As an HR leader, there’s little more unpleasant than having to inform an employee that they’ve lost their job, particularly if they’re not at fault. However, economic difficulties and shifting workplace structures make laying off workers a necessary part of the job. In these cases, you would write an end of contract letter to officially notify a staff member that their employment with the company has been terminated.
Issuing such a letter, and including a brief explanation of the reason for termination, helps to give the employee closure, and it clues them in on what to expect with regards to final pay and continuation of benefits. In this way, this document can help lessen any additional confusion during a time that’s typically associated with anxiety.
It’s best practice to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the employee to deliver the news personally before sending the letter. Similarly, as is done in the end of contract letter sample below, you might want to give the employee the option to chat further about the termination if they have any questions or concerns.
Before writing this letter, always review all documentation relating to the employee to ensure the layoff is not unlawful and is consistent with internal polices and past practices.
Terminate Employment with this End of Contract Letter Sample
March 31, 2016
8219 Wayne Avenue
Newton, NJ 07860
Dear Simon Carter,
We are sorry to have to notify you that your employment with Innovation Inc. in the capacity of Desktop Publishing Operator will terminate at 5pm on April 30, 2016. As you know, the company has recently undergone a restructure, and its key focus areas have been adjusted. The decision has been taken to shut down the DTP department, and consequently all positions within this division, including yours, will be eliminated.
You will receive final payment on 30 April 2016 – this will include your standard monthly salary amount as well as compensation for unused vacation time. All company benefits end on your final working day, but you have the option to continue healthcare coverage through the COBRA plan. Similarly, you can opt to continue life insurance by changing to an individual policy.
We will arrange an exit interview in your last week of employment. During this meeting, we will provide information about the conversion of the above benefits, and you will be connected with an outplacement service to assist you in your job search.
Please be sure to return all company property, including the laptop and access disc you have been using, on your termination date.
Should you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact Max Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d like to thank you for the contribution you’ve made during your time at Innovation Inc.
Kindly sign below to indicate receipt of this notice.
Head of Human Resources
Want to use this letter?
The first thing to note about this end of contract letter sample is that it includes specific details, including exact dates, to prevent any misunderstandings. The tone is straightforward and formal, but also courteous and empathic – the letter expresses the company’s regret at having to terminate employment and thanks the employee for their work, but it doesn’t sugar-coat anything or indulge in sentimentality.
Similarly, as you can see, the end of contract letter sample outlines the reason for the layoff but keeps the explanation brief and matter-of-fact. It’s important not too include too many details about why employment is being terminated – the more you say, the more legal trouble you could get yourself into.
It may be the case that your terminated employee is entitled to the option to continue health insurance, so it’s important to include details about this benefit. What’s more, be sure to notify the worker of the cancellation of all other perks. In fact, consider following a letter like this with other documentation that the employee would need to fill in to convert coverage to separate plans.
Finally, always have a legal team examine the letter to check that you’ve covered all your bases. Termination can be a messy business and you want to ensure you’ve gone about it the right way.