How To Write An Employee Termination Letter?

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How To Write An Employee Termination Letter? image
Posted Monday, August 29, 2022 by Jan Steen (Last modified Monday, August 29, 2022)

It is sad to send an employee off from a company that has become essential to professional life. Generally, we write termination letters to express gratitude towards an employee for his work and wish him the best in what is coming next. It can be hard to do, but it is vital to write termination letters to avoid awkward silence at the end of the day and move on with your lives.

Writing an employee termination letter can be hard at times. By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know everything you need to write one of the most challenging letters in any business: one that says Goodbye.

Types of Termination

Termination terminology can be hard to understand. Nevertheless, this article will ensure that you know the different types of termination;
  • Voluntary Termination - This type of discontinuance depends upon the employee. An employee can leave a company of his own will with or without serving any notice. In such cases, the employer cannot force the employee to continue working. It is similar to resignation. There are several reasons why an employee decides to leave the organization. Among them, the major ones are; better opportunities, moving abroad, health reasons, and most importantly, imbalance in work and life.

  • Involuntary Termination - This kind of termination is the opposite of voluntary termination. Under this, an employee is forced by the employer to leave work with or without any cause. Some of the reasons for this kind of termination are; showing up late to work, failing to achieve the company goals, relocation from the company, or even a reduction in the workforce.

Tips to Write Termination Letter

If you are managing a small business, you probably already know how important it is to write employee termination letters. You want to be able to end the relationship amicably, but you also need to protect yourself legally.

The first step is to ensure you have a solid reason for firing your employee. It can be due to many factors, including performance, behavior, or attitude. In addition, if there are non-work issues that contributed to the termination (such as drug use), be sure to mention them in the letter so that they do not come back as a claim later on down the line.

The second step to writing a termination letter to an employee is to think about your tone. How do you want the employees to feel when they read this? Do you want them to feel anger? Sadness? Understanding? If so, then use that emotion in the letter. If not, try something different—maybe humor or empathy will help them to get through this tough time.

Once you have done your due diligence and gotten all your ducks in a row, it is time to write up your letter and send it off!

Here is how:

Start with Basic Details

When you think of writing an employment termination letter, always start writing with the most basic details. You can start with the name of the employee, position with the company, and date. If you are the owner of a big company, then you may want to mention the department and employee ID.

State the Reason

Without a doubt, this portion of your letter remains the core and is critical too. This section should be clear, and honest. Write a list of things you want to say about why this person is no longer working with your company. For example, if they were fired because they missed work too many times in one month (which would be grounds for termination under most employment laws). Then list out all of their absences from least serious (the ones where they only missed one day) to most serious (the ones where they were absent for two weeks).

Explain About the Compensation and Benefits

Even if you fire the employee due to various issues, he may be entitled to some benefit or compensation. However, there may be a chance that the existing benefits of the employee get exhausted along with his termination. Mention all the details about benefits the employee is still entitled to and the compensations that have been exhausted because of the termination, to avoid any conflicts.

Confirm Final Details

Many times, a company requires to contact an employee for multiple reasons. It may be because the employee has some company property, or for a follow-up regarding tax documents. So, in such circumstances, you may need basic and accurate details about the employee. Thus, as a part of your termination process, mention all the details (including phone number, address, and alternate number) that you already have and confirm with the employee if the information is accurate or not before they take a leave.

Finally, the employee termination letter is a required and often dreaded part of the HR process. To make termination easier on both you and your employee, it is crucial to be as clear, calm, and direct as you can be. A sense of finality should permeate the letter–not a hint of hope that this employee may be returning in the future–and it's best to keep it short and get to the point. You can take the help of an employee separation template in case you are not aware of how to draft one for your employees.