How do I know if my severance is fair?

Severance Packages

Nov 1, 2016

Losing a job is one of the most stressful situations an individual can experience. This is often a surprising change and always a life-altering one. It is easy during this experience for employees to misunderstand one key element of their termination: their termination or severance package.

A termination or severance package, in addition to any regular pay owing, may have to sustain you until you can find a new job. This package will typically include a lump-sum payment based on time of service and payment for remaining vacation or sick leave.

When you receive your termination or severance package offer from your employer, you should never agree to it right away or make any snap decisions. You may not be in the right frame of mind to fully understand it and you should take time to review the package fully. Depending on the wording of the offer, you may be releasing the employer from compensation or other obligations that you are reasonable owed. If the offer is inadequate, you should contact an employment lawyer with experience in employment or labour law to become fully aware of your rights.

How do you know if the offer is inadequate?

The answer is: speak to an experienced employment lawyer. While Ontario’s Employment Standards Act has minimum standards for termination or severance pay, under the common law many workers are entitled to more than those minimums prescribed. The amount that you are entitled to depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to your length of service, your age, the nature of your job and your duties as an employee and whether you were induced to leave a previous position.

Furthermore, if you have an employment agreement that included information about termination and severance, the employment agreement will impact the amount you can receive.

A fair termination or fair severance package

Only an experienced employment law lawyer can determine how fair your termination or severance package is because they will know the common law precedents and how they are affected by employment agreements and the Employment Standards Act.

If an employment lawyer is of the opinion that the package you have been offered is inadequate, the next step is to try to negotiate a better termination or severance package. Your employment lawyer can help prepare you for this negotiation and even send a letter on your behalf if negotiations are proving difficult.

If you’ve been offered a termination or severance package and are not sure whether the offer is adequate, talk to one of Chown Cairns St. Catharines employment lawyers today and connect with us below.

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