Careers

Negotiate severance in job offer

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 6th, 2021 11:16 pm
[OP]
Member
Oct 27, 2013
287 posts
77 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA

Negotiate severance in job offer

I’ve been offered a role with a company and I’d be leaving an organization for which I worked over 10 years at. Their offer includes a severance statement of 2 weeks plus 1 week per year of service. Is it possible to negotiate this to a higher severance should they decide to terminate without cause? For example negotiate a starting severance of 6 weeks or more?
31 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
7374 posts
1901 upvotes
Toronto
Based on my understanding, if you are terminated one year, you get 2 weeks severance and additional 1 week ever year. So, if you got terminated after 10 years you get 12 weeks severance. Am i right?
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
2366 posts
722 upvotes
New Brunswick
Abacus1010 wrote: I’ve been offered a role with a company and I’d be leaving an organization for which I worked over 10 years at. Their offer includes a severance statement of 2 weeks plus 1 week per year of service. Is it possible to negotiate this to a higher severance should they decide to terminate without cause? For example negotiate a starting severance of 6 weeks or more?
That is low and the minimum that they can get away with. You can get more. It depends on different factors.
Deal Addict
Sep 14, 2012
1845 posts
1324 upvotes
Montreal, QC
Abacus1010 wrote: I’ve been offered a role with a company and I’d be leaving an organization for which I worked over 10 years at. Their offer includes a severance statement of 2 weeks plus 1 week per year of service. Is it possible to negotiate this to a higher severance should they decide to terminate without cause? For example negotiate a starting severance of 6 weeks or more?
"Everything" is open for negotiation when you are offered a new position at a new company. The only thing is that the company always has the option of saying no to what is asked.

That being stated, with your old position, labour law is a provincial jurisdiction but you would get a minimum of probably 20+ weeks for severance (given your 10+ years of service) depending on the province. You should look at getting some sort of compensation for this (salary, benefits, vacation, severance, etc.) as you don't want to join a new company for $--k more per year and because of economic downturn/downsizing, your severance package is only 2 weeks (or whatever) after 1 year.

One shouldn't just compare what they are making now with what the new company/position is offering in terms of salary without taking everything into account. For example, one might be getting 6 weeks of vacation currently in their job due to the number of year's of service and accepting a new position which is paying more might start that person off with only 2 or 3 weeks vacation, and this person might get 6 months severance package in your old place whereas starting off with 2 weeks severance package per years of service at the new company, etc., is it worth it for the person to leave the current job for (only) $10k more per year?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 10, 2005
9923 posts
3434 upvotes
Abacus1010 wrote: I’ve been offered a role with a company and I’d be leaving an organization for which I worked over 10 years at. Their offer includes a severance statement of 2 weeks plus 1 week per year of service. Is it possible to negotiate this to a higher severance should they decide to terminate without cause? For example negotiate a starting severance of 6 weeks or more?
are you being let go? or leaving on your own?
“...because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you'll have more time and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, is this necessary…” -Marcus Aurelius
[OP]
Member
Oct 27, 2013
287 posts
77 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
blexann wrote: are you being let go? or leaving on your own?
I’d be leaving on my own.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
7374 posts
1901 upvotes
Toronto
Abacus1010 wrote: I’d be leaving on my own.
If you are leaving on your own. I doubt you will get any severance
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
6067 posts
2933 upvotes
Toronto
cgtlky wrote: If you are leaving on your own. I doubt you will get any severance
I think OP is asking about pre-negotiating severance to put into his employment contract with his new employer.
[OP]
Member
Oct 27, 2013
287 posts
77 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
cgtlky wrote: If you are leaving on your own. I doubt you will get any severance
That’s not my question. My question was I was poached by another company and they’ve made me an offer. That offer includes several clauses one of which stipulates how severance would be calculated should they terminate me without cause (2 weeks plus 1 week per year of service). I’d like to negotiate better terms than what’s in their offer reflecting the years of service I have with my current employer.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 10, 2005
9923 posts
3434 upvotes
Abacus1010 wrote: That’s not my question. My question was I was poached by another company and they’ve made me an offer. That offer includes several clauses one of which stipulates how severance would be calculated should they terminate me without cause (2 weeks plus 1 week per year of service). I’d like to negotiate better terms than what’s in their offer reflecting the years of service I have with my current employer.
You must be in high demand if they were to add "service time" from your previous employer to the offer. Never heard of such a thing. Let us know though
“...because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you'll have more time and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, is this necessary…” -Marcus Aurelius
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5100 posts
4046 upvotes
Abacus1010 wrote: That’s not my question. My question was I was poached by another company and they’ve made me an offer. That offer includes several clauses one of which stipulates how severance would be calculated should they terminate me without cause (2 weeks plus 1 week per year of service). I’d like to negotiate better terms than what’s in their offer reflecting the years of service I have with my current employer.
None of this is in your OP, which would've been helpful. Your original post is very unclear. Now that I get it, I would aim for 4 weeks for every year, which is the average - the range is 2-6 weeks for every year worked.

