encouragement to retire & severance package
1. Encouragement to retire
(1) Legal nature
Discharge notice, but not dismissal,
#If you receive encouragement to retire, it means discharge notice, therefore you, as employee, must get shocked.
#However, encouragement to retire is NOT kind of dismissal, but offering of voluntary leave from company.
#Therefore, you, as employee, have no obligation to accept and you can reject the encouragement to retire.
#Under Japanese labor system, dismissal of permanent employee is strictly restricted, therefore, company chooses this method and you can also choose your option whether leaving or staying in company apart from treatment (Though it must be stressful and someone might feel disgrace.-> See 2. )
#No obligation but you will face conflict between your necessity of earning salary and disgrace.
Legality for company
#For company, encouragement to retire offering itself is just proposal to employee, not forcing to leave from company.
#Therefore, once employee accepts the offer, it is simply mutual agreement of retirement between company and employee, no legal issue occurs.
#However, as said, this must be mutual agreement, therefore, if offers or approaches of company is forcible, insistent, demanding and so on, such encouragement to retire may fall under illegal and company might owe tort liability in case.
#Needless to say, violence is not allowed and this falls under criminal offence.
So, basically legal, but illegal case potentially exists.
2. Severance package
As said, market range of severance package is not defined. However, there are some rooms to negotiate with company if the offered package looks too small for you with taking your and your family life for the time being into account.
For negotiation, considering using lawyer is one of your choices to seek for better package conditions by negotiation because individual employees is usually in vulnerable position for negotiation with the company.
If you are okay to leave from company, the rest is about negotiation of conditions. Please see 2.
If you want to stay in company, I recommend you collecting and keeping evidences and materials in case of future fighting. Evidences are such as:
#Interview recording (You can record without notice)
#Asking colleagues for cooperation
#Employee regulations (Shugyokisoku) and relevant applicable employee rules.
However, company is more advantages about the matter and you may feel difficulties about negotiation/fighting by yourself.
So, I recommend you consulting with lawyer and get appropriate advices. Also, lawyer may negotiate with the company on behalf of you.
Especially, the actions by the company include potential illegal or inappropriate one, the lawyer will warn the company to stop such actions.
Website says 12-36 months and its average is 24months for “Gaishikei” case, but market level of package is hard to define.
Because this depends on various factors such as company’s fund, financial condition, the number of headcounts to cut, other benefits, necessity of cutting, your term of work etc…
On the other, one “gaishikei” case was quoted on website as ex-employees complained as 2-7 months package is too small.