Having a job means you have responsibility. But if you have an employer, your employment is never fully guaranteed. Employers can lay you off with or without reason. If they have a reason to do it, it may not be very smart to try to get more out of your severance agreement. If the reason you are being laid off is understandable and is not a harsh violation of some sort, then perhaps you could negotiate some differences into your agreement. Some jobs offer severance agreements as part of the job contract. However, most jobs show it to you as part of the job termination process. These jobs leave it up to you whether you should try and negotiate better terms or switch things around. So, what are severance agreements in the first place?
Well, it is a contract between the employer and the employee that documents the rights and responsibilities of both the employer and the employee. Usually, this is in the case of job termination or layoffs. What the agreement usually specifies is the pay of the severance package as well as any benefits. It also outlines under what conditions these payments and benefits are to be given. Severance agreements not a bad thing, but I will mention a few things to watch out for in a bit.
Many common things you will read on the agreement is the amount of severance pay during the contracted period. It may also have some conditions that could withhold your severance benefits if you. For instance, begin working with a competitor in a specific time period ordained by the agreement. You may also have to sign off agreeing that you wont file any sort of wrongful dismissal lawsuits. Severance packages can also include healthcare and insurance benefits for a certain amount of time.
Now for the things you want to watch out for pertaining to severance agreements. If your employer has you sign a contract that contains the severance package details, be sure that you are not signing something that gets you minimum payments from severance. Most of the time, employees sign these without even realizing what they have done. Also, if you quit your job and have a severance agreement, it may be best to know that your severance pay will not carry on if you find another job within the severance pay time period. You won’t receive both severance pay and your new income. Rather, the severance will go back to your employer and you will receive your new income.
One thing to remember is that just because you are fired for no reason at all or for a reason, severance agreements should not change based on this. If you receive a severance agreement that you feel is unfair, you can always try to talk with your employer. See what they could do for you in the event that you do leave your job. Or if you are laid off for any reason.