Abacus1010 wrote: I’d be leaving on my own.
How would you be leaving on your own? Not trying to be rude here, but I think with your communication skills (poor clarity) you might be better off getting a lawyer to review contract and recommend better terms.
Last edited by hierophant on May 21st, 2021 8:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12636 posts
9241 upvotes
Edmonton
Abacus1010 wrote: I’d be leaving on my own.
If you were recruited by another company, you should follow the advice about talking to an employment lawyer. Companies have been on the hook in situations like this for the tenure at the previous job.

Or you could try to save a few hundred dollars (hopefully less than $1000) and negotiate it on your own, and see how it goes.

C
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
1477 posts
1341 upvotes
OP how senior is the role you are being recruited for and how hard is it to find people for it? I doubt that they would add this to the offer unless you are at a Senior Director / VP Level or your skill set is extremely hard to come by. Why would they add this extra cash risk on company side instead of going to the second best candidate?
[OP]
Member
Oct 27, 2013
287 posts
77 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
ProductGuy wrote: OP how senior is the role you are being recruited for and how hard is it to find people for it? I doubt that they would add this to the offer unless you are at a Senior Director / VP Level or your skill set is extremely hard to come by. Why would they add this extra cash risk on company side instead of going to the second best candidate?
It’s a director level position. Yes there are others with this skill set but not many at all who have the experience in this particular industry.
Deal Addict
Jul 10, 2014
3004 posts
1275 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
hierophant wrote: None of this is in your OP, which would've been helpful. Your original post is very unclear. Now that I get it, I would aim for 4 weeks for every year, which is the average - the range is 2-6 weeks for every year worked.
Unless OP edited, that's exactly what's in their original post.

Also to OP, get them to drop the clause altogether as you can easily get more than that with a lawyer if that ever happens. If they insist on leaving it, tell them to raise it to 2 weeks + 1 month per year served. I know you'd like your 10 years at your past employer to be reflected however this promotes performance now with the new company. The longer you work there, the more you'd potentially get paid. Starting at 6 weeks seems a bit strong but it does sound like you have the power here. It really all depends what the rest of the offer looks like.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
5100 posts
4046 upvotes
djdestroyer wrote: Unless OP edited, that's exactly what's in their original post.

Also to OP, get them to drop the clause altogether as you can easily get more than that with a lawyer if that ever happens. If they insist on leaving it, tell them to raise it to 2 weeks + 1 month per year served. I know you'd like your 10 years at your past employer to be reflected however this promotes performance now with the new company. The longer you work there, the more you'd potentially get paid. Starting at 6 weeks seems a bit strong but it does sound like you have the power here. It really all depends what the rest of the offer looks like.
Perhaps but to me it looks most of us who posted were also confused based on comments and questions. When you read the entire thread and then go back to the first thread - it makes more sense, but that shouldn't have to be the case hence my comment. It was meant as constructive feedback but b/c most issues boil down to ineffective communication.

As for the rest of your post - I don't think this good advice. Legally, a company is only obligated to give 2-6 weeks for each year of service, 4 weeks is generally the norm/average (i.e., if you were to file a complaint with HRTC they wouldn't award more than 6 weeks). Thus, there's no reason a company to offer more than 6 unless they really wanted someone at any cost.
I'm not sure if that's the case with OP, but if it's not then I think it would reflect poorly - he said himself there others with his skillset. It also makes no sense to hire a employment lawyer to try and get more when it's not possible. In addition, you have to pay lawyer fees, more difficult to negotiate when there are bad feelings vs. setting expectations upfront. That's just my opinion though.

On another note, I find it odd that a severance stipulation is in the offer - not sure if that's standard in OP's industry or if the company has a high turnover. OP you may want to investigate this company more before accepting.
Deal Addict
Sep 14, 2012
1845 posts
1324 upvotes
Montreal, QC
blexann wrote: You must be in high demand if they were to add "service time" from your previous employer to the offer. Never heard of such a thing. Let us know though
I know people who have done it where they have gotten some sort of "credit" for service time at a previous employer. However, this was mostly accrued vacation time. I'm sure it is done for severance packages as well since I've seen it for high level professions on the news (generally when some things go wrong with the employment),
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12636 posts
9241 upvotes
Edmonton
lmcjipo wrote: I know people who have done it where they have gotten some sort of "credit" for service time at a previous employer. However, this was mostly accrued vacation time. I'm sure it is done for severance packages as well since I've seen it for high level professions on the news (generally when some things go wrong with the employment),
https://mcmackinlaw.ca/inducement-the-h ... employees/

There’s a number of links that turn up when you search “Ontario poached employee severance”, but this one has the legal cases cited.

C
Banned
Dec 1, 2020
862 posts
339 upvotes
Moderators lick khun…
Abacus1010 wrote: That’s not my question. My question was I was poached by another company and they’ve made me an offer. That offer includes several clauses one of which stipulates how severance would be calculated should they terminate me without cause (2 weeks plus 1 week per year of service). I’d like to negotiate better terms than what’s in their offer reflecting the years of service I have with my current employer.
Strike out the clause. Say you want the common law to apply. Is a reasonable compromise.

Top