✨  Don't miss out! Register for our Employee Appreciation Webinar scheduled for 29th February.🎖️
✨  Don't miss out! Register for our Employee Appreciation Webinar scheduled for 29th February.🎖️

Register now

Live Webinar: Secrets to Building a Successful B2B2C Growth Flywheel
Save your spot now

The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

Visit Hr Glossaries

Termination Letter

A termination letter serves as an official record of dismissal. It may also provide instructions for returning company property and outline post-termination agreements, such as non-disclosure or non-compete clauses.

Who writes a termination letter?

A termination letter is typically written by the employer, specifically by someone in a managerial or Human Resources (HR) role. This person should have the authority to make or communicate employment decisions.

Legal counsel may also review the letter to ensure it complies with all relevant laws and company policies. The letter must be written professionally and respectfully, clearly stating the reasons for termination and other relevant details.

What is a termination letter?

A termination letter is a document that formally announces the end of an employment relationship. An employer issues it to an employee to terminate their employment. In this letter, the employer provides termination details, such as the effective date, reason for the termination, and any compensation or benefits that may be provided.

Listen, recognize, award, and retain your employees with our Employee engagement software  

What are the reasons to issue a termination letter?

The reasons for issuing a termination letter include the following:

  • Legal compliance: Termination letters are often used by law to protect both the employee and the company. With a written notice of termination, an organization stays in compliance, aligning with employment laws and regulations. This helps prevent any legal action or potential disputes that may arise in the future.
  • Documentation and record-keeping: Termination letters are crucial for documenting the details of an employee's termination. This includes the reason for the termination, the date, and other relevant information. These letters serve as a reliable source of information, helping maintain accurate records for legal and HR purposes.
  • Clear communication: Termination letters serve as a clear means of communication between the employee and the company. They provide the employee with a clear understanding of the reasons behind their termination and information about any benefits or entitlements they may be entitled to. This clarity helps minimize confusion and misunderstandings, especially when emotions run high.
  • Professionalism: A well-written termination letter shows professionalism and demonstrates good business practices. As a result, the company maintains a positive reputation, expressing respect for the departing employee and the business's reputation. In addition, a well-written termination letter can minimize potential negative backlash and avoid reputational damage.
  • Protecting company interests: Termination letters protect the company's interests. They ensure there is no ambiguity or confusion regarding the employee's responsibilities and expectations. By clearly defining the reasons for termination, the company can safeguard against any potential legal issues that may arise in the future.
  • Ethical obligation: Companies need to act ethically and responsibly when dealing with employee terminations. Termination letters help fulfill this ethical obligation by providing a fair and transparent process. By giving the employee a clear understanding of the termination, the company upholds its commitment to fairness and due process.

What are the types of termination letters?

The types of termination letters are:

  • Cause: This type of letter is used when an employee has engaged in misconduct or has not met the performance standards set by the company. It outlines the specific reasons for termination and can serve as documentation in case of legal disputes.
  • Layoff letter: This is used when an employee's position is being eliminated due to factors beyond their control, such as downsizing or restructuring. It typically includes information about any severance packages or benefits that the employee may be entitled to.
  • Non-renewal of contract: This type of letter is commonly used for employees who are on fixed-term contracts, such as contractors or consultants. It informs the employee that their contract will not be renewed and provides details on the end date of their employment.
  • Resignation acceptance letter: This letter confirms the employee's departure and may include information on any outstanding tasks or responsibilities that need to be addressed before their last day.

When should you receive a termination letter?

The employee should ideally receive a termination letter on or before the effective termination date. This allows the employee to clearly understand their employment status and any next steps they need to take.

The timing can vary based on the reason for termination. For instance, the letter might be given on the same day in cases of immediate dismissal due to serious misconduct.

However, in layoffs or downsizing, the letter might be given well in advance to allow the employee time to prepare for their next steps. It’s important to note that specific laws and regulations regarding the timing of termination notices can vary by location and contract terms, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional or HR expert when in doubt.

How do you write a termination letter?

The ways to write a termination letter include the following:

  • Choose your tone precisely: Termination letters are a necessary part of the employee lifecycle. Whether employees need to be laid off or terminated due to misconduct, staying professional and courteous during official communications is important. Remember that if the termination is unexpected, you’ll be cutting an employee’s income, health coverage, and other living essentials while placing them in an uncertain position.

    While an employee’s well-being ultimately isn’t the company's response, you should be aware of these circumstances before you begin the conversation and show compassion where appropriate. Your termination letter should also help to alleviate some of this uncertainty by providing clear and actionable next steps where relevant.
  • Start with basic information: When drafting a termination letter, it’s essential to commence with fundamental details such as the employee’s name and role within the company. For larger organizations, it might be necessary to include additional details like the employee’s ID, department, and the name of their immediate superior or manager.

    These details can be organized in a list format at the beginning of the document. The information should be conspicuous, explicit, and unambiguous to ensure that the intended recipient is identified.
  • Notify the employee about their termination date: The termination’s effective date is a crucial piece of information. This should be mentioned early in the letter to establish clear parameters for future business operations. When an employee is dismissed for a specific reason, the termination date might be the same day the letter is delivered, taking effect immediately.

    However, in other situations — particularly during layoffs or when there is no specific reason to dismiss an employee — an effective termination date may be set far ahead of time (sometimes even months), providing employees ample time to make necessary arrangements.
  • State the reason for termination: Clearly state the reason for the termination. Be factual and avoid using overly negative language. If the termination is due to layoffs or restructuring, mention this.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

Quick Links

Employee Engagement solutions

Recognised by market experts