how to ask for a layoff package

How to Ask for a Layoff Package: An Effective Method

If your employer has fired you, how do you ask for a layoff package?

“How do you ask for a layoff package?” is an important question to answer.

Many factors decide how much severance pay you will be given from your employer. It’s in your best interest to know what those factors are before you ask for a layoff package.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to ask for a layoff package. This way, you can receive the most amount possible and leave your employer on good terms!

What is Severance Pay?

Severance pay is an amount of money that an employer offers to an employee upon termination.

This severance pay can be in addition to benefits such as unemployment insurance or continued health care coverage. From one week’s salary for every year employed up to two years’ worth of wages can be offered.

Severance pay is usually a condition of severance agreements. This allows an employee to leave the company with compensation.

Severance pay can also be called a severance package or severance agreement.

What is a Typical Severance Package?

A typical severance package usually includes one to two weeks of severance pay, a termination letter, and the continuation of benefits.

The time you have been with the company determines the amount of severance pay you receive. If you’ve been with a company for two years or more, you can expect to get one week’s worth of salary for every year you’ve worked at your current job.

This calculation translates to about four weeks’ total compensation in most cases.

In some circumstances, companies may offer other perks such as cash bonuses (paid as a lump sum) dependent on how long the person has worked there. However, these tend to be uncommon and not always offered by large corporations.

What Should Be Included in Severance Packages?

Generally speaking, a layoff package will include some form of severance pay and some benefits continuation. 

Typically, a layoff package will also include an employee’s end date. This end date will ensure they are not getting paid after their firing date.

  • Severance Pay: An employee’s severance pay can depend on how often the company paid them while they were employed. This amount is typically equal to one or two weeks’ worth of salary per year worked at your job. Sometimes, it can be as much as six months.
  • Benefits Continuation: This includes health insurance, dental coverage, vision coverage, etcetera.
  • Termination Date: The termination date is essential. Many people have deferred compensation plans. Suppose the company has not set your scheduled date to leave. In that case, you would be getting paid indefinitely, which is not what was agreed upon by your now-former employer.
  • Other Benefits: You can still receive a yearly bonus, reimbursement for unused vacation days, and 401(k) contributions.

If you have questions about your severance pay, talk to someone in human resources and ask. They will have more information.

What is a Severance Agreement?

How to Ask For a Layoff Package

A severance agreement is a contract between an employer and an employee.

The primary purpose of a severance agreement is to prevent employees from suing for wrongful termination.

A severance agreement is signed once an employee is terminated.

The severance agreement states the terms of compensation. It may also layout benefits such as continued health insurance, life insurance, or stock options.

It’s always a good idea to go over this severance agreement with a lawyer before signing it, as the terms of these agreements are often negotiable.

You want to make sure you’re signing a document to which you agree.

Can You Ask an Employer to Lay You Off?

Although it is not common, an employer may be willing to offer a layoff package in place of firing you.

For example, suppose your company is downsizing, and you are the only person in a particular position or department. In that case, it may make sense to offer you a layoff package.

You are given a severance package in this situation, and the employer terminates your employment on good terms.

In this case, they may be willing to provide benefits such as COBRA (health insurance) or unemployment compensation for up to 26 weeks.

Yet, simply asking an employer if they will lay you off without any other discussions could result in termination. This means you would have no job and no severance package.

Your company might not have a downsizing plan, or you may not be eligible for a layoff due to company policy. If this is the case, it is best to pursue other unemployment.

Can You Negotiate Being Laid Off?

Yes, it is possible.

You can negotiate how you will leave a company.

For example, if the terms of your employment contract have not yet been met, there are some things they might be willing to do for you before letting you go.

This could include granting more vacation days or extending your health insurance until the end of your contract term.

Although many might fear doing it, negotiating being laid off is not only possible but also beneficial for your future.

As a result of negotiating how you will leave a company, it may be that the employer can offer you more money and better benefits. This agreement may help them get out from under their obligations.

Reasons to Negotiate a Layoff

  1. You can get severance pay or an earlier departure date
  2. The employer may be more willing to give you a better reference in the future
  3. You will have more time to find another job and not feel like you are unemployed for too long

How Do You Negotiate a Layoff?

How to Ask For a Layoff Package

Asking for a layoff package and negotiating a severance can be done in person, over the phone, or by email.

The important thing is to negotiate a layoff before you start trying to find a new job. This way, your employer knows that they have to find something else for you. It will also help your employer know how much time will be required on their end.

It’s always best practice to speak directly with HR rather than any individuals within management. Everything is handled officially and respectfully by all parties involved!

Asking about possible cash bonuses can also help negotiate how generous an offer may be.

How Do I Ask For a Voluntary Layoff?

To ask for a voluntary layoff, you need to speak with your HR department.

If the company is going through restructuring, it will likely not be able to offer severance pay. But, speak with your HR department and see what support they have available.

Figure out how much income you will lose during your “transition period.” See how long it takes for unemployment benefits to kick. Also, see how much money you would get paid on average per week of work before taxes.

Let your HR department know what this figure is.

If your company is going through restructuring and has no severance pay, they may be able to offer you benefits.

If the company needs any other questions or information, now might be a good time to ask that question so that the process can go smoothly.

How Do You Ask HR For a Layoff Package?

When considering requesting a severance, employees think of how they will do it. They might also wonder, what’s wrong with going directly through their boss instead?

It turns out there are many different ways an employee may go about asking for this type of benefit. Still, the bottom line is it turns out not all managers may be knowledgeable in severance pay, so it is best to talk with HR to see what your company offers.

If you’re unsure what severance options are available at your company, contact the Human Resources team. See if they can answer any questions you might have about severance packages.

Your boss/manager will most likely not know all of these details and an HR representative because they do not work specifically in this area!

You may be required to sign a severance agreement for them to offer severance pay. It would be best if you discussed this with HR before signing anything or finalizing anything on paper.


In conclusion, asking for a layoff package and negotiating severance is not only possible but beneficial to your future. Follow the steps we’ve provided in today’s article, and you’ll have the best chance of getting a good package.

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