During these difficult economic times and continued layoffs, it is important to consider your options with respect to severance packages, should the pink slip arrive on your desk.


If you did not negotiate a severance package as part of your total compensation package on the hiring end, that does not mean it is too late to negotiate. But there is homework to do and you have to know what you are negotiating for. Here are some helpful tips:


Do Your Research:


Before you even attempt to negotiate with your management, you need to do your homework. In any negotiation, preparation is key to success. Here are a few things to try to sleuth out:


·        Has your company negotiated severance packages in the past?

·        What terms have they agreed to with other executives?

·        Why are you and others being laid off? Are the dismissals based on company finances and “economic times”, or based on your performance?

·        How many others were laid off?

·        What is important to you in this negotiation?

·        What do you think will be on your employer’s agenda?


Severance Checklist:


I have listed below some points to consider when approaching your management to negotiate your severance benefits.


·        Make sure you are getting paid for all your accrued benefits (personal and vacation days).

·        Ask for outplacement services for several months or longer.

·        Ask to be able to choose your outplacement provider/career coach yourself

·        Ask for a continuation of benefits coverage until the severance ends.

·        Ensure you get your bonus(es) that are due to you.

·        Ask for access to office space and administrative support to look for a job during the severance period.

·        Ask for a letter of reference signed by a senior executive.


Take time to think and get advice:


The last points to remember are that you should never sign any package on the spot. Take time to review what the company is offering and seek out professional advice from an employment lawyer. Generally, once you accept a severance package, you must sign a waiver to release the company from any further claims.