Announce a Layoff • Example Letters and Guides
When this letter becomes a necessity, write it in a direct yet sensitive way. The information must be clear and complete, so you are not bombarded with questions after the announcement.
How to write this announcement letter:
- Explain immediately why the layoff is taking place.
- Explain who the layoffs will affect and when.
- Explain such things as the portability of health insurance, unemployment benefits, union policies, help in finding other employment, and whether there may be a recall to work.
- Express appreciation for service.
Example Letter #1
As anticipated, the recent merger with Doe Associates has resulted in overlap of some functions. Consequently, it is necessary to reduce our work force in those areas in which we have significant duplication of effort.
Effective June 1, the publications and personnel divisions will decrease by 40%. Those affected will be notified by May 15. Our personnel office will hold a series of meetings at the end of May to discuss unemployment insurance benefits and to help those affected secure new jobs.
We sincerely appreciate your contributions and regret that this action has become necessary.
Example Letter #2
We are sorry to inform you that Doe will be reducing staff by 20% over the next month due to decreased demand for our product. We will notify the affected employees with their next paychecks. Laid-off employees will receive one month's severance pay.
On Friday, November 29, at 2:30 p.m., a meeting for affected employees will be held in the large conference room on the second floor. We will discuss severance benefits, including health insurance, retirement plan distributions, and unemployment benefits. We urge all interested to attend.
We truly appreciate your years of service to Doe Corporation. Unfortunately, this layoff was unavoidable. We wish you success in your future endeavors.
Example Letter #3
Doe Auto Performance is feeling the crunch of these economic times. Most consumers lack the disposable income we count on for our bread and butter.
Effective at the end of this pay period we will experience a 50% reduction in staff, right across seniority lines.
Jane Doe can help you with such matters as the continuation of your health plans and details of the severance package. We very much regret that we must take this step. With any luck we will be recalling some or all of you within the next few months. Until then, we wish you well in your endeavors.
Example Letter #4
It has become necessary for us to announce a temporary layoff of all of our production staff. Demand for our product has slowed, as it usually does at this time of year. Beginning November 25, the plant will be closed until January 2. Health insurance and other employee benefits will continue during the layoff. We expect to resume our normal production schedule in January. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all our employees and anticipate working together again in the new year.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Explain immediately why the layoff is taking place.
Sentences for Step 1
- The recent merger with Doe Enterprises resulted in a need to streamline some operations in which we have unnecessary duplication of effort.
- In order to make our Doe line competitive, we must automate our production line. Regrettably, this means a reduction in the number of workers.
- As we have all known for some time, Doe Enterprises must undergo a reduction in staff to remain competitive. The time has come to make difficult decisions.
- We regret that the declining sales in our overseas markets make it necessary to close our Springfield plant this summer.
- Because the holiday season is coming to a close, it will be necessary to lay off our temporary employees in the sales department.
Phrases for Step 1
- a reduction in force
- all known for some time
- could not be avoided
- have steadily declined
- have tried to avoid this measure
- holiday season is coming to a close
- layoff has become unavoidable
- much to my regret
- must undergo a reduction in staff
- necessary to terminate your
- necessary to close our
- necessary to automate our
- need to streamline our
- need to reduce the work force
- preholiday personnel levels
- profits have dwindled
- reduce the number of workers
- regain competitiveness
- regret to announce that
- regret that a decline in
- the closure of the plant
- the recent merger with
- tighten our belts
- unfortunate reduction in the
- unnecessary duplication of effort
2 Explain who the layoffs will affect and when.
Sentences for Step 2
- Consequently, the personnel and publication divisions will be reduced by 50% over the next six months. This reduction will result in the loss of those employees who were most recently hired. We will notify affected personnel by May 31.
- We regret to inform you that you will be laid off at the end of your shift on Friday, May 30. Your last check, including one month's severance pay, will be given to you then.
- There will be a general reduction in staff, affecting every department. Notices will be sent on May 15, and severance pay will be available on June 30.
- Persons affected will be notified on May 31. The termination of their employment will be effective two weeks from that date. These employees will receive two months' severance pay.
- We regret that this means the loss of production line workers, except the supervisors, who will monitor the new system.
The change will take effect on June 1.
- Some workers may be transferred to positions in our subsidiary in Springfield, but most will receive layoff notices on May 31.
- All part-time sales staff who joined us for the Christmas rush will be laid off after taking inventory on January 15.
Phrases for Step 2
- affecting every department
- all part-time staff will be laid off on
- based on job performance
- change will take effect on
- divisions will be reduced by
- general reduction in staff
- last check will include
- last day of work will be
- loss of all production-line workers
- loss of those most recently hired
- may transfer to positions in
- notices will be sent on
- one month's severance pay
- over the next six months
- regret to inform you that
- seniority will be taken into account
- termination will be effective in two weeks
- the departments most affected will be
- will be laid off on
- will receive two months' severance pay
- will notify those affected by
3 Explain such things as the portability of health insurance, unemployment benefits, union policies, help in finding other employment, and whether there may be a recall to work.
Sentences for Step 3
- We recommend that those affected attend a meeting on May 25, to receive information on health insurance, unemployment benefits, and other important concerns.
- Persons wanting to transfer to other divisions within the company may fill out applications in the personnel office.
- Our personnel office will hold a series of meetings to discuss unemployment insurance benefits, and to help those affected secure new jobs. If you plan to attend, call Jane Doe at 555-5555.
- We hope that this layoff will be temporary, and that within two or three months we will be able to recall many of our valued employees.
- To help those who will be leaving us, we will have a full-time employment counselor available in Room 55 of the west annex. She can answer all your questions and help you in this difficult time.
Phrases for Step 3
- answer your questions
- application forms in the personnel office
- assist you in your search for new employment
- discuss unemployment insurance benefits
- do all in our power to
- employment counselor available
- health insurance and other benefits
- help those affected to secure new jobs
- help those who will be leaving us
- help you through this difficult time
- holding a series of meetings
- hope that this will be temporary
- hope to be able to recall
- please contact the personnel office
- receive information on
- recommend that those affected
- this difficult transition
- those wanting to transfer to other divisions
- unemployment insurance claims
- union guidelines specify
- will be available after regular working hours to
- will hold meetings on
- will schedule an appointment
4 Express appreciation for service.
Sentences for Step 4
- We are sorry that this layoff could not be avoided. We want to thank you for the hard work you have given our company. You are welcome to apply for openings in other departments as they become available.
- Thank you for all your hard work. Unfortunately this layoff could not be avoided. We wish you employment success in the future.
- We appreciate your hard work and dedication. Union contracts specify that employees may be called back to work in order of seniority if and when additional work becomes available. We hope that this will be the case in the near future.
- We have greatly appreciated your service and hope you will consider us for part-time employment again next season.
Phrases for Step 4
- appreciate your service and dedication
- are greatly appreciated
- as openings become available
- contact us for part-time work
- is no reflection of your job performance
- future economic growth
- hard work and dedication
- have greatly appreciated
- hope additional work will soon become available
- hope to be able to
- loyalty and outstanding performance
- may be called back to work
- regret having to take this action
- sorry this layoff could not be avoided
- thank you for all your hard work
- hope that this will be temporary
- will do all in our power to
- wish you success in the future
- wish we could have avoided this layoff
- work again next season