3 Example Termination Letters (With Template)
Involuntary employee turnover is inevitable. Handling the termination process professionally is just as crucial as the hiring and onboarding processes. The most common practice for respectful and effective employee dismissal is to send a letter of termination. In this article, we explain what a termination letter is and how to write one, with a template and example letters to help guide you.
Related: 7 Steps for Effectively Terminating an Employee
What is a termination letter?
A termination letter is a formal notice letting an employee know they are being dismissed from their current job. This letter details the reasons for the involuntary turnover, lists the next steps for the employee to take and explains any benefits or compensation they will receive. Termination letters are also called a "letter of separation," "a notice of termination of employment" or "contract termination letter."
Related: Termination Versus Layoff: What's the Difference?
When are termination letters used?
Termination letters are used when you inform someone that their employment is ending. They’re generally considered a courtesy to the employee but they can also be required by a company’s internal HR policies. Termination letters are normally used during the following circumstances:
- Without cause: Without cause refers to employment dismissals related to company downsizing and larger market factors, unrelated to specific employee performance or fit within the company.
- With cause: With cause refers directly to an individual employee's performance and behavior.
End of business contract: This letter is used to end business relations with another party you previously entered a contract with.
The Fair Labor Standards Act has no requirements stating an employer must provide a letter of termination, or notify an employee of their dismissal ahead of time, except when an employee is part of a union or collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, some employers may need to give advanced notice during mass layoffs and big corporate closures on a case-by-case basis.
Related:Is Being Discharged From a Job the Same as Laid Off or Fired?
Why are termination letters important?
Termination letters are important because they can help maintain a good reputation for your company, show professionalism and provide a record of events for legal reasons, though most employers are not required to provide one.
Providing a letter of termination is a more compassionate and respectful way to dismiss employees. Giving employees notice allows them some time to handle external situations that will change with their unemployment. It also gives employees a full understanding of the details of their dismissal. It's important to continue showing respect for an employee and assist them with their transition. This fosters a better relationship between the employee and the company.
As long as the termination is non-discriminatory and no contract or union agreement is in place, employers can terminate employment any time for any reason. In the case of a possible legal dispute, having a document of termination will provide confirmation of the dismissal, provide a receipt of company property and specifically detail the effective date of termination.
Related:What Is Wrongful Termination? (With Examples)
How to write a termination letter
Here are steps you can follow to write a proper termination letter:
1. Notify the employee of their termination date
First, inform the employee that their employment is terminated and specify the date it will effectively end. This eliminates any potential confusion and allows the employee to prepare for their dismissal.
2. State the reason(s) for termination
Once you have notified the employee of their termination, detail the reasoning. Make sure your explanations remain clear, accurate and to the point, to avoid confusion or misinterpretation. Include evidence to support your reasoning.
3. Explain their compensation and benefits going forward
Next, explain how the employee's compensation and benefits will be affected once their employment ends. This can include severance pay, payment for unused leave days and any other salary owed. Also, let them know what will happen to their healthcare, life insurance and retirement funds.
Related:Guide to Unemployment Benefits
4. Notify them of any company property they must return
In the following paragraph, notify the employee of any property they need to return. This could be a company cell phone, laptop, keys, ID badges and parking passes to name a few.
5. Remind them of signed agreements
Most employees sign some form of non-disclosure agreements and other employment-related documents during the onboarding process. Remind the employee of these agreements and include a copy for their review and records.
6. Include HR contact information
Before signing off, include the contact details for their specific HR representative, so they can ask questions regarding their compensation, benefits and other details mentioned in the termination letter.
What to avoid in a termination letter
- Be professional. Avoid using any casual or informal language even if you have a familiar relationship with the employee. It’s best to maintain a professional tone in this kind of documentation.
- Be concise. Leave out unnecessary details. The content you include should be directly related to the employee’s termination.
Be honest. Do not include inaccurate or exaggerated information. A termination letter should be an accurate representation of events.
Termination letter template
Here is a termination letter template to help you draft your letter:
[Date letter is drafted]
[Employee first and last name],
This letter is to inform you that your employment with [company name] will end as of [date termination is effective].
Your dismissal is due to the following reason(s):
[List factual and detailed reasons for termination]
This decision has been finalized.
You will receive: [List compensation and benefits they will receive]
Your health care benefits will [explanation of what will happen with their benefits including life insurance].
Your retirement benefits will [explanation of what will happen with their retirement benefits such as a 401k].
You are requested to return [list all company property to be returned].
Also, please keep in mind that you have signed and agreed to [list agreements employee has signed].
