Simple sample termination letter to an employee templates

When you’re tasked with the difficult decision to terminate an employee, you want to provide an employee termination letter that is both informative and professional. This will be an important document that remains in their employee file. However, it also could be used in future court cases if the employee leaves on hostile terms.

Having a template can help you ensure you don’t miss out on the most important information you need to communicate and also ensure that you’re protecting yourself from future litigation.

What is an employee termination letter?

An employee termination letter is a formal notice designed to notify an employee that they’re being dismissed from their current position. You might see it referred to as a pink slip, letter of separation, contract termination letter, or something similar, but it maintains the same purpose.

What does a letter of termination include?

The process of releasing someone from their position is difficult, and no matter the reason, you want it to be done with dignity and respect for all involved. So, the employee termination letter should include the information an employee will be wondering about after receiving notice of termination.

This letter will entail details related to the termination, such as:

  • The reason for the termination. There should be transparency surrounding why the employee was released from their position. While every detail doesn’t need to be included, you want to incorporate a general synopsis so there’s clarity amongst all involved.

  • Termination date. The termination date is the date the employee is officially terminated from their position. In many cases, this is likely immediate.

  • Final day of work. If termination is not immediate, then include the final day they will be working for the company.

  • Explanation of benefits and compensation. You want to include information related to their current benefits and how they will be impacted by the termination. Benefits to discuss include retirement and health insurance through the COBRA program along with what happens to the vacation days and sick days they’ve accumulated. Also, provide details related to the final compensation they’re owed from the company along with any severance pay if applicable. You also want to share the date of their final paycheck.

  • Company property that must be returned. If the employee has company property that must be returned before their departure, you want to outline what the items are along with when you expect to have them returned.

  • Human resources contact information. The employee might have questions related to their termination, so you want to provide contact information for the human resources department.

Here’s our termination letter sample for layoffs

There are many ways you can write an employee termination letter and it can vary slightly due to the reason behind the termination. This is a straightforward termination letter example you can use to deliver the necessary information.

This is the order of information:

  • Date of termination

  • Last day of employment

  • Notification that this is a termination letter

  • Reason for termination

  • Notice to return company property

  • Compensation and benefits overview

  • Reminder about non-compete agreements

Below the template, you’ll find examples of termination letters to fit various circumstances you might come across.

Termination Letter Template

Dear [Terminated Employee Name],

As of today, [Date of Letter], I regret to inform you that your last day of employment with [Company Name] will be [Last Day of Work]. As discussed, your position is being eliminated due to [Reason for termination].

Effective [Last Day of Work], you’ll be ineligible to receive the benefits and compensation associated with your position as [Position Title]. Please return your [List Items to Return] by [Date and Time] to [Person You Want to Receive Items].

You are entitled to your full compensation and benefits through [Last Day of Work]. You will also be compensated for [sick days/vacation days/pto/other benefits]. [If applicable – You’ll receive additional severance payments equal to 3 months of your full salary]. See the attached letter with additional compensation details related to your health coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, also known as COBRA.

Please note that you signed a non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreement when you accepted this position. Please delete any information you have about our customers, employees, and stakeholders stored on personal devices prior to your last day per company policy.

If you have any questions moving forward, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I wish you the best.

Sincerely,

[First & Last Name]

Termination of employment without cause letter sample

You can refer to this letter when writing a termination letter to an employee when the reason is without cause.

Dear Mr. Carter,

As of today, June 28, 2021, I regret to inform you that your last day of employment with Roberts Strategic Consulting will be July 30, 2021. As discussed, your position is being eliminated due to budget adjustments and restructuring roles within the company.

Effective July 30, 2021, you’ll be ineligible to receive the benefits and compensation associated with your position as Project Manager. Please return your laptop, identification badge, building keys, and building keyfob by Jul 30 at 5 PM to your direct manager.

You are entitled to your full compensation and benefits through July 30. You will also be compensated for your remaining vacation and sick days. You’ll receive additional severance pay equal to 3 months of your full salary. See the attached letter with additional compensation details related to your health coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, also known as COBRA.

Please note that you signed a non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreement when you accepted this position. Please delete any information you have about our customers, employees, and stakeholders stored on personal devices prior to your last day.

If you have any questions moving forward, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Alea Watkins

Termination due to attendance letter sample

You can refer to this letter when writing a termination letter to an employee when the reason is attendance issues.

Dear Mr. Carter,

As of today, June 28, 2021, I regret to inform you that your last day of employment with Roberts Strategic Consulting will be July 30, 2021. As discussed, your employment is being terminated due to frequent unapproved absences.

On April 3, 2021, you were absent without approval and received a formal written warning.

On May 10, 2021, you were absent without approval and received a second written warning.

On June 26, 2021, you were absent without approval and this termination letter is the result.

Effective July 30, 2021, you’ll be ineligible to receive the benefits and compensation associated with your position as Project Manager. Please return your laptop, identification badge, building keys, and building keyfob by Jul 30 at 5 PM to your direct manager.

You are entitled to your full compensation and benefits through July 30. You will also be compensated for your remaining vacation and sick days. See the attached letter with additional compensation details related to your health coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, also known as COBRA.

Please note that you signed a non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreement when you accepted this position. Please delete any information you have about our customers, employees, and stakeholders stored on personal devices prior to your last day.

If you have any questions moving forward, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Alea Watkins

Termination due to poor performance sample

You can refer to this when writing a termination letter to an employee when they’re terminated for poor performance.

Dear Mr. Carter,

As of today, June 28, 2021, I regret to inform you that your last day of employment with Roberts Strategic Consulting will be July 30, 2021. As discussed, your employment is being eliminated due to your failure to improve performance after 3 below-par performance reviews and being placed on a performance improvement plan with no improvements.

Effective July 30, 2021, you’ll be ineligible to receive the benefits and compensation associated with your position as Project Manager. Please return your laptop, identification badge, building keys, and building key fob by Jul 30 at 5 PM to your direct manager.

You are entitled to your full compensation and benefits through July 30. You will also be compensated for your remaining vacation and sick days. See the attached letter with additional compensation details related to your health coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, also known as COBRA.

Please note that you signed a non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreement when you accepted this position. Please delete any information you have about our customers, employees, and stakeholders stored on personal devices prior to your last day.

If you have any questions moving forward, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Alea Watkins

Additional employment termination letter considerations

Here are some additional points to consider when crafting your employment termination letter.

  • Consult with your attorney to ensure you’re in legal compliance regarding your employee termination policy and to determine what’s required in a termination letter in your state.

  • These templates should only be used as guides. They’re not designed for you to copy and paste blindly, so ensure you follow your tone of voice and communication style when writing your letter.

  • Be thorough in your letter to include all necessary information so they have all information needed without having to return to you for too many questions.

  • You can incorporate additional items in your letter of termination including:

    • A copy of the non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation agreement.

    • A reference letter if the employee wasn’t terminated due to poor performance.

    • Exit interview request.