In the professional world, terminating an employee requires a formal and well-documented process. An employee termination letter is a crucial part of this process, providing a clear record of the decision and its reasons. This template is designed to help employers navigate this sensitive task with professionalism and clarity.

Full Termination Letter Example – Sample

Employee Termination Letter example


  • Double-check the termination letter example and your final version with a lawyer to ensure everything is legally sound.
  • Consult a lawyer to ensure that you are legally permitted to terminate the employee and understand the relevant legal requirements. For instance, in some countries, you must provide ample notice, severance pay, or reasons for termination. Additionally, specific regulations may apply if the situation involves a layoff or furlough.
  • Coordinate with the employee’s manager or head of department to determine the appropriate last working day before termination or furlough.
  • Gather all policies that apply after an employee has been terminated or furloughed, so you can clearly outline them in your letter.
  • Use our sample letters as templates, but tailor the tone of your final version to be both sensitive and firm. If possible, have a fellow HR colleague review the letter to ensure it is appropriate and clear.

What is a Termination Letter?

A termination letter is a formal document issued by an employer to notify an employee that their employment is being terminated. It typically outlines the reasons for the termination, the effective date of termination, any severance or final compensation, and any relevant next steps such as returning company property or completing an exit interview. Termination letters are important for both the employer and the employee, as they provide a clear record of the termination and can help avoid misunderstandings or legal disputes.

Why Write a Termination Letter?

Writing a termination letter is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it provides a formal and documented record of the termination, which can be crucial in the event of any legal disputes or claims. It also helps to clearly communicate the reasons for the termination to the employee, ensuring that there is no ambiguity or misunderstanding. Additionally, a termination letter can serve as a reference for both the employer and the employee in the future, outlining the terms and conditions of the termination. Overall, writing a termination letter is a professional and respectful way to handle the process of ending an employment relationship.

How to Write a Termination Letter

When writing a termination letter, it is important to clearly state the reason for termination, the effective date of termination, any relevant information about final pay and benefits, and any next steps for the employee, such as returning company property. The tone should be professional and respectful, avoiding any language that could be considered discriminatory or inflammatory. It is also important to ensure that the letter complies with any legal requirements or company policies regarding termination.

What to Include in a Termination Letter for Your Employee

  1. Header and Introduction:

    • Employer’s name and contact information
    • Employee’s name and contact information
    • Date of the letter
    • Salutation (e.g., “Dear [Employee’s Name]”)
  2. Statement of Termination:

    • Clearly state that the employee’s employment is being terminated.
    • Mention the effective date of termination.
  3. Reason for Termination:

    • Provide a clear and concise reason for the termination.
    • Avoid language that could be considered discriminatory or defamatory.
  4. Final Pay and Benefits:

    • Outline any severance pay, final salary, or benefits the employee is entitled to.
    • Include information on when and how the final paycheck will be delivered.
  5. Return of Company Property:

    • List any company property that needs to be returned (e.g., keys, electronic devices, documents).
  6. Next Steps and Exit Process:

    • Provide details on the exit process, including any exit interviews or feedback sessions.
    • Include contact information for any further questions or clarifications.
  7. Closing Statement:

    • Express appreciation for the employee’s contributions if appropriate.
    • Offer best wishes for the future.
  8. Signature:

    • Employer’s signature and printed name
    • Job title

Legal and HR Considerations

When crafting a termination letter, it is crucial to consider both legal and human resources aspects to ensure compliance and maintain a respectful tone. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Legal Compliance: Different jurisdictions have varying laws regarding employee termination. These may include requirements for notice periods, severance pay, and permissible reasons for termination. Ensure that your termination letter complies with local, state, and federal laws to avoid legal repercussions. Consulting with legal counsel before finalizing the letter can provide added security.

  2. Documenting Reasons: Clearly documenting the reasons for termination helps protect the company from potential legal claims. It provides a transparent record that can be referenced if the termination decision is ever questioned. Be specific but concise in stating the reasons, avoiding any language that could be interpreted as discriminatory or biased.

  3. Respectful Tone: The termination process can be emotional and challenging for the employee. Using a respectful and empathetic tone in the letter can help mitigate negative feelings and maintain the dignity of the departing employee. This approach also reflects well on the company’s reputation.

  4. Final Compensation and Benefits: Clearly outline the details of final compensation, including any accrued vacation or sick leave, severance pay, and the delivery date of the final paycheck. Provide information on the continuation of benefits, such as health insurance, and any actions the employee needs to take to maintain these benefits.

  5. Return of Company Property: Specify the items that need to be returned, such as keys, ID cards, laptops, or other company property. Provide instructions on how and when to return these items to ensure a smooth transition.

  6. Exit Interviews: If your company conducts exit interviews, mention this in the termination letter. Exit interviews can provide valuable feedback and help improve the workplace environment for remaining employees.

  7. Support Services: Consider offering support services such as career counseling, job placement assistance like helping them to get a great CV (for example offer to pay for an AI Headshot Generator), or access to mental health resources. These services can help the employee transition to their next role and demonstrate the company’s commitment to their well-being.

Use Cases for our Generator