Termination of Employment / Contract Letter: UK Sample

Having to let someone go is never easy, even if you’re just the bearer of bad news. Even if the employee did something so egregious that terminating their contract is the only option. How do you start? What should you mention? What should you leave out? Maybe you’ve never even seen a termination letter?

 

In this article, you’ll find a sample termination letter that gets the tone just right and includes everything a letter of termination needs to contain. You’ll get solid, tried-and-tested, UK-specific advice. Follow along to get your employment termination letter in as good a shape, as quickly as possible.

 

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Termination letter sample

 

Lola Quinn

HR Manager

Marq Industrial

33 Davids Lane

Manchester

M3 1DZ

070 2367 2660

lola.quinn@lcmail.co.uk

 

6th April 2022

 

Joseph Burgess

Production Manager

84 Marlborough Crescent

Manchester

M3 1EG

 

Dear Mr Burgess,

 

I regret to inform you that your employment with Marq Industrial will end on 4th May 2022. Your employment has been terminated due to the following contractual breach on your part.

 

On 31st March 2022, you shared sensitive and confidential data with a room full of IndustryTech conference attendees, including representatives of Marq Industrial’s competitors. The data in question appeared on slides 13, 15–17, and 22 of your presentation. This was in direct breach of Article 5, Subsection 3 of your employment contract. Article 6, Subsection 5 of the same contract lists termination as the penalty for such a breach.

 

Your remuneration for April will be processed as per usual by 2nd May 2022. Your remuneration for May will be paid out on a pro rata basis and will be processed by 1st June 2022. You will be compensated for any accrued leave by 1st July 2022. All your employee benefits will expire 4th May 2022. Access to your company accounts will be revoked end of day on the same day.

 

Please be mindful of the fact that the NDA you signed during your induction is binding for a period of 12 months after the termination of your employment contract. Please destroy any sensitive or confidential data you may have in your possession, whether in electronic or paper form.

 

Do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email should you have any questions. I am at your disposal until 6th May 2022.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Lola Quinn

 

So now you know what you’re aiming for when writing a termination letter. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your termination of employment letter at least as professional and complete:

 

1. Frame your termination letter with a professional header and appropriate salutation

 

A letter of termination is an example of formal correspondence if ever there was one. So start by setting out a proper header: align to the right your name, job title, company name, inside work address, work email, and work phone number. Leave a line and add the date of writing, spelled out in full (e.g. 1st July 2020).

 

Leave another line. Align to the left the employee’s name, their job title (optional), and their postal address. Type out the postal addresses in full. Include a header like this even if you’re attaching the letter of termination to an email. Leave your details out if you’re writing on company letterhead.

 

For the salutation, use ‘Dear + Mr/Ms + Surname’ or ‘Dear + First Name’. Go with the more formal ‘Dear Ms Smith’ unless you have a history of being on a first name basis with the employee. A termination of employment letter is often a delicate matter and it’s best to maintain a professional distance.

 

Contract termination letter sample: header and salutation

 

Lola Quinn

HR Manager

Marq Industrial

33 Davids Lane

Manchester

M3 1DZ

070 2367 2660

lola.quinn@lcmail.co.uk

 

6th April 2022

 

Joseph Burgess

Production Manager

84 Marlborough Crescent

Manchester

M3 1EG

 

Dear Mr Burgess,

 

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2. Begin your termination letter by breaking the bad news and outlining the reasons for the termination

 

Like with most business correspondence, there’s no place here for beating around the bush or making a long preamble. Your first sentence should clearly let your reader know that they have been terminated. Don’t use euphemisms or long, winding sentences. Be direct and get straight to the point.

 

Specify when the employee’s last day will be. If they’re being terminated without notice, state this here. Use the phrase ‘without notice’ or ‘effective immediately’ in these cases. Then, name the reason for the termination, if there is one. If you’re not obliged to provide a reason, skip to the next section.

 

Otherwise, start a new paragraph and start outlining the reasons for the termination. If there are several, provide each reason in a separate paragraph to keep the letter organised. Include relevant dates, policies, and other supporting information. How detailed and thorough this part of your termination letter is will depend on factors such as the circumstances around the termination and internal company policies. 

