How to Write a Termination Letter to an Employee: Samples Included


When writing a termination letter to fire an employee, the most important thing to know is to be empathetic in your message. It doesn’t matter if you reprimanded the employee multiple times and are firing them on bad terms; it’s still important to be empathic in your response.

When firing an employee via email, you must pay attention to how you write your email. One major advantage of dismissal from employment via email is that you are able to take your time to ensure your message comes out right. You have the chance to work towards a tactically written, well reviewed, and properly edited email.

Communicating through email and letters also helps you avoid possible confrontation with the recipient, which may occur if you were to talk to the employee in person regarding the termination. This is true, especially if you have challenges handling uncomfortable situations like firing an employee.

Everything You Need to Know Before Sending an Email to Fire an Employee

Here’s everything you need to know before writing an dismissing an employee:

Valid Reason for Termination

When it comes to terminating an employee, it’s imperative to have a valid and justifiable reason for taking such a serious step. This reason could be performance-related, disciplinary, or a result of a necessary layoff due to business circumstances. Before proceeding, assess the situation carefully to ensure your decision aligns with your organization’s values and policies.

Comply with Company Policies

Every organization has its own set of policies and procedures for terminating employees. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with your company’s guidelines and ensure that you follow the correct process. This may include specific steps for documentation, notice periods, and any additional requirements that must be met.

Clarity and Directness

When communicating the termination to the employee, your email must be clear and direct. Clearly state the reason for the termination and specify the effective date of termination. This leaves no room for misunderstanding and ensures that both parties precisely understand the situation.

Professionalism in Communication

Maintaining professionalism in all communication is paramount when terminating an employee. It is essential to convey the message respectfully and professionally. Avoid using language that may be considered discriminatory, harassing, or disrespectful. A professional and empathetic tone can help ease the impact of the news on the employee.

Offer an Opportunity for Discussion

While not always required, providing the terminated employee with an opportunity to discuss the termination in person can be beneficial. This allows them to ask questions, seek clarification, and better understand the situation. It can also help both parties part ways on amicable terms.

In conclusion, employee terminations are sensitive matters that require careful consideration and adherence to established procedures. Ensuring that the reasons for termination are valid, complying with company policies, maintaining clarity and professionalism in communication, and offering the chance for a discussion can all contribute to a smoother and more respectful process when parting ways with an employee.

Tips for Writing Your Email

  • Write “Your appointment is terminated,” not “Your appointment has been terminated.”
  • Be polite, brief, and professional.
  • Say something positive about the employee; he does not have to feel like the worst person on earth.
  • It is important to remind the employee of previous queries or warning that was issued. This will help him receive the news with less surprise and see why he is being fired.
  • Clarity is critical; use simple words and terms to convey a note of finality that will not be revoked.
  • Early in your email, ensure that the employee is aware that the email is regarding the termination of his appointment. It is ideal to make a recipient of this kind of news expect it at the beginning of a communication experience instead of receiving it with shock at the end.
  • Show appreciation and best wishes.

Sample Email: Firing an Employee via Email

Subject: Termination of Employment

Dear [Employee's Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I'm writing to communicate a difficult decision that has been made regarding your employment with [Company Name].

After thorough evaluation, it is with great regret that we must inform you that your employment with our company is terminated, effective [effective date].

This decision is not taken lightly and is the result of [briefly state the reason for termination, e.g., persistent performance issues]. Over time, we have provided feedback and opportunities for improvement. Despite these efforts, the necessary progress has not been achieved.

We appreciate your contributions to [Company Name] during your tenure. Your [mention specific positive qualities or achievements] have been valuable.

Please be aware that this decision is final. Any company property or assets in your possession must be returned by [return deadline].

If you have any questions or require assistance with the transition, please reach out to [HR contact].

We wish you success in your future endeavors.


[Your Name]
[Your Title]
[Company Name]

Email Sample to Fire an Employee for Misconduct

Subject: Termination of Employment Due to Misconduct

Dear [Employee's Name],

I trust this message finds you.

I am writing to address a serious matter concerning your conduct at [Company Name]. Regrettably, despite previous discussions and attempts to address the issue, your recent actions have left us with no alternative but to terminate your employment, effective [effective date].

The misconduct in question includes [describe the specific instances or patterns of misconduct, such as violations of company policies, unprofessional behavior, or any other relevant details]. We have previously issued warnings and provided opportunities for correction, but the issue persists.

We want to emphasize that this decision is not taken lightly. We value your contributions to the company and the skills you brought to your role. However, the integrity of our workplace and adherence to our policies is of paramount importance.

Please understand that this decision is final. Any company property or assets in your possession must be returned by [return deadline].

If you have any questions or require assistance during this transition, please contact [HR contact]. We genuinely wish you the best in your future endeavors.


[Your Name]
[Your Title]
[Company Name]

Email Sample to Fire an Employee for Absconding

Subject: Employment Termination

Dear [Employee Name],

I am writing to inform you that your employment with [Company Name] is being terminated, effective immediately, due to your unauthorized absence from work on [date].

Your absence from work is considered absconding, which is a serious disciplinary offense. Absconding is defined as leaving your job without notice or permission, and it is a violation of your employment contract.

We have attempted to contact you on multiple occasions, but you have not responded. As a result, we have no choice but to terminate your employment.

Your final paycheck will be mailed to your last known address within two weeks. Please return all company property to your supervisor before the end of the day today.

We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

[Your Name]

Email Sample to Fire an Employee for Poor Performance

Subject: Termination of Employment Due to Poor Performance

Dear [Employee's Name],

I hope this message finds you well.

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the difficult decision to terminate your employment with [Company Name], effective [effective date]. This decision comes after a comprehensive assessment of your performance and numerous discussions regarding the need for improvement.

Despite our sincere efforts to support your growth, there has been insufficient progress, and your performance continues to fall below the standards required for your role. This ultimately affects the quality of our work and our commitment to our clients.

We acknowledge your dedication and the skills you brought to your role, but the company's expectations necessitate a different level of performance. We genuinely regret having to take this step.

Please ensure the return of any company property or assets by [return deadline]. If you have any questions or require assistance during this transition, please do not hesitate to contact [HR contact].

We wish you success in your future endeavors.


[Your Name]
[Your Title]
[Company Name]

Check More Out Email Templates and Sample Emails for Firing an Employee

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