What is a fair severance package

What you need to know about severance packages 2021 - job hunting

Are you losing your job Have you been offered a severance package? While there is no legal requirement for a company to offer severance pay, many companies will make it available to employees after they leave their jobs. If you are in this position, you probably want to know if your package is appropriate, and if not, can you negotiate a better deal?

In general, the severance pay is usually based on the length of service. For example, it could be one week for each year of service or some other amount set by the employer. If provided, it is paid either as a lump sum or over several weeks.

A severance package can also include health insurance coverage for a period of time and the continuation of other employee benefits.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require severance pay. The severance payment is basically an agreement between an employer and an employee. The employer has no legal obligation to pay severance payments to a departing employee.

Why some companies offer severance pay

Losing a job is often unexpected for employees, and a severance package offers some leeway by adding a paycheck and possibly other perks.

However, employers don't offer severance packages just to be nice. Often times, in order to receive the severance package, employees have to sign papers stating that they will not speak negatively about the company. You may also need to agree not to take legal action or seek work with a competitor.

Typical severance payments

If the current collective agreement does not include severance pay, a company is not required to provide severance pay for workers who are union members.

In negotiations, a typical severance payment for an hourly employee (represented in a union) is one week of pay for each year of service up to a maximum of 26 weeks. For non-union employees, the severance pay is usually two weeks for each year of service - up to a maximum of 26 weeks. In addition to the salary, companies can offer outplacement advice.

Company Compensation Policies

If a company has a formal handling policy, it will include:

  • Purpose.The company sets out the purpose of the severance pay plan, which generally provides support to workers while they seek other employment.
  • Requirements for the severance payment.A severance payment policy also specifies the circumstances under which an employee is paid severance pay (e.g. involuntary termination, layoffs, etc.) and the circumstances under which the severance payment is not paid (e.g. involuntary termination for a specific reason, etc.) .).
  • Groups covered by the policy. Sometimes the company restricts the policy to specific groups of workers. For example, employees can receive severance pay, but hourly employees cannot.
  • How is the severance pay calculated? The employer sets the guidelines for employees who receive a weekly salary for each year they have been employed or whether a different calculation is used. The policy will also set guidelines for paying for things like unused vacation time, sick leave, personal days, etc.
  • How is the severance payment paid? Employers can pay the severance payment in a lump sum or over regular pay periods for the specified duration. The method of payment can affect the disbursement of unemployment benefits depending on the state.
  • Documents to be signed A company can require employees to sign documents, such as: B. a legal release, an agreement to keep the harmony, etc., before they release the severance payment.
  • Employer's rights to modify an agreement. A company's severance policy is likely to provide some protection to the employer, with the sole right to change or terminate the severance policy. The severance pay policy may also provide that in the event that the company is sold, acquired, merged, etc., the severance payment will not be paid unless an employee is involuntarily terminated.

Negotiation of severance payments

If the involuntary termination is part of a group reduction, it is unlikely that an employee can negotiate a different severance pay agreement.

The information contained is not legal advice and does not replace this advice. State and federal laws change frequently, and the information may not reflect the laws of your country or recent legislative changes.