About Termination Letters

Published: 11th May 2011
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Termination letters are formal letters written in a business environment. They are written by an organization to its existing employee to inform him about the cancellation of his contract of employment. These letters are given when an organization feels that the person is not performing as per the expectations such as poor performance and absenteeism. Immoral conduct or other inappropriate behavior also makes organization to take this hard step to make its work place safe for its other employees. For example, an employee with the finance department can be terminated on account of misappropriation of company’s funds.

The letters are sent by the human resource department in large-and mid-sized companies. In smaller organizations, the owner or any senior person gives the letters. They are generally given without any prior notice to the employee to avoid any possible damage to the company’s resources like data, network systems, etc. by the disappointed employee. At some places, especially in the IT companies, the employee is secretly disconnected from the local network before informing him about the termination. Other types of contractual agreements like sales contract, partnership deal, etc. are also dissolved using these letters.

There is a difference between the termination letter and the resignation letter. The former one is written to communicate the company’s decision to leave the employee whereas resignation communicates an employee’s decision to leave the company. Termination is forcibly done whereas resignation is at will. However, both the situations are sensitive and needs to be handled carefully.

The section below discusses certain guidelines that you can refer to while drafting the letter.

Always keep in mind that termination is never on a happy note. It puts an end to the relationship between the parties. Therefore, use polite and professional words. Of course, you don’t have to use sympathetic expressions or show guilt for your decision. You simply have to be assertive and confident.

The employee has the right to know the reasons for his exit. You have to cite them as clearly and bluntly. Don’t resort to diplomacy to avoid miscommunication.

Never commit the blunder of mentioning the notice period to be served because termination is immediate. The person is asked to leave the organization within a very short span of time after he receives the letter.

Always write the letter on the company’s letter head. If you don’t have a letter head, then mention the date, company address, and the name and designation of the sender on the letter.

To know more, check Termination Letters.


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