If you have questions regarding your compensation, benefits, signed policies or returning of company property, please contact [name of contact, usually an HR professional, and contact info].
[Your name, if handling the termination]
Termination letter samples
Review the following termination letter examples to help guide your writing:
Termination letter without cause
This is an example of a letter of separation due to downsizing.
Oct. 14, 2020
This letter is to inform you that your employment with Williams Construction will end as of Oct. 28, 2020.
Over the last few months, Williams Construction has experienced lack of work in our industry, leading to financial difficulties. We have explored a variety of options to increase the need for labor, but unfortunately, our efforts have been unsuccessful.
We have concluded we must reduce our workforce by 20%. We are regretful to say your position is a part of this reduction and your job title will be eliminated. This decision is final.
You will receive a final paycheck after your last day with us, and payment for the remaining leave days you have. You will also receive a $20,000 severance payment. Please sign and return the attached claim document to ensure you collect this.
Your healthcare benefits will remain in effect for 120 days post-termination.
You are requested to return your company cell phone, keys and ID badge on your last day of employment.
Please keep in mind, you have signed a number of confidentiality agreements. Please review the attached copies.
Within the next week, a representative from human resources will contact you to set up a meeting to discuss details regarding your benefits. They will also provide you with an outplacement firm service to assist you in your job search. If you have additional questions, your representative is John Wallis. He can be contacted at 444-555-6666 or [email protected]
Please accept our appreciation for your contributions during your employment with Williams Construction.
Termination letter with cause
This is an example of a letter of termination with cause which may be due to employee-related behavior or performance.
Feb. 19, 2020
This letter confirms that your employment with Musicology, Inc. will be terminated, effective Feb. 25, 2020.
We have come to the decision to terminate your employment for the following reasons:
On Dec. 21, 2019, you were absent from work without approved leave. We provided you with a formal written warning at this time, explaining that this absence violated our company's attendance policy.
On Jan. 17, 2020, you had a second absence from work without approved leave. You received a second written warning and were informed a third warning would result in your dismissal.
On Feb. 15, 2020, you had a third absence without leave, resulting in your termination.
Your last paycheck will be mailed to your address. Your healthcare benefits will remain in effect for 60 days from your termination date of Feb. 20.
We request that you please return your keys and company laptop by end of day tomorrow.
Please keep in mind that you have signed a non-disclosure agreement, which is attached for your review.
If you have any questions regarding your compensation, benefits or policies, please contact HR manager, Jessica Stine at 333-444-777 or [email protected]
Termination of business contract letter
Here's an example of a contract termination letter.
Aug. 10, 2020
This letter is to inform you that as of Oct. 1, 2020, we will no longer require your services.
It has been a pleasure to work with you and Analytics Consulting Services, but due to our shift in business priorities, we have decided to terminate our contract .
Outstanding deliverables should be completed before our contract ends. Please send us all pending invoices by Sept. 15, 2020, so we can clear outstanding amounts by Sept. 30, 2020.
Please note that as of Oct. 1, 2020, you will no longer have access to our company’s internal networks or systems.
Please keep in mind, you have signed a number of confidentiality agreements. Copies are attached for your review.
Thank you for all of your contributions to our business during the past year and we wish you the best in your future endeavors. If you have additional questions, please contact our Director of Operations at 777-888-9999 or [email protected]
Employee Termination Letter
Employee Termination Letter Sample Template:
[Date Letter is Drafted]
This letter is to inform you that your employment with [company name] will end as of [date termination is effective].
You have been terminated for the following reason(s):
[List factual reasons for termination].
This decision is not reversible.
You will receive: [List compensation they will receive, including pay for unused leave, severance pay, salary owed, etc].
Your health care benefits will [explanation of what will happen with their benefits].
You are requested to return [list all company property to be returned].
Also, please keep in mind that you have signed [list any agreements employee has signed, such as a confidentiality policy or a nonsolicitation agreement].
If you have questions about policies you have signed, your compensation, benefits, or returning company property, please contact [contact name, typically someone from HR, with contact info].
[Name of person handling termination]
Employee Termination Letter Download.
Download this free employee termination letter in Microsoft Word format.Download Letter
Sample Termination Letters:
The following termination letter samples are examples only. Talk to your legal counsel before sending a sample termination letter so they can modify it to correctly fit your situation. Especially if you plan on using a sample termination letter for cause.
1. Basic termination letter to employee - without cause.
Oct. 29, 2017
This employment termination letter is to inform you that your employment with The Internet Company will end as of October 29, 2017. This decision cannot be changed.
