How to Write Employee Termination Letters

There does come a time when an employer has to formally release an employee from their position. It can be for poor performance or due to layoffs, but it still has to be done. Termination letters are never pleasant to write, but unfortunately they’re a necessity as they’re used so that employers and employees have a record of the termination.

Best Approach to Termination Letters

Depending on the circumstances, the employee may have already learned that they are being let go through a meeting with a supervisor or Human Resources. There are often warnings or a termination meeting. In fact, in most cases, the termination letter is the last word in the action as well as a record that protects the company for legal purposes.

The termination letter will also address any final obligations expected either of the employer or employee, such as any severance pay due, how long benefits will last, and if there are any duties the employee needs to perform. This can include the return of company property such as phones, laptops, key cards, etc. Usually, the employee does not receive any due compensation until they have completed tasks related to the termination.

Content of Termination Letters

A termination letter should open with a blunt and open statement about its purpose.

Dear Mr./Ms. [EMPLOYEE], As per your conversation with Human Resources, this letter confirms that your employment with [COMPANY NAME] is terminated, effective [DATE].

The termination letter may or may not go into the reasons for the termination. This can be important though, should there later be legal actions or other complications. With the details written out, neither party can later attest to not having understood any aspect of the termination.

The termination letter should now discuss what is expected of both parties.

You will receive severance pay of two weeks, as well as an additional week for every year of employment. Your accrued PTO will be included in the final check. Your benefit status will last 30 days beyond the termination date.

Before you receive your final paycheck, you will need to return your ID passkey, the company supplied phone and tablet, and sign and return the attached release of claims form.

All this information can be tweaked to fit any termination letter.

LiveCareer has a library of sample letters for all types of employment situations, as well as FAQs, video tutorials and Resume Builder, a resource for creating documents that will get the interview.


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