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What should be included in a severance package?

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Executive Employment

From an employer’s perspective, severance packages serve as a gesture of goodwill and can mitigate potential legal risks in the event of termination. These packages serve to provide a cushion for employees during the transition to new employment.

Understanding the key elements that should be included in a severance package is vital for both parties. This ensures a fair and balanced approach, reflecting the interests of both an employer and a terminated employee.

Financial considerations

Financial compensation is at the heart of most severance packages. This is often calculated based on factors such as the employee’s tenure, position and salary. Employers might offer a lump sum or a series of payments.

Benefits and insurance continuation

Maintaining certain benefits post-employment can be a key component of severance packages. Health, dental and life insurance coverage are often expected benefits that employers might choose to extend for a limited period after employment ends. This extension can be crucial for employees, providing them with continued health coverage until they secure a new position with similar benefits. The duration of this continuation varies, but it typically aligns with the length of the severance pay period.

Non-monetary perks

Non-monetary perks might include extended access to company resources, such as professional development courses or alumni networks. These can assist the departing employee in enhancing their skills and maintaining professional connections. These perks should be spelled out fully so both sides know exactly what’s included in the severance package.

Legal considerations

Legal considerations, such as a release of claims, are often included in severance agreements. This is a legal tool where the departing employee agrees not to pursue legal action against the employer regarding their employment or termination. In exchange, the employee receives the severance benefits. Both parties should review these legal terms carefully to ensure mutual understanding and agreement.

Having someone familiar with employment law to review the severance agreement can help to ensure the terms are clear and nothing is hidden. This review should be done before the agreement is signed because it becomes binding once it’s signed.