Nationwide, severance benefits have declined a bit since 2001, according to a survey of 1,030 HR executives by consultant Lee Hecht Harrison. Only one-third of employers changed their severance policies during the past three years. Of those, half of them cut severance benefits. Other stats: 49 percent of employers now offer severance pay to at least some part-time workers, compared with 39 percent in 2001. Only 2 percent pay severance to temporary and contract workers.