People are the making of a business, however, it’s a natural part of the working world to lose members of the team along the way. While some employees will leave of their own volition, others will leave the business for other reasons. Whether that’s due to poor performance, misconduct, or redundancy, you’ll want to have a termination of employment letter to hand. As an employer, it's up to you to ensure the process is legally airtight.
Why do I need to use an employment termination letter?
While it is not usually a strict legal requirement to have a termination letter, (although often employment contracts will state that notice of termination needs to be in writing) it is important for several reasons. Arguably the most important reason from an employer’s perspective is that it provides certainty. Even if you are entitled to verbally dismiss an employee, it is always a good idea to follow it up in writing in the form of a termination letter. It will remove the risk that an employee could try to argue that they were not dismissed, or that their employment terminated on a different date (which can be difficult in terms of final pay if it is not clear).
It can help make the transition smoother if the employee understands, for example, that they will be paid in lieu of notice, or that they have taken more holiday than they were entitled to (in which case their final pay package might be less than expected). Most employment contracts will contain obligations to return company property as well as ongoing obligations of confidentiality, so it can be helpful to remind the employee of these points in a formal letter.
What are the risks of not using a termination of employment letter?
As we touched on above, we always advise our clients to use a termination of employment letter when dismissing an employee (for any reason). In the event of a claim against you, any ambiguity will usually be interpreted in the employee’s favour, so it is best to be completely crystal clear about the termination of their employment. Ideally, you will have had legal advice throughout the process of dismissing the employee and understand everything that you need to do to minimise legal risk.
The termination letter helps to minimise the risk of any disputes that could have been avoided by the employee simply understanding what happened, what to expect and why.
How can we help?
As employment law experts, we understand the importance of tactful and pragmatic advice. We’ve helped countless companies through challenging conversations, and when needed, we’ve worked with employers to craft legally compliant termination of employment letters that they can rely on. Having expert legal guidance throughout the process can be the difference between a crystal-clear termination, and one that grows legal legs. By working with a lawyer from the beginning of the process, you can quickly mitigate risk, simplify the process, and close the relationship on the best terms possible.
We help a variety of businesses such as AccelerComm, Energy Aspects and Togather navigate the ever-changing employment law world. In need of HR or Employment Law support in the UK? Get in touch with our team.
Having negotiated against Alice personally, we were confident of her legal skills and commercial acumen. They immediately submersed themselves into our business, acting as an extension of our legal team. They worked incredibly hard, are friendly, approachable and above all could always be counted on to retain a sense of humour.”
Rachael is commercially focussed, and her investment in taking the time to get to know our business means she takes a pragmatic, human-centric approach to negotiations. She proactively gets her head around the particular priorities and constraints on each engagement, meaning she hits the ground running adding value while being able to move at pace.
“Plume is anything but your traditional law firm. We found the lawyers to not only be experts in their fields, but dedicated to understanding our business, which is so important to finding innovative solutions to the problems that we bring to them. Every single person I’ve met at Plume has been a delight to work with, and that just makes all the difference. I really do feel in very good hands working with Plume.”
It’s just the entire way that Plume does business. I’ve never felt forgotten, I’ve never felt that someone else is too important, everyone’s so nice and everyone puts in 100% of the effort. Working with Plume is a real pleasure.
Our favourite thing about working with Plume is it doesn’t feel like we’re working with a law firm but rather an extension of our own team. The lawyers have become so embedded in our business, so commercially focussed and so tuned to our risk appetite and way of working
The best thing about working with the Employment team is the prompt guidance and support they have given with sensitive and complex issues. They offer professional and diligent advice as well as being incredibly genuine and encouraging. It is reassuring to know they are on hand to help at all times.
Everyone internally has been incredibly impressed with your work and I'm sure we will want to continue working together long-term.
Plume is quite clearly the best law firm in the history of the universe. With trademark protections bestowed upon us by your godly lawyers, we'll be able to focus on what we do best.... developing awesome medical technology for the blind community.
The corporate team helped us navigate through the sale of our business successfully. I appreciated their expertise and in the negotiations it became very beneficial to have their experience guiding our business decisions. I highly recommend - thanks again guys!
Quickly understood my requirements, carried out a thorough review of the facts and produced a user-friendly reference document tailored to my business which demonstrated a strong grasp of the commercials. Take on was pain-free and everyone was friendly and responsive. Would recommend.
Excellent firm. Professional and ideal for start-ups.
The team have supported us with day-to-day and strategic legal advice throughout the year. We're grateful to them for stepping up to support us through this important milestone in MyTutor’s development and for their commitment in getting the deal over the line.
We currently use Plume for our small business and have had a great experience! They are knowledgeable, professional and answer in a timely fashion. Would recommend!
Great working with the folks at Plume. The quality of their work was top notch, their communication was effective and overall happy with the services provided.
You are without a doubt the COOLEST law firm ever, and we love working with you! <3
They're doing amazing stuff on social media and standing out from the crowd. This is a gold standard in disruption.
You are continuing to shape the legal industry to be more creative, compassionate, and (most significantly) human. Keep breaking down barriers - your reach is further than you may realize 🦩
The team have come on board to support MyTutor, a fast growing EdTech business which previously had no in-house legal resource. The team have made a hugely positive difference in a short space of time and we feel incredibly supported by the team, who offer a commercial, low fuss and highly responsive service
Plume are a wonderful, professional and caring law firm. The communication and attention to detail we received by them in dealing with our case was brilliant. I will definitely be using them again for future needs.
The team provided excellent leadership and support throughout our funding process. In particular, they provided comprehensive ownership and management of the close process for AccelerComm, providing excellent, professional guidance from start to finish and enabling AccelerComm to focus on growing core business growth