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How to Write a Layoff Letter?

Employee layoff, whether permanent or temporary, is never a pleasant process, but it unfortunately happens far too frequently in the workplace. Human resources managers or experts may send a layoff letter to employees in the event that a company has to make any adjustments. You might want to know more about how to create a strong layoff letter if you’re a human resources manager or expert who is dealing with layoffs inside a company.

Layoffs are not only a result of a decline in business or another circumstance necessitating a drastic reduction in payroll. Organizations may need to downsize or reorganize, which requires moving or reducing the number of departments or employees. The process must end with a letter informing the impacted employees of the decision. This carefully crafted letter provides important information. This post discusses the “how” and “why” of writing a layoff letter, and more.

What is a Layoff Letter?

A layoff letter is a formal statement given to an employee who is let g by their employer. Companies give existing workers layoff letters to explain changes and give them information about the situation. The information in layoff letters vary depending on the size of the business, the number of employees, and the locations of both the business and the employees. A company is protects itself by following specific legal requirements when conducting layoffs. They do so by providing affected employees with written notice. 

An employee’s demands and specifics incorporate a layoff letter: 

  • Benefits\Earnings 
  • Tool and equipment provided by the business 
  • When the changes take effect

Purpose of a Layoff Letter 

Regardless of the size of your company, you must send affected employees a letter. The letter is the ideal document to outline the motivations for the choice, whether it be a temporary or permanent layoff. The following are some reasons why layoff letters are crucial.

1. Explains things to the employee 
Layoff letters communicate all the crucial facts, such as the rationale behind the choice, the date of termination, the terms of the salary and severance, and what will happen next. Employees can refer to this whenever they want because it is in writing.

2. Everyone is informed the same way
All affected employees receiving letters ensures that they all receive the same information. This consistency in communication lowers the likelihood of rumors and gossip spreading.

3. Employment law
As per employment laws in many nations, employees are to be notified in writing of their permanent or temporary layoffs. This is a crucial component of any inclusive human resources (HR) strategy. Understand the complete layoff procedure in your country or area before writing a layoff letter, and make sure that anything you do is morally and legally correct.

Steps to Write a Layoff Letter

Letters sent after a layoff are crucial tools for keeping in touch with employees. These guidelines will help you write a layoff letter that effectively informs the impacted employees and provides them with all the information they require:

1. Use a template
Utilizing a sample layoff letter can guarantee that your layoff procedure is consistent. Additionally, it will assist you in minimizing errors or omissions while notifying employees of the layoff. Double-check the template letter if you are using one.

2. Address the employee 
By addressing the employee by name, you can double-check that the layoff letter is reaching the right people. Personalizing the letters has the extra advantage of making them seem a little more genuine and significant. The employee will feel respected as a unique individual and that they added meaning to the company.

3. Include all necessary information
A layoff letter should provide as much information as you can. This will be the time and date of any meetings held prior to the decision to lay people off, along with the justification for the choice. Try to address any issues raised by the employee regarding the layoff procedure in the letter by explaining your answer and supporting evidence. Be as thorough as you can, but also be sure to review any existing HR policies in case anything has to be clarified or handled individually.

4. Set context
Employees will understand that the layoff decision is not their fault. If you provide context. Include elements like the current state of the economy, any other measures you may have taken before turning to layoffs, and the business reasons for the issue, such as restructuring.

5. Be direct and concise
Do not sugarcoat the letter’s most important sentence, which announces the employee’s impending termination. Inform the worker in plain language that their position is being eliminated. From this point on, write in simple, factual language, laying out the specifics of the termination and the next stages. This will make comprehension easier and reduce the possibility of communication errors.

6. List the payroll details and severance pay
Make sure to accurately calculate and notify employees of all compensation owing to them in accordance with their employment contracts. Let them know whether these payments are in gross or net amounts and when they are expected to be made.

7. Acknowledge their achievements
Add a few kind words of appreciation for everything the employee has done for your company to end the letter. If at all possible, make this specific to them using instances that demonstrate empathy, and conclude with a heartfelt goodbye. Even while it might not seem like the most crucial thing to mention in the letter, doing so brings about a genuine sense of closure.

8. Provide your contact details
Last but not least, be sure to add your full name and contact information. The employee might have plenty of questions once they receive the letter, and they need to know how they can reach you. Contact information for HR should also be included.

Related Article: What it’s Like to Be the One Doing Layoffs?

Sample letter for layoffs 

Make sure you are aware of the elements that should be in a layoff letter from an employment law standpoint before writing one. Before you design your own templates, be sure your company already has some. However, a letter of layoff will resemble the following:


In order to be effective, layoff letters must strike a balance between being accurate, respectful, and compassionate to the individual. They are intended to be educational and, to the greatest extent feasible, to soothe the employee’s concerns. Make sure your layoff letters are consistent, and where necessary, seek guidance from other HR colleagues and specialists. The easiest way for a manager or organization to end someone’s employment in a polite and unambiguous manner is through a layoff letter. Because of this, even if you are not required by law to do so, it is great practice to do so nevertheless because it shows how you or your organization regards its employees.


1. Why is a relieving letter important? 
Because it acknowledges the employee’s intention to quit the organization and releases them from duty, a relieving letter is crucial. If either party wants to subsequently refer to the written record of a corporation accepting a resignation, it may be crucial to have it.

2. Is receiving a relieving letter required? 
It is required that your former employer send you a letter of resignation. Make sure you receive the letter of resignation when you are transferred to a new position. If the candidate no longer has a relieving letter, many prestigious agencies will no longer keep them on; the choice is not decided during the interview.

3. What constitutes a significant cause of layoffs? 
Cost-cutting, workforce reduction, relocation, buyouts, and mergers are the most frequent causes of layoffs. Instead of ending the contracts of their employees, business owners have various options.

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