I have my own registered company this year, which my school set up for me, ... Is this done so as to make me complicit in their scam, I wonder. Perhaps I am too paranoid.
Well you can never be too paranoid in this job. The ironic thing about the ...dzielo dodge is that you end up doing more work - filling on forms, translating etc. - so that they can pay you less.
However, becoming freelance to work for a school doesn't really make you complicit in their dodgy deals, as long as you are free to choose other customers to work for. What you have to be careful of is that the school doesn't start telling you that you cannot work for anyone else because of some 'non-competition clause' in your contract. If they do have this, the school has to compensate you for the lost business (and ask you to sign the clause seperately) but the chances are, like with my boss, they are talking rubbish. A common trick all the same.
I'd like to take a moment to mention some of the other deals that have been offered to me by Polish schools in the past
- Teacher lives in Poland but school says he is resident in the UK. Because the teacher gets paid less than the minimum threshold, he doesn't pay any tax. This was thankfully made totally illegal since Poland joined the EU but some schools might still try it with US residence.
- Teacher has, let's say, 800 zloty a month written on contract but given verbal arrangement of , let's say,2000 a month. The school pays a lower rate of tax for the lower amount. Of course you have to be stupid to fall for this one and I didn't.
- Agreeing a NETT hourly rate and writing it on the contract only to tell you after signing that all amounts on contracts are GROSS amounts. This happened to me a few years back and I lost a couple of thousand
- "let's not bother with contracts". Very common. There's nothing that makes you feel more the professional that getting the tram to some elementary school on the edge of town in the evening, doing a 'lesson' without any materials and getting slipped a fifty note at the end. In some ways I like the honesty of this approach but it really isn't a long term option.
I'm sure there are others but none come to mind right now. What they go to show is that the private language school market in Poland is exceptionally terrible when it comes to employment. I don't know why they should be so much worse than others. Perhaps it is something fundamentally twisted about the school owners? Many of them are trained 'teachers' themselves - they have problems dealing with adults in the real world so they ruthlessly exploit the ones who work for them. I appreciate the tax system makes it expensive to employ people but they actively find ways to screw you harder to to their work for them, and expect you to be grateful for it.