EXIT PACKAGE

When an employment relationship has broken down, an exit package is often used to end the employment contract. They can be initiated by either the employer or the employee.

Exit Packages are attractive to both employer and employee.

Exit Packages allow the employer to bring the employment relationship to an end quickly, easily and without a lot of delay and expense.

There are many reasons for an employee to need to leave a job. Sometimes it’s the arrival of a new CEO who wants to place their ‘own people’ in pivotal roles. Suddenly responsibilities change, new middle managers appear, and employees find themselves doing the same job but with less status. Alternatively, an employer may genuinely need to restructure a business, resulting in redundancies, or the business may be in trouble and the employee is able to see the writing on the wall.

Sometimes you can tell you are no longer wanted or needed through no fault of your own. An Exit Package is a much more attractive option than simply resigning.

Whatever the reason it’s always best to make a dignified exit.

Many problematic employment relationships do not end by dismissal or resignation, but through the negotiation of an Exit Package.

The perception comes from dissatisfaction in the workplace for the employee, performance issues for the employer and most often when a disciplinary meeting takes place. An exit package is attractive to both parties when the employment relationship has no real future.  

Typically, such a package will contain some financial benefit for the employee and possibly a reference. The employer can have the assurance that any grievances or claims arising out of the employment relationship (existing or yet to be raised) are at an end.

Our advocates can recognise the opportunity for an exit package and negotiate the best possible package in the circumstances. It is always best to engage our advocates at an early stage so that this strategy can be considered and prepared together, making for the best outcome.

If you need help negotiating an exit package with your employer give us as much information as possible below or call us on 0800 669 466.

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Restructuring

Is your employer restructuring your workplace?

Employers may need to make changes with restructuring in the workplace for a variety of reasons, such as:

The law requires employers to provide information to employees when they are considering changes that will affect their jobs and to give them an opportunity to contribute to any decisions.

If you find yourself in the position of being subjected to a restructuring process – our company can provide representation to ensure that your rights are upheld.

Check our page on redundancy

More: When is a redundancy not a redundancy?

Is your employer making you redundant?

Redundancy

If you are being made redundant give us a call and we'll check that your rights are being met.

Have you been made redundant due to Covid-19?

The  Government has provided support to business in an attempt to keep as many New Zealanders in work as possible.  Unfortunately this will not protect everyone from job loss.  Currently it is not compulsory for an employer to apply for the subsidy, but if employers do apply they MUST pass the subsidy on to their employees.

 If your employer has not applied for the subsidy and instead has told you you are redundant they still need to follow the correct procedures.

If you have been made redundant without a consultation process you can contact us through our webform below.

There should be a genuine reason.

Sometimes employers use ‘Redundancy’ to dismiss staff when they don’t have grounds for dismissal.

If your employer is facing hardship they must enter into a consultation process where you are told your position could be made redundant and given the chance to provide feedback.  You can counter the proposal with your own suggestions such as taking a pay cut, leave without pay or changing the role to include other work.  You can ask if your employer has considered taking the government wage subsidy and paying you with that.

Your employer can’t employ a new person to do the same job as you, but they may be able to combine two jobs.  They can’t make you redundant and then advertise for someone to fill your role.  

If your employer says the business is struggling and if you are the only person who is facing the redundancy process then it may not be genuine.  Your employer can’t employ a new person to do the same job as you, but they may be able to combine two jobs.  They can’t make you redundant and then advertise for someone to fill your role.

It is a genuine redundancy if a person’s employment has been ended because their employer has decided, for ‘genuine reasons’ that the employee’s job is no longer needed. A ‘genuine  reason’  could, for example, be that the employer is making changes to enable the business to operate more efficiently and cost effectively; or closing down or selling the business.

Minor alterations to a job’s role and responsibilities should not be a reason for redundancy.

When can a person be made redundant?

  1. The position must be superfluous to the employer’s needs.
    For example, where a larger number of employees are employed than necessary to operate the business efficiently, certain positions may be disestablished.
  2. The position must actually disappear. The employer cannot claim redundancy by changing a job description slightly or employing new employees to undertake the same or a similar position.
  3. The business is closing down

The decision must be about the position and must not be about an individual employee personally.  The employer cannot use redundancy as a means of getting rid of under-performing employees or disciplining employees for misconduct.

What is the process for making a person redundant?

Your employer must follow the proper process when they need to make you redundant.

Restructuring or redundancy must be carried out in good faith and your employer must not mislead or deceive you.

Your employer must;

  • Give you written notice of a discussion/meeting. The letter should say that the meeting is to discuss redundancy or restructuring ;
  • tell you the reasons for the proposed changes, and how they will affect your job;
  • consult with you and anyone else who may be made redundant;
  • give you a chance to get independent advice, and to have a representative or support person with you when you attend the meeting to discuss your possible redundancy or restructure;
  • consider your suggestions before they make any decision about their proposed changes; and
  • consider alternatives to making you redundant e.g. giving you a job elsewhere in the company or reducing the hours you work.

Check your Employment Agreement

What does it say about redundancy in your Employment Contract ?  You should always make sure you are familiar with the terms of the employment agreement. This will usually have specific provisions dealing with redundancy process and any entitlements.

Redundancy Payments

Under New Zealand law it is not compulsory for an Employer  to pay redundancy compensation.  Check Your Employment Agreement:
If your employment agreement mentions redundancy compensation, it will probably also show what the amount of comensation will be.  If there is no mention of the amount it could be up for negotiation.

Notice of redundancy

If there is no specific clause in an employment agreement giving a period of notice in a redundancy situation, ‘reasonable notice’ must be given. The length of ‘reasonable notice’ depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • the reason for the redundancy
  • the employee’s length of service
  • the employee’s seniority and/or remuneration package
  • custom, practice and industry norms
  • the employee’s ability to find alternative employment
  • the amount of compensation being paid (if any).

A ‘reasonable’ notice period is usually two weeks to a month.

 

If the redundancy is false and amounts to an unfair dismissal we can pursue a grievance on your behalf.

We can help you with all aspects of redundancy, if you are not sure give us a call 0800 669 466.
It’s free to discuss your situation with us.

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You can trust us to listen

Statistics prove that legal representation for employees  by an employment lawyer or employment law advocate improves your chance of a successful outcome. You have nothing to lose by having a free chat with an Employment Law Advocate.

You can email us using the form below.   When you receive the automated reply to your email please reply with any correspondence you have received from your employer regarding your job loss. 

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What our clients are saying

 

Kam did a fantastic job

5.0 rating

March 17, 2020
Review of Kam Bailey

Did a fantastic with a company that’s hard to deal with because of size. Answered all my questions, were awesome to deal with, kept me informed all the way through this process, I just cannot thank her enough, without her help I wouldn’t have gotten anything, thank you again for all your help. I just cannot recommend you highly enough,

Ian H

Sandy was excellent

5.0 rating

March 17, 2020
Review of Sandy Ward

I would not hesitate in recommending workplace to anybody in need of work related help
Thank you for your help

Chris Cook

helpful, friendly and professional

5.0 rating

March 10, 2020
Review of Andrea Kelleher

Kate and Andrea are extremely helpful, friendly and professional. I highly recommend their advice…

Lily Tiy

 

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