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Terminating an employee is among the least favorite processes in human resources.  It is even more fraught with risk if it is due to poor performance.  A simple redundancy notice should be written to ensure that the employer is protected from any risk of legal action.  Therefore, the less specifics that you provide in the letter, the less likely that a distraught employee can use that specific reason to challenge the termination.  By not supplying a reason for termination, the company can use any and all evidence to defend itself 

What is in a Redundancy Notice?

In general, a termination letter should be short.

Date – Specify the date when this letter was delivered

Last Date of Employment – Provide information on the last working day for the employee.  Ensure that the last date of formal employment adheres to both the applicable employment laws and the actual employment contract signed by the employee

Employee Responsibilities

Typically, in many companies, the employee will have access to various company resources to perform their daily duties. These may include laptops and cell phones; access to online accounts and resources; and other IP that belongs to the company that needs to be returned.

Employer Responsibilities

The company will also need to list out any liabilities it owes to the employee. These include any remaining holidays and other statutory requirements.

When Should You Use a Redundancy Notice?

Essentially, you should always use a redundancy notice as a formal method of documenting a dismissal.  Whether it’s for poor performance or other reasons, ensuring you protect the company’s interests is the most important priority.  Thus, a formal redundancy notice or termination or dismissal letter serves as a formal notice and historical record of the termination.

Importantly, if the termination is because of cause or poor performance, make sure to follow proper procedures.

Make Sure to Follow Procedures for a Smooth Transition after Redundancy Notice

Essentially, before dismissing an employee, it is important to follow proper procedures.  Firstly, ensure that you issue the proper warnings before formally terminating the employee.  In most jurisdictions, an employee must be given adequate notice of poor performance and an ability to rectify the behavior before termination.  Then, if attempts have been made but with no improvement, make sure that proper documentation is collected before holding a meeting to dismiss the employee.

Always perform the dismissal in person.  And then either send the letter via email or hand it to the employee at the meeting.  Having a signed version of the letter ensures that there is written proof that the employee has read and understood the termination.


To sum up, always use a termination letter as a formal means of dismissing an employee.  Importantly, keep the letter short and simple and without a lot of specifics. This will ensure that the company can provide broad enough evidence in case the employee files legal action.  Finally, termination is never easy. So, be cordial and offer to help the employee during the transition process.

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