Negotiating an Employee’s Exit

On-going conflict in the workplace is not good for anyone.  If you have a problem employee whom you think is keen to leave but they just won’t go or you want to avoid a drawn-out disciplinary process, consider negotiating an exit package. A managed exit can be the best outcome for everyone as you can all move on, while also satisfying the terms and conditions of both sides. 

Bossed | Professional Negotiators

Before you begin exit negotiations contact the team at bossed for advice. Our experts will ensure you're acting within your legal rights and will help you work out the best available outcome for your business.


What is an Exit Package or Negotiated Exit?

This is an agreement that the employee will resign in return for payment or benefits.  The agreed terms will be recorded in a ‘Record of Settlement’ document which both parties sign, commonly referred to as a ‘Settlement Agreement'. The exit package is confidential and will include your terms and conditions such as the date the employment will end, the employee not being allowed to make disparaging comments about your business and it removes their ability to raise a personal grievance against you anytime in the future.  You can include anything else you need to effectively transition the employee out of your organisation and retain your professional reputation. 

Benefits of good exit management

It's important that exits are handled well by employers.  Some benefits of a well-managed negotiated exit include:

  • The possibility of an ongoing, positive relationship with the employee being exited

  • The exit is cleaner, faster and easier

  • The work environment remains positive by exiting disengaged and ineffective employees in a professional manner

  • Longer-term it's cheaper and less stressful for employers to negotiate an exit package than to keep an unproductive employee on or work through a drawn-out disciplinary process.

  • Other employees can get on with their work without the disruption or pressure of an unproductive colleague.


What's the process for negotiating an exit?

The bossed team strongly recommends contacting us for advice before beginning negotiations. The following steps are the usual steps an employer will follow when negotiating an employee's exit:

  • Seek appropriate advice/representation i.e. contact the team at bossed

  • Come up with a settlement proposal – this must be reasonable or it won’t be considered seriously by the employee.  Allowing them to keep items such as their phone or laptop (which have low or zero book value) can make the settlement more appealing.  Work out where you stand and what you have as leverage also.  

  • Invite the employee to meet 'without prejudice'. Discussions of this nature are kept confidential and off-the-record. Put this fact in writing and make sure the employee understands what this means before proceeding.  If they have a representative speak to them to ensure the employee clearly understands.

  • Meet with the employee 'without prejudice' to discuss your proposal and negotiate the terms of the settlement.  The team at bossed can represent you during these discussions and recommend that we do.  We’re professional and skilled negotiators which is necessary to achieve a good outcome for both parties.

  • Finalise and sign the settlement agreement once the terms have been agreed by both sides.

  • Have your record of settlement signed off by a Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Mediator to ensure the agreement is legal and enforceable.


How can bossed help me?

We will support and represent you throughout the process; providing sound, practical advice and keeping interactions professional and confidential. We are Human Resource and Employment Relations experts.  We’re experienced negotiators and because we’re familiar with the rights and obligations of both parties, we will confidently work towards the most favourable settlement terms for you (within the terms of the employment contract). 

So what are you waiting for?  Don’t put it off any longer, take action today.


Contact our friendly team today for a FREE and confidential consultation. Fill out our form below or call us on 0800 bossed

Contact us



9am - 7pm, Monday to Friday

PO BOX 47440, Ponsonby,

Auckland 1144

By appointment only


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