What is a Voluntary Separation Agreement?

A voluntary separation agreement is a document that refers to the voluntary decision of employees to relinquish or leave their job. It is a voluntary termination of one’s employment or sometimes simply abandoning one’s job. A voluntary separation agreement has a difference from being fired or having a layoff. Through layoff, your employer will make you leave your job. Being fired means that it is not your decision to leave your work. But in a voluntary separation agreement, it is according to the employee’s will to leave their job.

Many reasons why employees will want to leave their job voluntarily. Some employees may want an early retirement. Others may want to have a severance package that they can get from the employer because of the separation agreement. A separation incentive may be good to use for the employees’ plans for their future. The general release from work can do them good because of the benefits that they can get. Or employees may simply want a voluntary employment separation because they are not happy with their job anymore.

For any reason that employees want to terminate their work, they should have a voluntary separation agreement to leave their employer on good terms, securing an incentive or a separation pay that they can have from the years that they have worked for the employer. For employees who need a certain amount of money, having a separation agreement is a good resort so that they can have money and get a good return from the years that they have worked with the company. All they need is an employee termination letter and a settlement agreement.

Some voluntary separation agreement works with a mutual separation scheme where the employer consents of the termination of the employee. For this reason, the voluntary separation agreement is truly made so that employees can have a legal separation where they can get what they deserve from the company. The agreement is also a good means to release the employee. The employer will be free from all its responsibilities to the employee after having a voluntary separation agreement and giving the employee’s severance package. Thus, a voluntary separation agreement is a good contract to be entered by any employee who wants to leave their job.

Importance of Voluntary Separation Agreement

A voluntary separation agreement and unemployment benefits can help employees to plan a better future for their lives. That is why individuals leave their job and enter an employee voluntary separation agreement. You may want to know the importance of a voluntary separation agreement. Consider the following:

Positive Record: The voluntary separation agreement can be a good reference for your job applications in the future. Having this agreement can make you end your relationship with your employer on good terms. Through this, you can keep a positive record in your jobs. Your new employer can call the company where you have worked and inquire about your work there. If you leave the company through a voluntary separation agreement, you know that there can never be a bad thing that can be held against you. You have left the company properly and your new employer will know that you are a good employee. Thus, it is one way how you can maintain a good reputation as an employee.Good Documentation: Having a voluntary separation agreement is a good way of documentation of your record of employment with your employer. You may never know when you are going to use this document in the future. It is better that you leave your company with a document that can prove that you have been a good employee of the company. You do things legally and you have a proper demeanor. Documentation is always good because documents are used in various organizations. You might never know the future endeavor that might request this thing. Besides, it is good to keep a copy of the agreement so that you can prove that you have left your employer properly. You can also use the document to get your claims for benefits from your separation.Form of Gratitude: The voluntary separation agreement is a good courtesy to pay your employer for hiring you in their company. It is a way how you can thank your employer for having you all the years that you have worked for them. It is the best way how you can leave a company that you have worked for years. You can say that you have done what you have to leave your company. You have left properly and you will have nothing to ask for any more from the company because you can get your separation pay. To have a good relationship with your employer even at the end of your time with them, a voluntary separation agreement is necessary.Form of Formality: It is good that you should be professional in all your jobs. To do formality, you need a voluntary separation agreement that can denote that you will have a good parting with your employer. You must remember to be professional in every job that you have. Whatever you do may reflect your reputation as an employee. You should be careful with all your actions so you need to be professional in everything. You cannot just leave your job in any way that you like. And to request for a severance package, you need to have an agreement that can give you this privilege. Remember formality always so that you can also have a good relationship with people in all your deals.No Chance for Lawsuit: Through the voluntary separation agreement, you do not have to sue your employer just to pay you for separation. There is no need for a lawsuit because you can secure a severance package that you know your employer can give to you. You can get your rights and there will be no problem or hassle in getting them. The voluntary separation agreement is a complete assurance that you will get what you deserve. You do not have to contest for your right and experience the difficulties in getting separation benefits. The agreement is a document that can help you a lot of legally.No Need for Involuntary Reduction: A voluntary separation agreement can do a company good because they do not have to terminate their employees involuntarily. If they want to cut costs by reducing their staff, the agreement can ease their problem because employees will leave the company according to their decisions. No need for painful terminations of employees that can even cause protests or forms of union. Just by offering a severance package, they can get rid of the employees that they do not need anymore.Better Transition: Firing your employees can cause some trouble. But if you can make the employees leave your company through a voluntary separation agreement, you will not have any problem. There will be a smooth transition in changing employees and the workplace will not be affected in a bad way. You can ensure that your company will continue to have good employees that will not sue you in times of separation. You can easily talk with them about having a voluntary separation agreement that can protect their rights. Thus, the productivity of your company will not be affected by changing your employees.