 

Seek legal counsel—from within the organisation or outside of it—if you’re at all unsure of the appropriateness of the reasons for the termination or the ramifications of what you write here. Relevant legislation is available online, but it’s rarely a good substitute for competent legal advice.

 

Termination of employment letter sample: opening paragraphs

 

I regret to inform you that your employment with Marq Industrial will end on 4th May 2022. Your employment has been terminated due to the following contractual breach on your part.

 

On 31st March 2022, you shared sensitive and confidential data with a room full of IndustryTech conference attendees, including representatives of Marq Industrial’s competitors. The data in question appeared on slides 13, 15–17, and 22 of your presentation. This was in direct breach of Article 5, Subsection 3 of your employment contract. Article 6, Subsection 5 of the same contract lists termination as the penalty for such a breach.

 

3. Describe what both the company and the recipient of the termination letter will need to do next

 

Take a paragraph to describe how the company will fulfil its obligations with respect to the employee. These might include remuneration owing, accrued leave, and any employee benefits. Then, indicate what the employee is obliged to do, including returning any communication and storage devices.

 

It’s also a good idea to remind the outgoing employee of any non-disclosure, non-solicitation, and non-compete clauses they may have signed when starting with the company. Many such clauses are binding after the termination of the original employment contract, something people often forget.

 

Termination of employment letter sample: what happens next

 

Your remuneration for April will be processed as per usual by 2nd May 2022. Your remuneration for May will be paid out on a pro rata basis and will be processed by 1st June 2022. You will be compensated for any accrued leave by 1st July 2022. All your employee benefits will expire 4th May 2022. Access to your company accounts will be revoked end of day on the same day.

 

Please be mindful of the fact that the NDA you signed during your induction is binding for a period of 12 months after the termination of your employment contract. Please destroy any sensitive or confidential data you may have in your possession, whether in electronic or paper form.

 

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4. Close your employment termination letter with an offer of assistance and appropriate sign-off

 

Make yourself available to the employee, offer to answer any questions they may have in response to your letter of termination. This isn’t just a matter of good manners and common decency—some form of dialogue may be a legal requirement in some circumstances. Do put an end-date to this availability, though.

 

Wish the employee the best of luck in their future endeavours if you feel this is appropriate. Sign off with ‘Yours Sincerely’. Leave a few lines blank and type out your name in full. Sign above your name if delivering the termination letter to the employee in hard copy. Otherwise, paste in a digital image of your signature.

 

Letter of termination sample closing and sign-off

 

Do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email should you have any questions. I am at your disposal until 6th May 2022.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Lola Quinn

 

5. Keep these termination letter formatting tips in mind

 

Whether you’re writing this termination letter as a business owner or an employee, you’re writing in the name of the organisation. Your letter of termination has to be formal, in line with the rules and etiquette of business letter writing, and absolutely perfect in terms of spelling and grammar.

 

Make the layout clear and airy

 

Leave the margins at one inch on all sides. Set the line spacing to 1.15 and use double spaces between paragraphs. Write the termination letter on company letterhead if at all possible. Aim to make it as clear, readable, and professional-looking as you can. Sloppiness invites appeals and grievances.

 

Use an understated font

 

Choose a professional-looking, easy-to-read font for your letter of termination. Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri will do just fine. Set the font size to 11–12 points. Stick to your company’s style guide and defaults if it has them. The best font is the one nobody notices.

 

Attach the termination letter in PDF

 

A termination of employment letter is the kind of thing someone’s going to open and read immediately, no matter what they’re doing or what device they’re on. Save your termination letter in PDF to ensure it displays properly on as wide a range of devices as possible. This will also help with printing.

 

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Do you feel confident you know how to write a termination letter now? Writing an appropriate contract termination letter to an employee really can be just a matter of getting all the right ingredients in order. Got any unanswered questions or experiences to share? Leave a comment down below. Thanks for reading! 

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LiveCareer Editorial Team

LiveCareer Editorial Team

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Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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