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Learn more about Dismissal letter

A dismissal letter is a formal notification informing an employee that their employment is being brought to an end and they are being dismissed. Dismissal letters are used by employers as notice of termination of employment in accordance with the laws of England, Wales and Scotland.

When dismissing an employee, you would need to make sure you follow the correct procedure. Failure to do so can result in the employee making a claim for unfair dismissal and/or wrongful dismissal to the Employment Tribunal. This can be a complicated process, particularly if there have been misconduct or performance issues.

Use this dismissal letter template when you want to dismiss ​​​​​an employee for reasons of:

Answer a few simple questions to create your dismissal letter.

Usually, a dismissal will be considered fair if the employer can show that it is related to a fair reason. Fair reasons include:

  • an employee's poor performance or misconduct (you must typically first provide disciplinary warnings to employees, using Disciplinary letters, before dismissing them for these reasons)

  • an employee’s gross misconduct (eg theft, poor attendance or violence)

  • the employee’s lack of capability or qualification

  • a genuine redundancy (ie because the employer stops carrying on the business for which a particular employee was employed or stops requiring employees (or requires fewer employees) to carry out the work)

  • a statutory requirement (eg an employee needed to drive but has had their driving licence revoked)

  • some other substantial reason (eg the employee unreasonably refuses to accept changes to their terms of employment)

If the dismissal isn’t for one of the above reasons, the dismissal could potentially be considered unfair.

Ask a lawyer for advice if you're not sure if your reason for dismissal is fair.

This depends on the specifics of your situation. However, always make sure you do things right when dismissing an employee:

  • if an employee does not qualify for unfair dismissal rights a general dismissal letter is usually satisfactory

  • if the employee qualifies for unfair dismissal rights then you may need a dismissal letter for poor performance or misconduct

  • if at any time an employee commits an act of gross misconduct a summary dismissal letter will dismiss that employee without notice (known as ‘summary dismissal’)

For more information, read Dismissal, Notice periods and What to do when an employee leaves. Use our Dismissal checklist to ensure you have followed the necessary steps when letting a member of staff go.

Other names for Dismissal letter

Employee dismissal letter, Notice of dismissal, Letter of dismissal, Dismissal notice, Staff dismissal letter.