Sometimes, it’s necessary to let an employee go—whether due to restructuring, performance issues, or other reasons. And in this delicate matter, it’s essential to approach it professionally and sensitively. A good termination letter can help you in this process.

What is a termination letter?

A termination letter—also known as a termination of employment letter—is an official document that describes an employee's dismissal from their job, including the reasons for termination, the process involved, and any next steps. 

The content of termination letters can vary depending on the reason behind them:

  • Not a good fit termination letter – This letter addresses situations when an employee couldn’t integrate effectively into the team or meet the job’s specific requirements, often discovered during or after their trial period.
  • Termination due to performance issues – This letter is created when an employee fails to meet performance standards despite previous warnings or attempts to rectify the situation. 
  • Company restructuring termination letters – This type of letter is necessary when the company experiences budget constraints or strategic pivots, necessitating workforce reduction. 

How to write a termination letter

Writing a termination letter can be tricky. That’s why you need to make sure every key component is addressed. Here’s what a termination letter should include:

  1. A clear statement saying the employment relationship is being terminated. 
  2. Reasons behind such a decision.
  3. Details about final paychecks, benefits (health insurance, retirement benefits, etc), and any compensation or severance packages offered.
  4. Instructions for returning company property, such as ID badges, equipment, or keys.
  5. Legal and policy information, such as non-disclosure agreements or non-compete clauses, will continue after employment ends.
  6. Support for transition, such as outplacement services or a reference (if appropriate).

Tips to write a termination letter

When writing a termination letter, it’s important to approach this task professionally. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Consider local laws concerning termination. Check the required notice period, severance pay, and legal reasons for termination.
  • If you maintain a good relationship with the employee and the termination is amicable, you can provide a two-week notice period. However, if there’s a possibility of hostility from the employee, it’s best to proceed with immediate termination.
  • Use compassionate yet straightforward language that respects the dignity of the employee.
  • Avoid discriminatory language that could lead to legal complications.
  • Opt for handing the termination letter at the beginning or mid-week to ensure the employee has sufficient time during business hours to begin their job search.
  • If your company conducts exit interviews, provide details on how and when this will be conducted. 

Printable Termination Form Template

* The template here is provided for reference only, and you should always talk to a professional for all legal matters

Whether you need a “not a good fit” termination letter sample or one for company restructuring, our printable termination form template can be extremely useful. Easily download it and create your own termination letters, ensuring they meet all legal and company-specific requirements.

Have you already tried PDF Expert? This powerful editor can become your go-to app for creating, editing, and managing your files in one place. Fill in your termination form and easily print it out or send it directly to the employee—it’s that easy. Download PDF Expert now and see for yourself! 

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