Salary and Benefits


ISNS has a transparent system of payment for employees and uses a set salary scale to determine the level of pay.  Teachers and staff may visit the Human Resources Department, the Director of Operations and Finance or the Head of School to view the salary scale and discuss contract details.

The first salary payment for new teachers will be issued on September 25th.  This first paycheck will include salary for the period of August 1 to September 20.  New teachers are therefore encouraged to bring enough funds with them for living from the date of their arrival until September 25th.  Relocating generally requires a significant amount of expense.  For families who will be living off campus, a large deposit is usually required when renting an apartment.  A 3000RMB cash advance can be issued to teachers who request it.

The Finance Department will help each new teacher create a bank account with the Bank of China.  Salaries may only be deposited into a Bank of China account.  A branch with ATM service is located within walking distance of the school.  Pay checks are deposited into the teacher’s account automatically on the 25th of each month.  If the 25th falls on a Saturday, then the pay will be issued on the previous Friday.  If the 25th falls on a Sunday, the pay will be issued on the following Monday.  Monthly pay is calculated from the 20th of one month to the 20th of the following month.

The twelve month annual pay cycle runs from August 1st to July 31st.  For teachers entering their second year or any consecutive year, the paycheck for August 25th will be apportioned with July 21-31 being at the previous year’s salary rate and August 1-20 being at the coming year’s salary rate.  For teachers who do not arrive on time for the academic year (after the first day of school), the salary will be paid starting on the teacher’s first day of work.

Salary and benefits are paid in local Chinese Yuan (RMB) currency but at the start of each academic year and summer, teachers are able to designate a portion of their salary to be sent to an overseas bank of their choosing in either Canadian dollars, U.S. dollars or Euros.  The Finance Department will ask teachers to complete a form indicating the amount, the currency and the account information for these international transfers.  Transfers can take up to ten business days.  The banking system in China is rather cumbersome so teachers should not depend upon an exact date of transfer.  The fee for this service is 125RMB per monthly transfer plus any additional fees that your home bank may charge.  Certain small town banks may not be equipped to handle a transfer from China.  The exchange rate fluctuates continuously and will be set at the time of transfer.  This service is provided as a courtesy by ISNS and is not guaranteed.

All taxes in China are paid by the school.  Teachers will be issued a monthly pay slip which can be used for tax purposes in their home country.  You can also request an annual official tax receipt from the Chinese government through the ISNS finance office.


On-campus housing is provided for teachers in our new residence building.  One or Two bedroom apartments are available, depending on the size of the family.  Utilities are paid for by the school up to the amount of 300RMB per month (600RMB for a two bedroom unit), which is generally adequate for all utility expenses.  Please see the Residence Handbook for more details.

Annual Travel Allowance (as of August 1, 2023):

All foreign-hired teachers will be provided with a travel allowance of up to $2000CAD per academic year (August 1 to July 31).  The intent of the travel benefit is to provide teachers with the opportunity to travel to and from one’s home country each year.   However, the allowance can be used for any qualified travel expenses including flights, trains, hotels or the ferry to/from Hong Kong that occur within that year.   Teachers must submit receipts and proof of travel such as a ticket stub or boarding pass for reimbursement.  A fapio is also required for any expenses within China.  Cash reimbursement is not given if the travel benefit is not used.   The travel benefit must be used within the academic year and cannot be rolled over to subsequent years.  The travel allowance may not be transferred to any other person.  It may not be given to any other party or sold.  The allowance can be used for premium or business class flights if they fall within the limit of $2000CAD.

New teachers coming to Shenzhen for the first time may submit a request for reimbursement for up to 1500RMB for shipping costs in addition to the regular baggage allowance provided on the flight.

Health Insurance:

International Health Insurance is provided and the cost is fully covered for all foreign teaching staff.  Local Chinese nationals are covered by Chinese Social insurance in accordance with Chinese law.  The insurance coverage applies to all countries except the United States, where only emergencies are covered.  A briefing will be held at the start of each school year to clarify the health insurance policy.  The current health insurance policy covers an annual wellness exam.  Dental and vision are not covered unless it is for emergency care.

Women who are on a Category C Contract are entitled to extra insurance which covers a majority of the maternity and birth expenses (subject to the policy of the insurance provider).  The maternity insurance policy becomes active one year after the individual has been registered for it.

Tuition Benefits for Children of Staff:

Tuition benefits for children are provided but vary depending on the salary scale level of each individual teaching couple.  Tuition benefits do not include items such as lunches, uniforms, busing, school trips, extra-curricular activities (such as basketball with Five-Star, or ACAMIS tournaments).  These items, especially the school trips, can be quite costly so parents should consider this carefully when accepting employment.

Child care can be arranged by the school and provided by older students for children of faculty during orientation and professional development days when school is not in session but teaching parents are occupied.  Young children should not be left unsupervised on campus at any time.

Pension Benefit:

A pension amount of 8% of total salary is offered to staff on three-year (Category C) and experienced (Category D) contracts.  For those employees receiving the pension benefit it is paid out in two installments in January and June.

Continuing Education Benefit for Graduate Studies:

Following three years of successful employment at ISNS, teachers on a long term (Category C) or experienced teacher (Category D) contract may be eligible for reimbursement of base tuition costs (excluding fees, books, etc.) of up to 50% for a master’s degree or PhD with prior approval from the Executive Director of the school.  A limited number of these scholarships will be offered.  This benefit does not apply for teachers completing a bachelor’s degrees or teaching license.  The master’s degree or PhD must be from a certified university that is approved by the Executive Director of the school.  A copy of the university enrollment letter and official receipts indicating that payment of tuition has been made must be submitted to the HR department in order for the teacher to receive this tuition reimbursement.  Payment for tuition reimbursement will be made to the teacher in January and June of each academic year.  The teacher is expected to continue with employment at ISNS for a minimum of two years following the completion of the degree.

Upon completion of a degree or license, the teacher may move up in pay the following school year.  See the official salary scale for the salary scale steps and master’s degree stipend amount.

Discontinuation of Contract:

The repercussions for changing from a two or three-year contract to a one year contract will include reverting to the benefits and salary of a one year contract which are lesser in value.  The teacher must pay back (deducted from final paycheck) all such benefits that have already been received.

The penalty for breaking a contract of employment at any time throughout the academic year is 15,000RMB.  This fee is collected for covering the costs of recruiting, hiring, transportation and replacement.  See the official teacher contract for further details.

Extension of Contract:

Teachers wishing to continue employment after a two-year (Category D) or three-year (Category C) contract can renew their contract year by year with the same benefits of their Category C or D contract.