How to lay off an employee

Written by mary jane
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How to lay off an employee
Tell the employee in person about the termination. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

While some employers will fire an employee due to poor work ethic, bad attitude or repeated lateness to work, he may also be fired due to company restructuring or department closures. Despite the reason, terminating an employee's position with a given company is a difficult task for the employer. Be professional, calm and answer any questions the employee may have during the termination discussion.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Write out a termination letter for the employee. The letter should state why the employee is being laid off. If his work has not improved despite warnings, include a list of those warnings, as well as stating that no improvement was shown. Add the company's goals and expectations in a separate paragraph, so the employee can compare the warnings to the expectations. If the employee is being terminated for another reason, include that in the letter.

  2. 2

    Add the practical information, such as last work day and salary payments during the last days of working in the letter. Sign the letter and add the company's logo and contact information. Print two copies of the letter and keep one copy for your files.

  3. 3

    Ask the employee to enter your office for a talk. Bnet suggests doing it early in the week and day to allow the employee to regroup and start networking for new opportunities.

  4. 4

    Keep the meeting short and clear in terms of the purpose. The employee may try to convince you to give her another chance, so use words that are not ambiguous, such as "fire," "termination" and "fired."

  5. 5

    Address any questions the employee may have in terms of the termination. This could include questions about getting a letter of reference, last payments, last day of work or transferring existing projects to other co-workers. Give the employee a copy of the termination letter.

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