You will receive your final paycheck for this month and payment for remaining leave today. Once you have signed and returned the attached release of claims document, you will receive a $25,000 severance payment.
Your health care benefits will remain in effect for another 90 days.
You are requested to return the company laptop, swipe card, and cell phone before the end of the day.
Also, keep in mind that you have signed a confidentiality agreement. Please review the attached copy.
If you have questions about compensation, benefits, company property or policies you have signed, please contact John Doe at 555-0600.
2. Sample Termination letter without Cause (staff reduction).
Oct. 1, 2020
This letter of termination of employment is to inform you that your employment with Pied Piper, Inc. will end as of October 29, 2020. This decision is final and will not be modified.
You have been terminated for the following reasons:
Recent economic conditions have caused a significant downturn in sales, necessitating a 20 percent workforce reduction at Pied Piper. Unfortunately, your position is part of this reduction and has been eliminated.
You will receive your final paycheck after your last day, as well as payment for remaining leave. You will also receive a $15,000 severance payment provided the attached release of claims document is signed and returned.
Your health care benefits will remain in effect for 180 days after your termination takes effect.
You are requested to return the company vehicle, key card, and phone on your last day of employment.
Also, please keep in mind that you have signed a number of agreements which prohibit you from divulging confidential information. Please review the attached copies.
If you have questions about this letter please contact John Smith at 555-0600.
3. Sample Termination Letter for Cause (attendance).
Oct. 29, 2018
This separation letter is to inform you that your employment with Acme Internet Inc. will end as of October 29, 2018. This decision is not reversible.
We decided to terminate your employment for these reasons:
On September 29, 2018, you were absent from work without leave. At that time, you were given a formal written warning that your absence violated company policy.
On October 18, 2018, you were again absent from work, without leave. At that time you were given a second warning and informed that a third case within a year would result in your termination.
On October 28, 2018, you were absent from work without leave a third time, resulting in your termination.
Included with this letter of employment termination is your final paycheck.
Your health care benefits will remain in effect for 60 days.
You are requested to return any company property such as laptops, keys, and books before the end of the day.
Also, please keep in mind that you have signed a non-solicitation agreement. Please review the attached copy.
If you have questions about compensation, benefits, company property or policies you have signed, please contact Jane Doe at 555-0600.
4. Sample Letter of Termination of Employment due to Poor Performance.
Oct. 29, 2019
This letter is to inform you that your employment with Internet Industries Corp. will end as of October 29, 2019. This decision is not reversible.
Your employment was terminated for these performance reasons:
On July 1, 2019, you received performance coaching and were informed that your performance would be required to improve if your employment with Internet Industries Corp. were to continue. On August 25, 2019, you received a second warning and were informed that failure to improve performance within 60 days would result in your termination.
You have failed to meet the performance targets agreed upon. As a result, your employment has been terminated.
You will receive your final check for this month in the mail in 7 days. Once we have received a signed copy of the attached release of claims document, you will receive a $5,000 severance payment.
Your health care benefits will remain in effect for 35 days.
You are requested to return all company property, including your car, cell phone and ID badge before the end of the day.
If you have questions about compensation, benefits, company property or policies you have signed, please contact Jane Doe at 555-1212.
Top 10 Employee Termination Letter Samples
Termination of employment, though unpleasant, is still a part of an employer’s responsibility. And, every employer has to face this unpleasant experience of terminating an employee in their professional life. After all, termination is part and parcel of professional life.
Nevertheless, the employer can create a difference by changing the way they approach the act of termination. This starts with the employee termination letter. Companies should put special focus on drafting a termination letter that acknowledges the employee’s contribution, is considerate about their situation and still conveys the message of the company. So let us check out the ten top employee termination letter samples that can be used practically by companies.
1. Employee termination letter for probationary employee
Employers normally hire employees and keep them on probation for the initial few months before confirming their employment. This probation period generally lasts for 90 days or three months. It, however, depends on company to company. If the performance and professional conduct of the employee are not satisfactory and fall below the company expectations, then they are given an employee termination letter to relieve them from employment with the company.
(Name of Manager)
Dear ABC (Recipient Name),
We acknowledge and recognise the effort that you’ve put into your job role as (add job title) during your probationary period with (add firm name).
Regrettably, the results did not meet business expectations. We write this letter to inform you that your employment with (firm name) stands terminated effective today (or add date).
We will be processing your outstanding salary and your Record of Employment on the next scheduled payment date (add date). These documents would be mailed to your home address.
We wish you the best in your future endeavours.
