Fact: When terminating an employee during their probation period, it’s customary to give said employee a written notice of your rationale.
As awkward as it may be, you must come up with a good idea of what to say when terminating an employee during their probation period. Almost every country in the world has some type of regulation or law regarding this.
Since you’re the boss, you’re expected to behave respectfully, despite what has happened. So, eliminate all the negative ideas you had of what to say from your mind.
Be professional, frank and mindful of how you approach the situation. While you’re gathering your thoughts, look at these examples of what to say when terminating an employee during their probation period:
Email outline for your customization
When writing your email, it’s not necessary to include things like your address or a bunch of information you don’t need. This isn’t a physical letter to a pen pal and is closer to a notice than anything else.
Be as straightforward and clear as possible.
01Employee’s name, role and probationary period
Start by stating the employee’s name, their role and their probationary period. This is just a formality, but a necessary one to make sure you’re on the same page.
02Reason for termination and termination date
Next, you’ll want to state the reason for termination during the probationary period. It can be due to poor performance or being late for work all the time.
Usually, the employee is aware of the reason ahead of time because it’s customary to give notice before termination. Again, this is just a formality, especially if the employee claims foul.
The reason for termination should be followed by the termination date. So, for example, May 21, 2022.
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03Thank employee for their contribution and outline benefits owed
The polite thing to do is to thank the employee for their work, even if they did a horrible job. It shows that you’re grateful for their efforts.
The employee will also need instructions on how to finalize the work contract. This includes how final pay will be made, when it is to be expected and how other benefits will be allocated.
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04Close with employee’s rights to appeal termination and well wishes
You’re required by law to include this. This is also your chance to share well wishes and end your work relationship on a good note.
What to say when terminating an employee during their probation period: 3 email templates for terminating the employee due to poor performance
Businesses can’t thrive if their employees are performing poorly or below standard. The business will always be behind and will decline if things continue down that path.
It may mean you have to be the bad guy and get rid of the weakest link. This is what to say when terminating an employee during their probation period due to poor performance:
01Dear [insert name],
This email serves as our formal notice of termination of your position as [insert position name] as of [insert final date]. The purpose for this termination is cited as ‘underperformance’.
We wish to thank you for your time at [insert name of company] and the efforts made to fulfill this role. Attached is an outline of the termination process and what you should expect going forward.
We aim to make this process as seamless as possible for all parties involved. Should you have any questions or wish to appeal this termination, be sure to contact me as soon as possible.
All the best in your future endeavors.
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[Insert name of employee]
[Insert position/job title]
[Insert today’s date]
At [insert name of company], we have the highest expectations for our employees and require they maintain company standards. During your temporary contract, you have failed to meet the minimum performance requirements for permanent hire. Per company policy and labor laws, you are entitled to a salary until the date of termination, on [insert date], as well as severance pay, which amounts to [insert dollar amount]. In the coming days, you will receive another letter outlining other benefits and entitlements.
You will also receive instructions on how to return company property.
Bear in mind the confidentiality agreement signed on [insert date] and the specifications of said document. For all inquiries, reach out to [insert name of person] from [insert department].
We appreciate your time and efforts during your employment period and wish you well.
03[Insert today’s date]
[insert name of employee]
Official Termination Notice: Underperformance
This notice states that your employment with [insert name of company] ends on [insert final date].
Following this decision, you are entitled to:
[insert benefits in list format]
You will receive your final paycheck on [insert date].
You are required to return all company property by [insert latest date] and have your office cleared out by [insert final date].
You have certain legal rights as an employee. If you have any inquiries, reach out to [insert name of person and role] or visit [insert government labor website].
As per company policy, you are not allowed to divulge information about employees, business processes or other company information. Failure to comply will result in [insert consequence according to agreement].
Best of luck.
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3 email templates for terminating the employee due to an attendance issue
You can’t afford to have your employees consistently miss work. How would anything get done?
This is something you have to nip in the bud, or else it will cost your company uncomfortable amounts of money in the long run. Here are some examples of what to say when terminating an employee during their probation period due to poor attendance:
After 3 notices regarding poor attendance, it is with great regret that we must terminate you from your position at this company. This decision was not made lightly, and after considerable thought, it was decided that we are no longer a good fit.
