How to Write a Letter of Termination

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Teachers often have to hand over scripts of students who fail in the finals and cannot be promoted. If the teacher has given his full efforts in helping the student improve, and he (student) does badly in all of the class tests and mid-terms, lastly failing in the finals, the teacher has nothing left to do than not promote the student. Rather he needs to take necessary steps, however negative it is.

Similarly, employers might have to let employees know of something negative, and this might come in the form of his termination. A termination letter is a letter in which the employers write about firing an employee. The letter has in it the details of the firing and any information that the employee to be fired will need to know.

A termination letter is used for a couple of reasons. It could be required by state or local law to provide documentation of employee termination. It can also be issued when you believe the employee in question is ineligible for employment. Again, if you want a written record of the termination that you think might be useful in case of a future lawsuit, you can write one.

The termination letter needs to be made clear to the employee and by this, you want to provide information on the next steps that he will or will not be able to take. As I will discuss later, you will pass along information about his owed compensation and benefits from the company in here, too.

Steps to Write a Termination Letter:

Before writing a termination letter, under usual circumstances, the manager or the supervisor and a representative of HR has to hold a meeting with the employee. The termination letter reflects the discussions and decisions of the meeting and confirms the details of the employment termination in pen and paper. 

The following things are part of the termination letter:

  • Add the name of manager or supervisor who is going to/has handled the termination. The contact information of the manager will also be included here.
  • Add the employee name, position, department, contact information next.
  • Add the date of writing.
  • Start with a salutation. “Dear………”
  • In the first paragraph, state how the subject of the meeting will be reflected in this letter and be straightforward in it.
  • Include the benefits and compensations the employee will receive.
  • Detail any company property that the employee is expected to return like office keys, laptops, etc.
  • Highlight any legal agreements that the employee has signed/has to sign.
  • Have your legal counsel check the letter for you.

As the employer, you will have to keep a copy of the letter in the employee's personnel file for potential future use.

In all cases of termination, the employer has to make sure that he has done his part to prevent the termination from happening unless it is a severe case of misconduct. Counselling, coaching sessions, efforts to help the employee improve, tracking performance status through Performance Improvement Plans, everything should be kept as documented proof that the employer tried to prevent the need for termination.

But if it is inevitable, writing the letter of termination does more good than harm.

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