Businesses in the US laid off about 21.9 million employees in 2018, according to a report from Vox. Although that’s a big number, it’s actually lower compared to previous statistics. It just shows that laying off employees is a normal occurrence in managing a business’s workforce. Business managers, specifically HR managers, terminate the employment of some employees for various reasons. It could be due to poor work performance and a company’s labor cost downsizing. So, if you’re an HR manager, and you see there’s a need to cut ties from some employees, you should do it for your company’s sake. We know that it’s difficult, but it’s the reality. So use any of our sample employment termination letters to lay off employees professionally.

Free Employment Contract Termination Letter

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Free Appeal Letter for Termination of Employment

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Voluntary Employment Termination Acceptance Letter

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Size: 117 KB

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Mutual Employment Termination Letter

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Employment Contract Termination Letter

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Formal Employment Termination Letter

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Professional Employment Termination Letter

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Employment Dismissal/Termination Letter

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Misconduct Employment Termination Letter

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Employment Termination Letter Format

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How to Properly Notify an Employee of His or Her Termination

Permanent dismissal from work is something that employees dread. And we all know how that feels. Employees who did unethical actions, continuously underperformed, and constantly strike late and absent marks on their attendance sheet had it coming. Most of them likely know that they’ll soon receive a contract termination letter.

But employees with clean records—those who perform well and never violated company policies—will not take layoffs lightly; it demoralizes them. That’s why it’s your job as an HR manager to notify employees of their termination professionally and politely. Here are five tips on how you should do it.

Be Transparent

Handing out an employee termination notice is never easy, especially if the recipient is a good employee. But whatever reason you have to layoff a worker, be honest about it. An employee has every right to know why his or her work contract will be null and void. Be it for poor performance, cutting labor costs, or workforce downsizing, be transparent.

Keep Your Composure

Some employees might become irate, knowing that their days in the company are numbered all of a sudden. If that happens, you have to keep your composure. Try to understand that it’s a human reaction.

Show Sympathy

As we’ve said earlier, we all know the dreadful feeling of being a possible subject for permanent dismissal. So, when it comes to one of your employees, show your sympathy towards them. You can tell them that it wasn’t your company’s best interest to lay them off. In other words, their termination is nothing personal, and that it’s purely for business reasons. You can also show your gratitude for their months or years of service. For employees who performed well, make sure to give them their well-deserved employment certificate.

Inform Them a Week or a Month Prior

It’s somewhat inhumane to inform an employee that today is his or her last day in the company, especially if he or she hasn’t committed any prior violations. So, make sure to inform employees of their termination a week or a month before their last day. That way, you’ll be granting them a chance to look for open job applications in other companies.

However, this tip shouldn’t apply to employees who committed highly severe violations, such as theft and harassment. They’re subject to immediate termination.

Keep It Private

Employment termination is a confidential matter. That said, you should keep it private. Don’t post an announcement on your company’s bulletin board saying, “Notice Employee Termination, The Following People.” As an HR manager, you have to protect the privacy of your employees. So inform them about their termination through a letter of termination of contract; or, simply called an employment termination letter.

How to Write an Employment Termination Letter

As its name implies, an employment termination letter is a type of employment letter that informs a worker about his or her employment coming to an end. HR managers use this kind of letter to notify employees of their termination formally, professionally, and privately. With that in mind, writing this letter is a must when you’re about to layoff some employees. If you’re not familiar with how to write it, don’t worry. Our quick tips can get you started.

Address the Employee Courteously

Just like any other formal letter, you have to address the recipient of an employment termination letter courteously. Even if the recipient is an entry-level, subordinate employee, use a Mr. or Ms. when addressing his or her name. Although a termination letter bears bad news, it’s still important to establish a positive tone when writing it.

Emphasize the Reason for Termination

As we said earlier, be transparent. An employee has every right to know why you no longer have any need for his or her services. For instance, if you’re writing a sample termination letter for poor performance, then emphasize poor performance as the reason for termination. Make sure though to explain it sympathetically.

Include Details of the Compensation

Of course, you have to compensate laid-off employees in some way. Severance pay or separation fee is a must for this matter as a part of their last payroll. This approach will lessen the heavy feeling that they’ll be experiencing. Also, it’s a way of showing gratitude for their service.

However, compensation shouldn’t apply if you’re making a sample termination letter for cause of significant property damage. That’s because it’s a serious offense. If you grant compensation in such a case, it would be like rewarding an employee for his or her unacceptable actions. Workers who committed a grievous behavior should receive an immediate termination letter to employee.

Inform the Employee of the Properties That Must Be Returned

If there are materials or tools that the employees hold, let them know that they should return them on their last day. Part of your HR manager job description is to keep your company’s properties, especially expensive ones like laptops, company-issued smartphones, and tablets.

Be Concise and Straightforward

Cut to the chase when you write a confidential letter, such as a termination letter. Make its focus about the employee’s termination and none other. That helps for a crystal clear communication between you and the employees.

FAQs

Is an employment termination letter required?

The laws of most countries and states don’t require employers to prepare a termination letter. But others do, such as California, Arizona, New Jersey, and Illinois. So, check if your local law requires it. But regardless, it would be better to write a termination letter. It protects the employee’s privacy, and you can use it for better recordkeeping.

What are the common grounds for employment termination?

There are many, but these are the most prominent:

  • Dishonesty
  • Insubordination
  • Frequent tardiness and absences
  • Revealing confidential company data
  • Theft
  • Misbehavior and harassment in the workplace
  • Breach of work contract agreement

What should I not say when terminating an employee?

As an HR manager, you should never insult or demoralize employees when you terminate them. You critique their work, but never compare their performance to that of their colleagues’.

In the business world, ending professional relationships is sometimes necessary. That includes the need to remove some employees from your workforce, even those who are years pass from their probationary employment days. So make good use of our employment termination letter templates.

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