When an employee is dismissed for poor performance, the termination letter has to be written with a deft hand. It is a sensitive document that both lets the employee know the circumstances behind their firing and protects the employer’s interests.
Basics Needed for a Termination Letter
When writing a termination letter due to poor performance, use a formal, authoritative, but neutral voice. Though the very tenor of the letter could be construed as volatile, avoid negative statements or pointing fingers. This is content that should state facts, not lay blame. Inform the employee of the specific circumstances behind the termination and what both parties’ responsibilities will be from that point forward.
The termination letter due to poor performance should note the date that the termination begins. Or began, as it is not unusual for the termination to start before the document is created. Clearly state why the employee is being terminated in plain, brief language. If there was a lead up to the decision, put this in the body of the letter. Lead ups can be warnings, whether written or verbal.
The Responsibility of Both Parties
An employee may have materials that the company will want returned, such as a key card or a company car, phone, or laptop. At the same time, the company may owe the employee compensation or personal property. Depending on the company, compensation may include back pay and accrued sick, vacation, or personal time. The termination letter due to poor performance will include this information. The details for when and how property is to be returned should be outlined in the letter, as well as how any personal property left in the office by the employee will be returned. The typical procedure here is that the employee will receive the compensation once company property has been returned. There may also be a signed claims release that specifies the employee understands and accepts the terms of the termination.
Other Matters to Be Considered
The employee may have health insurance, retirement savings and other benefits tied to their employment. The termination letter due to poor performance should provide information about what will happen with each. Documentation that facilitates these matters can be enclosed or sent separately.
Should you find yourself on the receiving end of a termination letter, let LiveCareer help in the new job search. From Resume Builder to FAQs on acing the interview, we can streamline the process.
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