Don’t ask? Don’t get

Don't ask? Don't getWhen you’re made redundant from a law firm you know that the firm will do everything it can to stick to its standard financial package. But people are succeeding in getting extras thrown in. The trick is to be imaginative and use every negotiating skill in the book – in the heat of redundancy it can be easy to forget that this is no different from negotiating for a client. Here are some of the things people have negotiated:

1. Better outplacement counselling package

Your firm may offer careers counselling as standard but is it the best package? Find out exactly what you’ll be getting and compare this to other packages the consultant offers – for example a senior management package may offer valuable extra months of support.

2. Extended firm benefits
If you were working your notice period, the firm would continue your benefits including health insurance and pension contributions throughout. Payment in lieu of notice shouldn’t affect this – ask for your benefits to be extended until at least the end of your notice period or included as part of your enhanced payment. Think of other firm benefits you can use – for example throwing in annual travel insurance will cost the firm very little.

3. Subsidised travel
If you have a season ticket loan ask for the balance to be waived. If you don’t have a loan talk up the cost of going to interviews and ask for an amount to cover travelcards for the next couple of months.

4. National Insurance contributions
If you think you’re going to make voluntary National Insurance contributions (check this out at The Pension Service ( ask for a sum to cover these for at least your notice period.

5. IT equipment
Your firm might be reluctant to let you keep your laptop, Blackberry and mobile but they may have old equipment going spare.

And some of the more unusual ones:

6. Free Stationery
Ask if you can help yourself to a few items from the stationery cupboard.

7. Cold weather payment
A payment to reflect the extra heating costs you’ll incur by being at home.

8. Dry cleaning costs
One individual asked his employer for the cost of dry cleaning his interview suits as he had worked in a ‘dress down’ environment for several months.

Louise Miles was recently made redundant from a top 20 firm.

Have you successfully negotiated these extras? What other things did you get? Share your tips below