Employee termination letter template

This sample employee termination letter can help you when faced with the difficult task of letting someone go. It provides structure to your own letter as well as important elements that help you avoid misunderstandings and disputes.

How to write a termination letter

Letting someone go is a difficult job, and it’s key to ensure employees don’t feel cheated or degraded. If your evaluation or disciplinary processes work well, the employee should have had some warning that a termination may be coming. Make sure to arrange a brief meeting with the employee to let them know they’re fired, before you send them an official ‘termination of employment’ letter.

The letter should be written with two elements in mind: tone and compliance. It’s to everyone’s best interest to close your employment relationship with the employee on good terms (except if you’re terminating them for cause), and a compliant termination letter helps reduce risk of lawsuits.

So, here are some things to pay attention to:

  • Consult a lawyer to make sure you’re legally allowed to terminate this employee and learn more about relevant terms. For example, in some countries, you’re required to give ample notice, severance pay or reasons for termination. Also, if it’s a layoff, there might be specific regulations involved.
  • Decide on what the last day of employment should be with their manager or head of department.
  • Collect all policies that are in effect after an employee has been terminated, so you can remind them in your employment termination letter.
  • Use our sample termination letter as a guide, but be mindful of the tone of your final customized version. Be sensitive, but firm. If possible, ask a fellow HR colleague to read the letter and let you know if anything sounds wrong.

Here’s our termination letter template:

Dear [employee_name],

I’m sorry to inform you that as of [termination_date], you’ll be no longer employed with [company_name]. As discussed, we think this is the best decision, because of [insert reason for termination]. [This is the final step in our disciplinary process/ a decision we made after the end of your Performance Improvement Plan launched on _date_.]

From [termination_date] on, you won’t be eligible for any compensation or benefits associated with your position. Please return [company property that must be returned] before [date] to the Human Resources office.

You are entitled to your salary up until [termination_date] and we’ll also compensate you for your remaining vacation days. We’ll also provide severance pay that will amount to [amount]. [You’ll receive a separate letter with the complete details of compensation or other related information you’re entitled to receive from us.]

Please keep in mind that you have signed a non-compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreement. If you have any information about our customers, employees or other stakeholders stored on paper or on your personal devices, you must delete it immediately.

If you have questions or clarifications, I’m at your disposal for up to [five] working days after your last day of employment.

We wish you best of luck.

[Your name and signature]

You can download this employee termination letter sample in pdf format.

A full termination letter example

Dear Mr Thomas,

I’m sorry to inform you that as of 12/3/2018, you’ll be no longer employed with Acme Inc. As discussed, the reason behind this is your reduced performance the past six months. We made this decision after the end of your Performance Improvement Plan, which we launched on 07/03/2018.  

From Dec. 3 on, you won’t be eligible for any compensation or benefits associated with your position. Please return your swipe card, company cell phone and laptop by 5 pm on Dec. 3 to our HR office.

You are entitled to your salary up until Dec. 3 and we’ll also compensate you for your remaining vacation days. We’ll also provide severance pay that will amount to two monthly salaries. You’ll receive a separate letter with the complete compensation details and information about your health coverage (as per Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA).

Please keep in mind that you have signed a non-compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreement. If you have any information about our customers, employees or other stakeholders stored on paper or on your personal devices, you must delete it immediately.

If you have questions or clarifications, I’m at your disposal until the end of next week.

We wish you best of luck.

Elijah Burns

Employee Termination Letter Sample TemplateDownload this sample as
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