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A large severance package given to an executive who leaves a company due to termination, corporate restructuring, or retirement. The company's vice president received a $500,000 golden handshake after being pressured to leave his position.
Generous severance pay to an employee, often as an incentive for early retirement. For example, With a dwindling school population, the town decided to offer golden handshakes to some of the teachers . This slangy business term dates from the mid-1900s. A close relative is golden parachute, a generous severance agreement for an executive in the event of sudden dismissal owing to a merger or similar circumstance. This expression first appeared about 1980.
a golden handshake
1. A golden handshake is a large amount of money that someone is given if they are asked to leave a job before the normal age when they would leave. She offered me a golden handshake to get me to leave quietly, which I did.
2. A golden handshake is a large amount of money that a company gives to an employee when he or she leaves, as a reward for long service or good work. The officer retired with a golden handshake and a pension.
on a handshake
If an agreement or contract is made on a handshake, it is agreed between people but not written down. Our business is all done on a handshake. The White Star line, it seems, went about its business in a curious way, with contracts agreed on a handshake.
a golden handshakea sum of money paid by an employer to a retiring or redundant employee.
On the same principle, the phrase a golden hello was coined in the late 20th century. It is explained in an Appointments section of the New Scientist in 1998 : ‘Employers…especially in the financial sector, are offering “golden hellos”. These are advances of up to £2000, sometimes given on acceptance of a job offer or with the first month's salary.’