Avoid Seiha at all Costs

Avoid Seiha at all costs

This is a story about Seiha,
who also own and operate Hilltop and Rabby.

​​​I normally don't start threads in forums, and I've never bashed a company before, but my experience at SEIHA (a kids eikaiwa) has just been so horrible that I hope no one else has to go through with their crap again.

So basically in Feburary I decided to stick around in Japan for another year and applied to a few companies that posted on Gaijinpot. I got interviews for a few besides SEIHA, and non were ideal. Either the pay was great but I had to work long hours or 6-day weeks (although some days only 4-5 hours), or the hours were great but the pay was low. Then the SEIHA ad came up and the description sounded pretty good - 10-7 workdays, Sundays + one weekday off, health insurance included, at the standard 250,000yen pay.

Before signing the contract in March, I was told:
- Health insurance is provided by the company
- Travel no more than 40 minutes each way regularly (with the exception that once or twice a month I'd have to travel over an hour)
- 8-days off per month policy (which meant if there were 9 off days in a month, I'd have to work a 6-day week that month)
- 1000yen/hour for training and campaigning, 2500yen/hour for teaching
- In March I would be training, and in April I would work roughly 20 hours/week teaching time part-time, and in May I would sign a full-time contract after I do a health checkup (at my own expense).

I figured it's pretty good considering they provide health benefits, and I'd be fine until May with the EI I was getting, so I signed the contract believing I had full information. Little did I know what I was getting into.

The reality was a completely different story once I signed the contract:

-I barely worked a 8-10 hours each week from March right on through April, which maybe 2, 3 hours teaching time. I made like 60000yen each month. Sometimes I had to be there a full day and worked & got paid for only 3-4 hours. To top it off, they had me travel on average 1.5 hour each way, and promised from May I wouldn't have to travel more than 40 min.

-At the end of April, I told them I wasn't paid enough to cover for the health checkup, so asked if I can delay it one month. The leader said they can't sign a full-time contract without it, claiming it's because they need to make sure the teacher's healthy to avoid damages for the school. BUT then she agrees to sign a 1-month semi-full time contract (that pays 180,000) with me. YA OK, obviously the checkup is just a gimmick to pay the teacher as little as possible if they get screwed over the first couple of month and have no money to pay for it.

-I also find out after 2 months that health insurance isn't provided for. Basically we have to pay 30,000yen for social insurance to the government every month. I was so freakin pissed, I asked twice "Is health insurance provided for?" prior to agreeing to work for them, and they claimed YES. How on earth can they say IT'S PROVIDED if the employees have to pay themselves?!

-Although I specifically said I didn't want to travel far when I interviewed (to which they agreed), after signing the semi-contract, I still had to travel 2 hours/way once every week, and just over an hour regularly. Now they say this is what's expected.

-Remember the 8-days off crap? It was EVEN worse in reality. SEIHA can enforce half-day offs. So they can schedule 6-day weeks regularly, with 2 days only being "half days", and the 2 half days off counts as a full day off.

Seriously what kind of stipulation is this?! If I have to work on any given day, it's a work day!! Obviously non of this was explained before I started working.

-You DO NOT get national holidays off. I never even thought of asking as I thought they are mendatory by law. So if you take a NH off you'd have to make up for it another week. The only holidays you get is 4 days in the summer & 4 in the winter.

So the reality of SEIHA is 6-day weeks, 220,000yen pay, >1 hour travel time, and no national holidays. I would've NEVER taken the job had I had full info. But of course they'd never tell you that until you're locked in.

I could've taken any of the other options I had and have been better off. I obviously quit at the end of May and took another job.

But the nightmare didn't end there. After I quit, they told me to return the SEIHA shirts to HQ, at my expense. I said I would mail them in and asked them for the HQ address, once on the phone and twice in emails. No one bothered to get back to me. Then 5 days before the last payday, I suddenly got a call saying I'd have to pay 60,000yen if the shirts are not sent back, because it's policy. I sent them almost immediately after that after asking for the address AGAIN, but still found they deduced 60,000 from the pay. I had to spend a day talking to them & complaining before they released it back to me.

But I was honestly baffled. How is holding 60,000yen for 3 t-shirts a reasonable policy?? And if it's really a legal policy, why did no one inform me of this right after I quit instead of waiting until 5 days before payday (when they knew it's probably insufficient time to mail it in on time)??

But then again, that's SEIHA. They are anything but reasonable, pulling out ridiculous "policies" out of thin air whenever convenient for the sole purpose of exploiting teachers while paying as little as possible. Apparently just last year they were forced to delete a lot of illegal clauses from their contracts, but I'm sure many of their "policies" are still far form legal.

So my word of advice, seriously if you ever see SEIHA hiring, just ignore it and avoid this horrible nightmare of a company at all cost.

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