Terminating an employee is stressful to the manager; writing to the employee is taxing to the HR and traumatic to the employee himself.
Generally, employment contracts are drawn with the process for terminating employment which eases the process of termination when it is by mutual agreement or when the employment is contracted for a fixed period. Here the acceptance is easy since the employee is aware that his services are terminated at the conclusion of such a contract unless a new contract is offered or the clauses in the initial contract are amended.
Employers can be exposed to a number of legal and reputational risks if they do not follow due process while hiring and terminating employees. Consequently, businesses need to formulate contracts at the time of on boarding and human resource (HR) materials keeping in mind the regulatory, social, and cultural idiosyncrasies that are framed in the country’s labour laws and court decisions. This will ensure that senior management, HR personnel, and employees are fully apprised of their rights and responsibilities, thereby minimizing the scope for disputes.
Every off boarding activity should be documented with a written record. The termination letter is the record with which the organization ends its business relationship with the employee. Even a single toxic employee can damage your business productivity affecting the overall office environment and the morale of your other employees. After a few verbal and written warnings, the manager takes a decision to terminate the employee and requests the HR to expedite the process. PulseHRMS recommends that all the warnings – written & verbal warnings could be well documented and the final termination letter could be sent via the employee’s portal so that the process is silent, remains in the record and only concerned people are aware of the process.
Every HR should create a few templates so that not much time is wasted in mulling over what is to be written. What should be included in a termination letter?
- The date the termination is effective from.
- The reason(s) for termination.
- An explanation of their compensation (if any) and what will happen to their benefits.
- A list of company property to be returned (if any).
- A reminder of the legal agreements including non-disclosure, non-compete, etc. the employee has signed (if applicable).
- The contact details of an HR representative.
Have your legal counsel check the letter before you send it.