Deny an Expected or Hoped-for Promotion or Raise • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Express appreciation for the employee's strengths.
2Explain why the promotion or raise is being denied.
3Suggest what the reader can do to receive the raise or promotion, or explain what other problems in the company (such as budget problems) must be overcome before the raise or promotion can be granted.
4End on a positive note.


A tactful letter denying an expected or hoped-for promotion or raise can convey the news to the reader without alienating him or her. The letter should not include any promises for the future that you are not willing or able to keep.

Example Letter #1


Because you do so much so well, I regret having to report that management has denied my request to raise your position from a Level 8 to a Level 10. They explained that company policy does not permit an employee to advance two levels at the same time. They agreed to consider advancing you to a Level 9 after the first of the year if the department maintains its present level of production. Rest assured I will do everything I can to get this promotion for you.

Example Letter #2


Thank you for your patience while the tenure committee considered your possible promotion to associate professor. We all agree that you have made significant contributions to the Biology Department in your teaching, and we congratulate you on being voted "Teacher of the Year." After reviewing your curriculum vitae, however, we have decided to withhold the promotion to Associate Professor until a later date.

While you have several promising research projects in progress, the committee would like to see more refereed publications before granting Associate Professor status. We will be happy to reconsider your request for advancement next year, if the number and quality of your publications increase. Again, we salute your contributions to our department and wish you continued success in your professional endeavors.

Example Letter #3


I am very pleased that you joined our staff last year. Your work has been first rate, and you are a pleasure to work with. Because of that, it is all the more difficult to deny your promotion. We hired another qualified individual to fill the position you wanted. I am sorry. Rest assured, though, that your efforts are not going unnoticed. Continue working as hard and as efficiently as you have and you will achieve your career goals. I do appreciate your efforts.

Example Letter #4


You have been with the company longer than any other staff member, and all of us genuinely appreciate your exemplary work in the front office. However, you have reached the highest salary level allowable for secretarial staff.

Ms. Doe has suggested that I discuss with you the possibility of training you for an administrative position. I know in the past you have chosen to remain in your present job, but I am confident that you would also enjoy the challenge of a new position. Whatever you decide, I look forward to our continued association.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step


Express appreciation for the employee's strengths.

Example Sentences for Step 1

Example Phrases for Step 1


Explain why the promotion or raise is being denied.

Example Sentences for Step 2

Example Phrases for Step 2

after lengthy discussion with your supervisor after discussing your request for a raise with after carefully weighing both the advantages and disadvantages all promotions have been put on hold for the next six months all promotions have been put on hold for the next already compensates you for your although you deserve a raise, budget shortfalls limit are able to make service calls unaccompanied because of your continued problem with board has chosen to delay your promotion central reason for our decision was that company policy has been to reduce all middle management positions current funding levels have necessitated a freeze on promotion decided that a promotion would not be in the best interests of feel strongly that whoever assumes the position of feel that a promotion at this time would be premature for the rest of this fiscal year if you plan to devote your best efforts to importance of your position to the company will be measured by in hopes of treating everyone fairly no vacancies exist and no new positions will be created performance evaluations also document your continued difficulties request for position audit cannot be approved set caps on all salary increases should have a CPS certification simply have no more budget to work with this year to know whether you can function effectively on the basis until you have gained more experience with the system until you can resolve these problems would like to reward such efforts with a promotion your effectiveness in meeting the above criteria


Suggest what the reader can do to receive the raise or promotion, or explain what other problems in the company (such as budget problems) must be overcome before the raise or promotion can be granted.

Example Sentences for Step 3

Example Phrases for Step 3


End on a positive note.

Example Sentences for Step 4

Example Phrases for Step 4