Dismissal Letter – Be Sensitive and Handle it with Expertise

| April 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

This example of a dismissal letter will show you how to approach a rather sensitive situation.  It is always difficult to let anyone go from a job, whether it is from downsizing or incompetence. However there are times when there are no alternatives.   When it is time to dismiss an employee it is important to handle it with expertise, sensitivity and professionalism.  This letter of dismissal will address an employee who is being let go for failing to comply with the company standards.  You will adapt your letter to address what is appropriate for your company.

Dismissal Letter as a Last Resort

Being on the receiving end of a dismissal letter is a very personal issue and is used as a last resort.  Unfortunately, it is probably not the first time the employee has been confronted on a particular issue.  The employee has doubtless already been ‘written up’ or had a meeting with a supervisor or both and the issue has already been addressed.  The employee either failed to take responsibility for resolving it or for some other reason cannot comply with the demands of the company.  Most companies will work with an employee to retain their services rather than have to invest further time and money to find a replacement.   Replacing an individual alters the whole dynamics of a company so it is a last resort.

Dismissal for Non-compliance Reasons

There are several non-compliance issues that this dismissal letter can fall under.   You will need to be sure to follow your company’s policies and procedures for dismissal.  Some considerations that define the employee as no longer an effective or productive employee may fit under one of these areas:

  • Time management
  • Customer Service
  • Productivity
  • Attitude
  • Trainable or Teachable
  • Does not understand the product or service the company offers
  • Quality of work is poor

Be Able to Document your Letter of Dismissal

It is important to be able to back up any claims made regarding the dismissal without attacking the employee in any personal way.  Be concise and refer back to any previous meeting that took place between the employee and a supervisor confronting the situation or circumstances.  The employee involved chose not to change or take responsibility in response to confrontation, encouragement or expectations.  There are consequences to choices a person makes and termination is one of them. Hopefully the person will learn and grow from this experience and not repeat it.

The termination or dismissal letter will have a date for termination and any company considerations or demands pertaining to dismissal. This is never an overnight decision.  A supervisor has to consider the long term effects and make the best decision for the company and then take the appropriate course of action.

Format for a Dismissal Letter

The dismissal letter will be on company stationery with the date and personal contact information for both the person writing it and the employee receiving it.

McNeill Associates
3000 Lake Way Dr.
Dallas, TX 37204

June 12, 2011

Susan McBride
501 Palermo Dr.
Dallas, TX

Dear Mrs. Susan McBride,

This is to inform you of our decision to dismiss you from our company. It is unfortunate for us to have come to this decision. However, after having met with you and discussed options and given you direction you have shown no desire to cooperate and follow company policy.

We have company standards, policies and procedures we expect all our employees to abide by. You were fully aware of these when you accepted employment with us. We represent a higher end clientele base and each employee is expected to behave accordingly and present themselves in a professional manner at all times.

We had come to depend on your skills and strengths in the area we placed you in so it is disappointing for us to have to terminate our relationship with you. You have shown tremendous promise and we sincerely hope you will find a company you can work with.

Your termination is effective immediately. Enclosed are copies of your severance package. Please sign the paperwork and return them to our human resource department before the end of the week.


Ryan Smith
Human Resource Manager

Additional Notes about a Dismissal Letter 

  • Be respectful yet firm
  • Full disclosure about dismissal is not necessary – they know
  • Include company final procedure information
  • Date of termination and any relevant information is important
  • Wish them luck in their new place of employment – maybe they will learn from this mistake

Download This Letter Example

Category: Examples of Dismissal Letters

About the Author ()

Melanie Walters is a writer and editor for several businesses both online and offline. Her experience with writing business letters and marketing materials has helped her understand exactly what works in written communication for businesses. In the 10 years she's been writing, Melanie has amassed a large collection of letter examples that she gladly shares with you here on Letter Example Help.org

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