How to Write a Voluntary Separation Agreement

Do you need a voluntary separation agreement sample or a voluntary separation agreement template? Are you about to create a voluntary separation agreement? Well, we have provided some steps that you can apply in writing a voluntary separation agreement. They are the following:

  • Step 1: Review Resignation Protocol

    The first thing that you need to do is to review the resignation protocol of your company. Through this, you can do the right thing in regards to your resignation. There are some rules that you need to follow for you to get a good severance package that can help you in the future. You must ensure that you are not breaking any rules as you resign. You should be reminded of all your rights that you can get from the company when you have a separation. Remember that you will experience unemployment for a while so you have to secure some benefits that can help you in your life. Review the protocol so that you will know what to do when you are about to sign the agreement. You will know how to protect your interest so that the agreement will only contain just things that are meant for you. Study the protocol and you may get what is best from your employment.

  • Step 2: Use a Good Format

    Before drafting the agreement, you should choose a good template that you can use. Search for templates that can help you. There can be different templates for all types of voluntary separation. Choose the best that represents your situation. In any sample letter or contract, you need to have a good format so that your document will be readable. This is also true with your resignation. Have 1-inch margins on all sides. Align your document to the left side. Use single-spacing. Font 12 will be the best for it. Or you can use font 11. The typeface that can be recommended is Arial or Times New Roman. Use a block format and have double-space in each section. Be sure that your document will have a likable format. You can do professionalism by giving it a good format.

  • Step 3: Information of Parties

    This section contains the details of the two parties. The name of the company should be written in the contract. You should address the employer properly so that you can use the contract if ever you want to sue them for not paying you the severance package. Then state your name or the name of the employee. The information of both parties should be written carefully. You should also include their address and contact information.

  • Step 4: Date of the Agreement

    Below the information of parties, you must make a single line detailing the date of the agreement. It is the date when you are going to sign the agreement. Be clear in stating the date to ensure the complete formality of things. Spell out the year, month, and day of the signing of the contract.

  • Step 5: Reason for Resignation

    In the contract, you should write the reason or reasons why you will want to leave the company. Be detailed in stating the information of your reasons. Be sure that these reasons are eligible for resignation or can be a good cause for getting separation pay. Define your reasons and explain why you have come up with your decision to resign.

  • Step 6: Severance Package

    The company will offer you a severance package that you can get in return for all your service in the company. The package consists of incentives and benefits that you can use for your future. It can be a certain amount of money that you can get from the company. This is the good thing that you can get from your separation. You will have something to use while you are unemployed.

  • Step 7: Sign the Agreement

    If everything that you expect is written in the agreement, you can sign the contract. Check the agreement first to be sure that everything in it is correct. After that, you and your employer should sign the agreement. Then, you can expect your severance pay after it. You can leave your company having a good dignity.


What is a severance package?

A severance package is a monetary amount that employers give to employees who made a voluntary or involuntary resignation. So in a voluntary separation agreement, a severance package can be also expected. Usually, it is in the employer’s judgment to offer a severance package. This may depend on the years that the employee worked in the company.

What will happen after I received the separation agreement?

After you have received the voluntary separation agreement, you must examine it to see if you can accept the employer’s offer. There can be certain periods allotted for you to examine the agreement. The Worker Adjustment and Training Notification Act (WARN) states that companies with more than 100 employees can give 60 days of notice for the agreement. While the Older Workers Benefits Protection Act (OWBPA) states that workers over 40 years old should be given 21 days of notice to accept the agreement. They also have 7 days to revoke the agreement after they have signed. If the employees will fail to accept the agreement within these given days of notice, the employers should give the employees severance pay instead.

Can I negotiate with the terms in the separation agreement?

Yes, you can negotiate with your employer with the terms of the voluntary separation agreement. This is to ensure that you can protect your interest and you can get the separation pay that you want. Negotiate so that all the terms in the agreement will be according to your decisions.

When we are not happy with our jobs anymore, we will surely find another job that can satisfy our self-integrity. But before we leave our former job, we need to settle everything and have a voluntary separation agreement. It can give us benefits and we can end our relationship with our employer in a good way. Well, are you needing a template for a voluntary separation agreement? This post has 12+ SAMPLE Voluntary Separation Agreement in PDF | MS Word. They will surely help you. Download now!