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Four Tips for Successfully Negotiating a Severance Package

When you get laid-off, besides doing math on a severance pay calculator, you need to ask yourself whether you got a package. Under common law, your employer has to provide you reasonable notice if they intend to lay you off. While most employers pay in lieu of notice, you are entitled to severance pay if you worked for the same employer longer than five years.

More than likely, your employer will seek to engage you in negotiations. However, you should avoid rushing into any negotiations before fully understanding the issues at hand and all the options available for you. Below are some tips to help you successfully negotiate a severance package.

1. Determine Your Case’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Before engaging your employer in a negotiation, analyze the likely outcomes if you were to go to court. Compare any potential resolutions to the outcome while considering the practicalities involved to avoid unnecessary expenditure in time and money. This will also help prevent the indirect stress and costs associated with a court trial.

2. Do Not Be Intimidated by Negotiation

Avoid signing any agreements the same day your employer lays you off. Also, do not cave into the two-week deadline your employer may impose for your response. While some employers may decline negotiations beyond their two-week deadline, remember that this deadline is extendable and is not legally binding.

It is normal for most people to calculate what they are entitled to on a severance pay calculator within their employers’ two-week deadline. However, bear in mind that severance pay is more than just about earnings. The package can contain compensation for various benefits you received during employment. For instance, if you received annual bonuses, then you should receive part of it prorated to the period you had worked during that year.

3. Consider All Possible Forms Of Remuneration

While most people majorly focus on how long the notice period is, it is vital to focus on what the employer provides during that period. For instance, consider whether your employer is offering other benefits besides base pay, e.g., car allowance, commissions and bonuses.

By default, you should receive all the compensation you would typically receive if you were still actively working during the notice period.

4. Consider Whether You Need a Lawyer

While situations differ from person to person, it is always advisable to seek proper legal advice before accepting any offers from an employer. Therefore, always consult a competent lawyer if you can afford one. A good lawyer can thoroughly analyze the details of your termination and employment terms.

In summary, remember to maintain realistic expectations during the entire process of termination and while seeking a fair severance package. Under no circumstances should you rush into negotiations with your employer. During negotiations, do everything in your power to achieve the best settlement possible while mitigating unnecessary litigation expenditure.

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