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How to write a letter of termination of employment

Updated February 21, 2017

Whatever your reason may be for terminating an employee or terminating your own employment, you should always write a letter of termination to document the reason. Many businesses require a termination letter for legal purposes in order to provide an accurate acknowledgement by the employer or employee. A termination letter can be a difficult letter to write from either party, but to be professional it should be done.

Format the letter to your employee professionally. Follow the standard business letter format. Begin the letter with the date at the top of the page, followed by your title, the business title and contact information, such as an address and phone number. Address the letter to the employee, and follow with the body of the letter, a closing statement before ending the letter with your valediction, for example, "Sincerely," followed by your signature.

Open the body of the letter by thanking the employee for their service to the company. You may like to include positive accomplishments or specific events that acknowledge how the employee benefited the company. It is always a nice gesture to acknowledge any good deeds and hard work by inserting it into your letter.

Explain the specific reason or reasons why you are terminating the employee from the company. In order to avoid confusion, you need to be specific. Choose your words wisely as this letter may remain on the employee's record.

End the letter on a positive note. If you are including a severance package, be sure to include any information you may have about the package they will receive. Also include if you have any information on another opportunity for the employee or if you are willing to send letters of recommendation.

Sign your letter and send a copy to the employee as well as any supervisors or necessary personnel that should be informed. If you would like to be sure that all of the appropriate areas are covered, send a copy to the your company's Human Resources department before sending the letter to the employee.

Format the letter to your employee professionally. Follow the standard business letter format. Begin the letter with the date at the top of the page, followed by your title, the business title and contact information, such as an address and phone number. Then choose the appropriate greeting, making sure to address the letter to the correct person in the company. Follow with the body of the letter, a closing statement and end the letter with your valediction, for example, "Sincerely," followed by your signature.

Open the body of the letter by thanking your employer for the opportunity to work for their company. You may like to include positive benefits and knowledge you have acquired while working for the company. It is always a nice gesture to acknowledge the benefits and education the company has provided for you.

Explain the specific reason or reasons why you are leaving the company. In order to avoid confusion, you need to be specific. Choose your words wisely as this letter may remain on your record.

End the letter on a positive note. Include well wishes for your fellow employees, bosses and anyone else that may see your letter.

Sign your letter and send a copy to the employer, as well as any supervisors or other necessary personnel that should be informed.

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About the Author

Based in Columbus, Ga., Ashley Hay has been covering animal health and wellness since 2004, and arts and entertainment since 2008. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from the University of Central Florida.