I have been working at Gems Education as a contractor for more than 3 years
Pros – You are paid on time
Free tuition for your child (valued at about 20k per year)
Housing and Medical Inusrance is covered as is an annual flight home in summer for teacher +1
The summers and holiday breaks off are great
Kids are fantastic
Cons – Only one dependent is covered so if you have a spouse and a child you are on the hook for things like medical insurance, costs of visas, flights, etc.... which is a lot on a low end teacher's salary.
Some of the teachers are fresh out of school and like to party to the point of silliness (most younger grades) They get the jobs because they are "western"
They make it very hard to find a new job after completing your contract and expect you to sign a renewal agreement 8 months before the commencement of the next year and before new jobs are posted at other schools. If you decide afterwards to leave....for example after Xmas time but before the summer starts (6 months notice!) you are "breaking contract" and will be hit on your salary, end of service gratuity, etc... Never know from year to year if there will be a salary step freeze.
Advice to Senior Management – Offer a copy of the legally binding Arabic labor contract to the teachers when you offer them the job ***It seems only a very few have ever actually seen their Arabic contract*** Perhaps have the two contracts match (English one at the fairs and the subsequent Arabic one). It is distressing to sign one contract and then get the Arabic and see totally different terms! Make the residency permit process easier (what does the PRO do with his days exactly?? We all know the real process is under 5 days but our passports are taken for weeks!) Don't offer the "Gems Approved Flight Allowance" to the staff at some of your schools and then retract the offer after people have turned in their forms to get paid and then reduce it by $600 or more on many of the cities! People don't like having signed contract agreements reneged on. Do not make your employees pay the housing fee in Dubai and then wait to get paid back. That is not our expense per the contract! Encourage heads of school to show their faces more than at the start and end of the school year. We can literally go months without seeing them walk down the halls. Not good for staff moral.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
2013-10-09 03:32 PDT
I worked at Gems Education full-time
Pros – I loved being part of the educational experience and always wanted to make a difference in this way.
Cons – I often felt over-worked, quite exploited, and unappreciated (not by my direct boss but by the company). The salary gap between what the locals were being paid and expats was huge and very unjust.
Advice to Senior Management – I advise management to better appreciate their employees, and to pay each one what they deserve and not exploit the local employees in certain countries.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
2012-09-05 12:41 PDT
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