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What should be in my executive compensation package?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Employment Law |

Taking on an executive role is an exciting step in any employee’s career and comes with the potential for various financial benefits and perks. Thus, as a new executive, understanding the intricacies of your compensation package will be vital. 

Compensation beyond salary

To reflect the heightened responsibility of employees in executive roles, executive contracts are often lengthy and may include various terms restricting an employee’s outside activities and creating substantial obligations on the part of the employee. In exchange, they also are likely to include compensation and benefits beyond a simple base salary.

While every package will be different and specific to the role and person involved, some typical offerings include: 

  • Annual bonus: Potential cash bonuses based on individual and/or company performance
  • Long-term incentives: Stock options or other equity-based rewards tied to long-term achievements
  • Retirement plans: Enhanced pension contributions to secure your future
  • Memberships: Admission into exclusive clubs, groups and businesses
  • Severance package: Terms outlining specific payments if the company terminates your employment without cause
  • Vacation time: Generous paid time off to recharge and maintain work-life balance
  • Job perquisites: Flexible hours, remote work opportunities and other attractive employment arrangements
  • Travel perks: Discounted travel rates, access to private or corporate jets, and a company car

Advocating for your worth

Negotiating an executive contract requires an informed, proactive approach. First, understand your rights under British Columbia employment law, particularly regarding complex compensation terms like bonus, incentive, and severance. Knowing the baseline helps you identify what is fair and just. 

Second, clarity about your career goals and personal needs enables you to pinpoint what you value most in a compensation package.

Lastly, enlisting the help of a lawyer experienced in drafting and reviewing executive contracts can be invaluable. While it can be tempting to simply sign off on an offer to secure the new role without further delay, the start of a new role is the best time to set the groundwork for the future. Experienced legal counsel can ensure that your package reflects your worth and supports your career trajectory, as well as identify aspects of the employment contract that may be problematic.

Focusing on your future

Executive compensation packages can be complex and require careful consideration and strategic negotiation. There is a lot at stake that can impact your personal, professional and financial life well into the future. 

By considering this information and seeking qualified counsel, you can negotiate a contract that meets your needs and propels you toward a successful and fulfilling career.



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