Negotiate the terms of a voluntary departure with your employer

Negotiate the terms of a voluntary departure with your employer

Negotiate the terms of a voluntary departure with your employer


The vast majority of employees leaving their company voluntarily (on their own decision) think that their only option is to resign. It’s a mistake or at least the ignorance of alternate options among which the French Mutually Agreed Contract Break (MACB).

Further, the fact that you want to leave your current employer does not exonerate you from:

  • Choose the right time
  • Find the good reasons related to your interest as well as the companies’ interests
  • Set your own targets that can guideline your departure.

In other words, leaving is not just about saying “I leave”. It is also about negotiating how you leave.

What are the main steps?

  • Clarify your objectives before entering any negotiation
  • Define your strategy
  • Prepare your meetings
  • Finalize

These steps have already been covered in other articles on this site.


Let’s overlook a couple of points for the purpose of this article.

Set out your objectives

First of all, what do you want to obtain?

Of course, many things are possible. They may be:

  • An increase in the notice period for more security;
  • A weaver of the obligation to work during that notice period
  • An MACB per the French law in order ensure unemployment allowances
  • Liftoff of a noncompetitive clause

Bring your employer to the negotiation table is about establishing a ratio of power (which is different from a conflict) to encourage him to move towards the reach of your objectives and protecting the company’s interests at the same time. This negotiation will be about creating and exchanging perceived benefits. For example:

  • Inform of your departure and keep the company’s interest in mind by agreeing to finish off an important project and /or training your replacement, in exchange of an MACB.
  • Inform of your departure and show respect for your current employer and your desire to protect their reputation in exchange of positive endorsements.

Choose the right time

Of course, the timing of your announcement is context-dependent but let’s set out some useful rules: Anticipated negotiating windows are the most efficient, provoked negotiating windows are efficient and endured negotiating windows are the least efficient.

Yet, in this case, you’ve got a rare advantage which is to decide when to engage the negotiation. However, negotiating is not a God-given (believing this would be a big mistake), this is up to you to generate the window of negotiation even if you leaving out of your own will.


To decide of your departure is a way to control the start of the process but nothing’s owed to you except the legal or conventional. To think your objectives through and bring the other party to the negotiating table and ways and means to leave in satisfactorily conditions.

To know more on the topic of negotiate the terms of a voluntary departure please use the enclosed contact form or speak directly with a coach specialized in departure negotiation.

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