(Name of Manager)
2. Immediate termination letter to employee
This is the basic employee termination letter format for employee. It can also be used as an immediate termination letter to employee. This letter includes the primary content which informs the employee of their termination. And has space below to add further explanations.
(City, State Pin Code)
With regret, we inform you that your employment with (add firm name) is being discontinued, effective (add date). Your termination is the consequence of:
Explanation 1 (add an explanation if any)
Explanation 2 (add an explanation if any)
Kindly return any company property that is in your possession. A delay or failure in doing so would cause a delay in the issuance of your final paycheck.
Any severance payments will be made according to the policies of the organisation (add company name).
If you are entitled to any remaining paid leaves, they will get calculated and paid under the company (add company name) policies. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the HR department.
3. Employee termination letter for poor performance
After the successful hire of an employee, non-performance can prove to be costly for the organisation. The company can try to train the employee and develop their skills to be par with the organisational requirements. However, if the employee still fails to perform, you can use this sample termination letter to employee.
We regret to inform you that your employment as (add job title) with (add firm name) has been officially terminated with effect (add date).
The decision of the company to terminate your employment is based on your consistent poor performance in the past three months, which has not shown any signs of improvement or failed to meet company expectations following your receipt of our oral and written warnings.
You were already made aware by the company that the last date of the notice period issued with the final written warning would be our last day of employment with the company if your performance fails to meet the minimum performance standards set by the company.
Your severance payments, including all unused paid leaves, will be mailed to you at your residential address. If you have any questions or queries, you can contact the HR department.
Thank you, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours.
4. Employee termination letter sample for restaurant employee
A restaurant business is a very customer-sensitive business which is more dependent on customer experiences when inside the restaurant. Therefore, the restaurant management pays great attention to the customer experience right from the second they enter the premises to the moment they walk out. However, if your employee shows inappropriate conduct in front of the customer or is involved in unethical practices at work, then you can use this letter for job termination template for your restaurant employees.
We regret to inform you that your employment shall end on (add date). The mentioned date will be your last day of work with (add firm name). The aforementioned data is as per the notice period for employment termination as specified in your contract. The reason for termination of employment is improper conduct or behaviour with the customer. The details are mentioned in the attached documents.
Please return all company equipment, material or documents that are in your possession. Please observe confidentiality as per our data protection policy as agreed upon at the start of your employment.
You are entitled to a severance package which you will get on your last day of service. Failure or delay in returning company property which is in your possession will cause a delay in your final paycheck.
If you have any questions or doubts, you can contact the HR department.
Thank you for your service. We wish you great success in your future endeavours.
5. Sample termination letter of employee benefits
This termination letter is to inform the employee about the termination of their employee benefits. The letter mentions the appropriate reasons for benefits termination and the effective date.
(City, State Pin Code)
According to our records, you have been inactive in conducting research-based activities with the organisation for the given financial year (add date). Therefore, you will not be eligible to receive research allowance or grants from the company. Further, any additional benefits associated with the aforementioned allowance will get discounted from (add date). Other privileges and benefits that will continue are outlined in the attached document summary.
Last Date of benefits eligible status ___________________
Date of cancellation of eligible benefits _______________
6. Employee termination letter sample
Here is another sample employee termination for employees whom you had hired expecting good performance, but their performance has turned out to be below your expectations.
We regret to inform you that your employment with (add company name) shall officially get terminated on (add date). The reason for termination of employment and the details of your severance benefit and compensation are mentioned in the attached document. The decision is final and irrevocable.
Please return all the company property that you may have in your possession before the final date. If you have any question or concern, you can contact the HR department.
We wish you success in your future endeavours.
7. Sample employee termination letter due to prolonged absence
Few employees go on an unexplained leave of absence for prolonged periods, wherein they are uncontactable, or there are no signs of them returning to the organisation. This is highly unacceptable behaviour as per any company rule. Here is a termination letter to send out to such employees.
Subject: Termination of Employment
It is our unfortunate duty to inform you that your employment with (add company name) stands terminated from (add date).
The reason for termination is the multiple unexplained and uninformed leave of absence from work for prolonged periods that you have taken.
You will receive your entitled severance package as per company policy. You will receive a statement detailing your accrued benefits.
(Name of HR executive) will discuss the final details with you as well as answer your question or doubts, if any. Kindly get in touch with him/her at the earliest to discuss your termination process and final package.
This action by us was deemed necessary. We wish you success in your future endeavours.
8. Sales employee termination letter sample
Let us check out this customisable employee termination letter for sales employees, owing to poor performance among other reasons.
Subject: Termination letter for employment
We are writing this letter to inform you that your employment in the job position of (add title) with (add company name) has been terminated. We request you to initiate your termination process and vacate your desk post the lapse of your notice period.