Included in this email of termination is a full description of the benefits you’re owed, how they will be dispensed and the steps for wrongful termination appeals. Note that your healthcare and car benefits are good through the next 30 days, however, your access to the building will terminate up to 7 days after this notice becomes effective.
You’re expected to return all company property including your laptop, ID card and all else outlined in the attached file.
As we look to the future, we encourage you to keep pursuing your dreams and work on your downfalls. Your potential can only be limited by yourself.
This letter dated [insert today’s date] serves as formal notice of termination of your role as [insert role], effective [insert final date]. This process begins with an acknowledgment of this notice, after which you are expected to follow up with HR regarding what you are legally entitled to, and finally to sever ties with the company.
The reason for your termination is as follows:
Incident 1: On [insert date] you failed to call in when missing a shift, which resulted in decreased productivity.
Incident 2: Your failure to appear at the executive meeting on [insert date] resulted in a fractured client relationship with [insert client name], a V.I.P client.
Incident 3: You missed work for 3 days in a row from [insert dates] without submitting a request for vacation days, resulting in additional burdens on fellow employees.
After each incident, a formal notice was given citing the possibility of discharge.
Please have your workstation cleared and remote work equipment delivered to the company headquarters by [insert final date] at the latest. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
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06Termination Notice For [insert employee name]
Date: [Insert today’s date]
Effective: [Insert final date]
While we do acknowledge and appreciate your efforts as [insert role], we regret to inform you that your contract will be terminated due to non-fulfillment of attendance requirements as illustrated in our company policy.
This policy serves as a guide for the termination process and dictates how this matter will progress. As you already know, this includes benefits such as severance wages, final pay and how the company will handle employee benefits.
If you wish to dispute this claim, the process for doing so is also outlined in the company’s policy.
As you transition out of this role, we encourage grace and wish you great success in your future role.
Photo by fizkes on shutterstock
What to say when terminating an employee during their probation period: 3 email templates for terminating the employee due to behavioral problems
Unless you run a boxing ring, there’s no reason for your employees to be hurling insults or trading hits. Employees with behavioral problems cause issues for everyone in the company and lead to a toxic work environment.
Use these templates of what to say when terminating an employee during their probation period due to poor behavior:
07To [Insert employee name]
We are writing this letter to inform you that your position as [insert role] has been terminated due to disorderly conduct, effective immediately. Termination is the final step in our disciplinary process, and all other options have been exhausted.
You are required to, according to our company policy, return all company property no longer than 7 days after your official termination date. Please remember your confidentiality agreement moving forward.
You will be contacted within a few days with an outline of what will happen during this process and our obligations to you. Until then, we thank you for your service and hope this process will go as smoothly as possible.
On [insert date of incident], it was reported that you [describe nature of incident]. It is in the best interest of all other employees that you are permanently removed from the staff for safety purposes, as well as to maintain a positive work environment.
Please follow all termination guidelines attached to this email and reach out to HR for severance benefits. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
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Dear [Insert employee name]
This letter is to formally notify you that your role as [insert name of role] has been terminated with effect on [insert final date] due to unacceptable behavior. As a former employee, you’re entitled to the following:
If you’re unclear on how to proceed, contact [insert name of employee] from [insert department] for clarity. We appreciate all your contributions to our company and wish you all the best.
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Key considerations that HR professionals and managers should keep in mind before terminating an employee during their probationary period
As an employer, one of your main roles is to protect the interests of your company. You have to be careful with what to say when terminating an employee during their probation period.
When terminating an employee, be sure to follow the laws and regulations of your country or state. If you’re not sure, consult with an employment lawyer. Your termination process should also be in line with your company policy.
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One of the main things you want to avoid is wrongful termination. Termination should never be based on retaliation or discrimination.
So, you can’t fire an employee if they have made harassment claims, for their age or race, or if they have called out something wrong within the company. Plus, you can’t fire an employee who requests compensation for something that happened to them that was not their fault, such as a workplace injury.
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It’s customary to give a notice of termination so you don’t blindside your employee. This gives the employee time to find a new job and leave without grievances.
It is a good idea to give warnings to improve areas that need to be worked on with the condition of termination if they are not met. These examples of what to say when terminating an employee during their probation period serve as final notice.