Midnight Runners

Midnight Runners














“Midnight runners” are teachers who leave their schools without notice, often, literally, in the middle of the night.

No two runners will have the same story. Many claim they left their schools due to unpaid wages, impossible working conditions, employer contract breaches, etc. Some runners however, leave simply to escape responsibility. Since the FRP, (Foreign Residence Permit) has become embedded, *as a sticker) in the teacher’s passport, it has become harder to run away.

The PSB has a particular interest in cases where a teacher left a school with more than thirty days validity on the FRP. Even if you do go to Hong Kong and get a new Visa, and obtain new legal employment, it is possible you may be asked to explain the circumstances where you left a school without properly closing out your FRP. It is possible you may be fined, lose your job, or both.

It is strongly recommended that you try to resolve disputes with your school in a professional manner. Document your case and seek assistance from the local or regional PSB if necessary. But first, try to negotiate with your employer instead of simply packing it up.  Understand, China is a very negotiations friendly country. Offering to help find your replacement, (provided you are not recruiting someone into an abusive relationship) can go a long way toward smoothing the waters. Make running away your very last, not first option.

About Ken Hayes, M.Ed.