there are some universal sympathy-notes that, when played, give you a much easier ride of things when trying to do something like break a contract.

Gizmotech
April 15th, 2014, 11:04
Anecdotal story time:

There was a girl here 2 years ago. Came in August, Quit in November. Her mother died, rather suddenly. I am 95% sure there was no 30 day notice, and she is back on JET now, in the same prefecture (different contracting organization).

So long as your reason is valid, you should be fine, but even if it isn't it doesn't matter. If you are breaking contract early, you are breaking contract early (with or without the 30 day window) and there is nothing they can do about it besides hold back pay (if you are paid after you have departed), not provide your flight home (obviously), and not assist with pension refund if you have been here long enough to be eligible for one. It also destroys a potential reference in the future.

Jiggit
April 15th, 2014, 11:40
If you really need to go then they can't stop you, no matter how much they might dislike it. As others have said if it's a valid reason I would expect them to be understanding. So you should tell them as soon as possible because they'll be able to help you.

If it's possible that telling them might result in them pressuring you into staying then you don't actually have a good enough reason that you need to go.

Telling them at the last possible minute or even telling them after you leave is just cowardly and selfish. And as others have said, you spoil your chances of returning to Japan and affect your ability to seek employment in the future. Just to avoid a few days of awkwardness. Not worth it.

hithere4
April 15th, 2014, 14:13
Gizmo, how did that work? Did she come back like two months later after everything was sorted out at home, or did she apply for JET again and just by chance got to come back to the same prefecture, quite interested

Gizmotech
April 15th, 2014, 14:14
reapplied again. She asked to come back to the same prefecture.

itsabird
April 15th, 2014, 15:13
I'd give the notice if possible. It doesn't sound like the school you work for did anything wrong, or you would be bad mouthing them. And at the same time, you're not giving any hint as to why you have to leave early. So, naturally, I feel it's either for something that isn't a good reason or something really embarrassing. Either way, not enough information to give very helpful advice, aside from letting your employers know as soon as possible.

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spyder
April 15th, 2014, 16:08
I didn't originally provide all of the details as I was trying to give focus to the questions/advice I was asking. The more people tend to put in their threads the more things can get derailed sometimes. Plus things are just so awful for me at the moment that I didn’t really feel like putting my private life out there and most likely get insulted/abused/lectured about it in some way. However since several people have pointed out they would like some more information here it is. Hopefully you guys can be supportive. I certainly have no support network here where I live.

Ok, so essentially I am going home due to family reasons. I didn't really want to go into it but my mother had a stroke several years ago and another one recently. Freaked the hell outta me. She also has some other concerning health issues AND she has to look after my grandpa who has been suffering from throat (and other) cancer for several years. My step-dad has to go away for work and it leaves my mum all alone in the isolated country. We are a very close family and I have been so stressed and worried about what is happening at home...My family needs me right now.

On top of that, well, to be blatantly honest...I am incredibly unhappy here. I've spent so many months here being depressed and counting down the days that now that my mother has had another stroke and my grandpa has gone down hill since I left I feel I need to go home. I've really tried, I mean, I've REALLY tried to turn my situation around here. Every bloody day has been a huge effort. Time couldn't go any slower! I feel like I've been here forever (dramatic I know, but it is how I feel). If it wasn't for these family issues I might try and hang in a bit longer, finish this. I sacrificed a lot to come here. However my time here feels like a sentence. I've wanted to go home for 6 months. My remaining time here feels like something I have to endure.

Soooo.....family emergency plus I am hopelessly miserable and suffering here. I'm not going to keep punishing myself while my family needs me. I’m very sad how things have turned out but I told myself a while ago that if I got a fantastic job opportunity or if there was a family emergency I would put those (my) priorities first and leave. Unfortunately it's not a great job :(

therealwindycity
April 15th, 2014, 16:11
Considering those factors, I think that your BOE will be perfectly understanding. I think you're making the right choice in going back. And as some other posters have pointed out, even if they want you to stay, there's not really anything they can do to keep you here. It's best to just be open about things

spyder
April 15th, 2014, 16:20
Thank you for your kind response!

Antonath
April 15th, 2014, 16:22
I'd focus on the "family needs me" aspect when you tell your BoE. If you add the "I hate it here" part, they might try and convince you otherwise. You won't be convinved, but it's a waste of time and energy for everyone. Stick to the family side of things and they should be sympathetic and helpful.

spyder
April 15th, 2014, 16:26
Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking. I'll try and give as much notice as possible and tie things up as well as possible...

Gizmotech
April 15th, 2014, 17:31
You might actually get your return flight as well given those are extenuating circumstances. How long have you been in Japan? more than a single contract?

The family angle is always a good one to use in Japan, especially if it is in regards to supporting your elders. That works right in with Japanese culture and values, far more than I think some people realize.

coop52
April 15th, 2014, 19:25
Don't tell them that you hate it here at all. They'll definitely understand if you tell them you're leaving out of concern for your mother's health.

Ini
April 15th, 2014, 19:31
Same reason I never capitalize anything.

itsabird
April 15th, 2014, 22:09
Yeah, I'd like to think they'd be sympathetic about the family thing. Not so much the hate it here thing, but definitely the former.

Best of luck with your situation.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
April 15th, 2014, 22:51
Yeah, I know that can't have been fun to go into on a forum, but it does give us a clearer idea of what your situation is - and let's is give better advice. Tell your BOE/schools about the family matters - at worst, you skip out anyway like you were planning to. At best, they try to help you out. And good luck.

spyder
April 17th, 2014, 22:16
Thank you for the well wishes! I took nenkyu today (an unusual case of no classes) and talked to the PA a lot, sorted out my plane ticket with my significant other over skype (he bought it for me) and traveled into school to deliver my resignation notice to my tantousha. The amount of things that I need to do, and the amount of things I don't know how to really do is overwhelming. Just trying to tackle one thing at a time...

Seems my biggest problem may very well be selling my car (and some furniture) over the next couple of weeks o.O Eeeek...

ihatefall
April 21st, 2014, 15:09
Did you but the furniture? If not leave it for the next jet. Car= FB groups and craigslist


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