When a company is going through a period of financial struggles, it will often introduce what is known as a voluntary dismissal program. In doing so, the company is giving employees the opportunity to essentially resign from their position in exchange for what is often a favorable severance-style package. In many cases, voluntary dismissal opportunities will come before the company performs a round of layoffs. If you're interested in voluntary dismissal, but aren't fully keen on the terms that are offered, you might wish to hire an employment attorney. He or she may be able to successfully negotiate some of the terms to make the voluntary dismissal more favorable.
Amount of Pay
No one is going to voluntarily resign from his or her position without receiving some amount of pay, but not every company will be overly generous when making this offer. For example, your company might be offering four weeks' pay for those who take this package, but you may feel as though you'd want more before you agree it. An employment attorney can negotiate on your behalf with the intention of getting your employer to agree to more pay. For example, perhaps you'd sign the paperwork for eight weeks of pay.
Length of Benefits
You should also note what your employer is offering regarding the continuation of your employee health benefits. In a voluntary dismissal scenario, your employer may offer to continue your benefits for a specific period of months. If you know that you have certain health expenses that will be coming up soon after that time — for example, annual dental appointments for your family — you'll likely want the benefits to continue long enough to cover at least a percentage of these costs. This is another area that your employment attorney can negotiate on your behalf.
Date of Voluntary Dismissal
You may even want your employment attorney to negotiate the date of your voluntary dismissal should you be thinking seriously about this program. For example, perhaps the company is looking for people to agree to the program and leave work as quickly as possible. In some cases, you may be in the middle of an important project that you feel eager to complete. You may be able to negotiate a later departure date so that you can finish this project first. Consult with an employment attorney who has negotiated for clients in your position to find someone who will be an asset for you.