Dismiss an Employee For Reasons Beyond the Employee's Control • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Review the history of the situation.
2State clearly that the recipient's employment is terminated. Express your regret, but don't dwell on it.
3Include any information regarding severance pay or benefits, if needed.
4End on a note of encouragement.


You should discuss the dismissal or termination first in person and then send this confirming letter. Don't prolong the pain by beating around the bush. Leave no doubt in the reader's mind about the meaning of your letter, but keep it as positive as possible. Be sure to explain the reasons for termination clearly. Remember, your letter is a written record.

Example Letter #1


As you know, Doe Press's publication of Springfield City's art magazine has been funded by a renewable annual grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Regrettably, recent cutbacks in federally sponsored city arts programs have not left us unscathed. Our grant having been discontinued, we have no alternative but to cease publication of City Artist. You have my assurance that the board has searched long and hard for some other viable funding, but every avenue of recourse has closed before us. Accordingly, June's issue will be our last.

This change means the termination of employment for the entire magazine staff of writers, editors, and correspondents, including both full- and part-time employees. We ask you all to help see production of June's issue through to press according to the existing schedule, with May 15 as your last work day. We will meet briefly as a group Monday morning, May 1, to discuss insurance and unemployment issues.

Anyone who has been involved with this project, including myself, knows that City Artist has meant far more too many of you than a mere job: it's been a labor of love. I wish I could express how unhappy I am to find myself bearing such ill tidings. Please let me know how I can assist you as you seek new employment.

Example Letter #2


As you are aware, the downturn in the economy has taken its toll on Doe Corporation. Consequently, our Springfield office will lose five jobs. I am sorry to inform you that effective February 19, your position will be one of those five.

Recognizing that this will result in hardship to you, Doe will continue your salary for two months from that date, granting you time to find employment elsewhere. Other benefits available during this transition are outlined in the attached benefits summary. I will happily provide you with references should you need them. Best wishes.

Example Letter #3


I regret that I must inform you that your position in Doe's Marketing department has been terminated. Under the new ownership creative emphasis has shifted toward Research and Development of new products. As of February 28, the marketing department will be closed permanently and your services will no longer be required.

None of us is pleased to see this change, and I regret any hardship it causes you. Your final pay envelope will include two weeks' severance pay plus a check reflecting 5 weeks' unused vacation and sick leave. In addition, please look over the information on extension of health care and other benefits. The marketing team at Doe's was a great one, and I have no trouble forecasting success as you seek a new position. Good luck. I will be pleased to provide references if you wish.

Example Letter #4


Due to current reorganization efforts in the marketing division, Doe Corporation has recently begun a consolidation process to bring expenses in line with anticipated revenues. As a result, the Doe Corporation will commence a reduction in force.

If you chose to be a participant in this reduction in force activity, your employment with Doe Corporation will be terminated effective November 17. We would like to recognize your continued effort to the company and thank you for your past efforts.

I have asked John Doe in Human Resources to be available to answer any questions that you may have. John's phone number is 555-5555. Again, we would like to thank you for your contribution and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step


Review the history of the situation.

Example Sentences for Step 1

Example Phrases for Step 1


Include any information regarding severance pay or benefits, if needed.

Example Sentences for Step 3

Example Phrases for Step 3


End on a note of encouragement.

Example Sentences for Step 4

Example Phrases for Step 4

a position that gives you every opportunity for am truly sorry to see you leave another opportunity to further your career can almost assure you a position through confident you will easily find work in encourage you to explore your options within other departments extend our thanks and appreciation for the work you have done for glad to give you excellent references happy to discuss employment options have no doubt you will soon secure a position with help you any way I can, now and in the future hope that as economic conditions improve we will be able to if there is any way I can assist you made with great reluctance offer you my personal help in phone for an appointment to discuss your employment search please know that we will give you the highest recommendations please let me hear from you position that fully uses your capabilities rest assured that I will recommend you highly satisfied with your outstanding performance sincerely wish we could keep you sincerely hope our combined efforts will be successful termination was the last option to help you in finding another job as soon as possible truly wish the budget allowed for unfortunate occurrence is not meant to reflect upon your competence will contact you immediately if there are any openings will assist you in your efforts to find another position will personally vouch for your competence and productivity will highly recommend you to potential employers will have representatives from outplacement firms meeting with will consider you for another position when one becomes available will certainly provide a good reference when you need it wish you every success in your future employment wish you every success in locating a new position with your skills and abilities to work with people

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