We are a group of language trainers working for language course provider Learnship, which is based in Cologne. We are employed on zero hours ‘self-employment’ contracts, which we believe are exploitative as well as unjust, especially to dedicated qualified professionals who are expected to make a long-term commitment and provide quality training to Learnship customers. Most of these customers are experienced business professionals working for high profile multi-national companies.
We have joined FAU to improve terms and conditions for language trainers at the company and thus influence working conditions in the language teaching sector more widely.
The workplace group meets online every first and third Thursday of the month – contact email@example.com for more information!
Industry wage standards for teaching online in 2021 typically range between 17-35 euros per hour of class time, depending on the curriculum and number of students taught. It is typical for companies to have a 24-hour cancellation policy with teachers receiving full payment in compensation. The vast majority of online language companies also make wage payments within the first few days of the following month.
By comparison, Learnship pays all new teachers a fixed rate of 15 euros per hour without exception, irrespective of class size, and the company has made it clear that this rate will not be increased. This rate has been in place since 2018. Currently, Learnship only compensates teachers 33% of the rate for cancelled classes, and only if the student cancels within 6 hours prior to schedule. Learnship has also been paying wages to teachers as late as 21 days into the following month for bank transfers.
Learnship’s low wages and compensation rates, along with their tardiness in making wage payments, put teachers in an increasingly precarious position. Learnship’s blanket refusal to increase wages means teachers have to accept rates which are not only insufficient to support themselves, but are also gradually depreciating against annual growth in inflation. This situation is untenable and clearly must be redressed.
Contact details for the Workplace Group
Meetings: Every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month online.
Please send us an email if you would like to find out more about our work!