For more than three months, your sales performance has been below company expectations. This issue was already discussed with you by the management. The management also provided you with the required training and development to enhance your skills. Despite all the support provided by the company, your performance failed to achieve the expected objective.
Further, we have received complaints from your team members and colleagues about your bad behaviour and improper conduct at work. Despite the repeated warning, you have failed to show any improvement in your behaviour. Therefore, management has decided to terminate your employment.
Your employment contract empowers the employer to terminate your employment after six months of employment on the grounds of misbehaviour or misconduct. Therefore, the decision is legally right, final and irrevocable.
If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to contact the HR department.
Thank you for your service. We wish you success in your future endeavours.
9. Employee termination letter sample due to redundancy
The below employee termination letter sample can be used for an employee whose services are deemed redundant.
Private and Confidential
Subject: Termination of employment because of redundancy
Our purpose of writing this letter is to confirm the result of a recent review by (add company name) on its operational necessities, and what this outcome means to you.
As a result of (provide the reason. For example — downturn, closure of the store, etc.), the company feels that the job position of (add job title) is no longer required. Unfortunately, this means that your job will get terminated. This decision doesn’t reflect your performance and primarily from the business perspective. Further, we’d be happy to write you a letter of recommendation.
(The next section should provide the available options for the employee. You can customise the sentences as per the options you provide to employees.)
Based on your (months/years) of service, your notice period will be (add duration). Therefore, your employment with (add company name) would end on (add the date).
As your employment ends due to redundancy, you will be paid a redundancy pay (add amount) according to your contract. The amount represents your (add duration) pay based on your years of service. You will be entitled to outstanding pay if any and accrued entitlements and severance pay till the last day of employment.
You can contact the HR department for any queries or concerns.
Thank you for your valuable contribution during your period of employment with (add company name).
We wish you success in your future endeavours.
10. Basic termination notice sample letter
Let us check out the basic notification letter for termination of employment as a way of layoff.
With regret, we have to inform you that you are being laid off from the job position of (add job title) effective from (add date) due to lack of funds and/or lack of work which has necessitated this layoff. The duration of layoff is indefinite and must be considered as permanent.
We assure you that your termination is not a reflection of your performance. We highly appreciate your contribution to this organisation. Further, we’d be happy to write you a letter of recommendation.
We sincerely regret your current problems that have necessitated this layoff. We wish you the best of success in your future endeavours.
These employee termination letter samples will help you carve out a pleasant termination letter for your employees. After all, the goal should be to make this separation seamless, smooth and pleasant for the employee as well as the employer.
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Letter of Dismissal Email
An effective letter of dismissal email accomplishes three goals:
1. First, it shares the announcement in a clear, concise, straightforward way that eliminates any confusion.
2. Second, it explains exactly what will happen next in terms of things like final payment, the return of any company-owned items, insurance coverage, and job search support.
3. Third, it supplies your former employee with a resource they can turn to if they have any questions or concerns.
Your letter of dismissal email may vary from this sample depending on the unique nature of your position and your circumstances, but your own letter will still need to accomplish these central goals.
Do also note that your email should not be the first time that your employee is learning of their dismissal. It’s recommended that you communicate this information initially in a face-to-face meeting and then follow on with a formal email that details your discussion in writing.
Letter of Dismissal Email
From: Miles Marmont [email protected]
To: Angelica Beuford
Subject: [IMPORTANT] Letter of Dismissal, Account Manager Position
Dear Angelica Beuford,
As per our discussion, this email message officially announces the termination of your position as Account Manager, effective June 4, 2017. As you know, the Account Manager position is being discontinued as a result of the company’s recent merger with Excellent Business, LTD. This termination in no way reflects dissatisfaction with your work or services.
This message provides you with two weeks notice prior to your final workday, and in addition to this notice, you will receive compensation for an additional 10 days of work, which will amount to $1,938.04. Your final payment will also include compensation for all unused PTO and will be paid on June 4, 2017.
Please return all company equipment to our HR office by close of business on June 4, 2017.
As of June 4, 2017 you will be eligible for enrollment in a transitional health insurance plan. Please review the attached plan summary and enrollment instructions if you choose to pursue this option. Your coverage under the company plan will terminate on July 30th, 2017.
If you have any questions about continuing insurance coverage, the return of company materials, or the distribution of your final payment, please contact Human Resource Manager Sally Waxler at 294-392-8938.
Thank you for your service to Quality Business Company.
Termination letter email
.What are the do’s and don’ts during a termination conversation?
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