Better Guide to Termination of Employment

One of the many unpleasant conversations an HR manager needs to have is giving a piece of bad news to an employee. The human resources termination of employment letter causes the most fright among the workers. It goes without saying that termination is the worst nightmare for every employee in the workplace.

The unexpected loss of employment sends the staff into a state of panic. Therefore, as an HR manager, you must handle this delicate matter with the utmost care. In this article, you’ll learn the fundamentals of employee termination and what goes behind the decision.

What Is Termination of Employment?

Termination of employment refers to the end of an employee’s work with the company. When a company terminates an employee via the human resources department, they are no longer employed at that organization.

A worker may quit their job out of their own free will or due to an employer’s decision. Employers may execute a termination of employment for various reasons, such as downsizing, subpar work performance, or redundancy.

If an employee is not actively working due to illness or other reasons, they are still deemed employed at the company. The working relationship with the employer can only be terminated with a formal notice.

Human Resources Termination of Employment

The termination of the employment process is regulated and monitored within human resources. Human resources termination of employment decision goes through a thorough review of the performance and value of an employee.

As a human resources manager, the process of termination of employment should not be taken lightly. Outside of the well-being of your company, it should be executed in the most respectful manner possible.

In the case of terminating employees, HR help define the process, lead the conversation, and minimize the possible damage to the company and employees. However, it can’t take on the obligation or make the experience pleasant for anyone involved in the process.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Types of Employee Termination

Termination of employment is not an easy topic. As an employer, you might be wondering what your rights and obligations are when terminating an employee, and different scenarios that might arise. Understanding termination of employment is essential for an employer to remain compliant with labor laws and avoid lawsuits.

Below are the different types of scenarios for employee termination:

Voluntary Termination

In voluntary termination, the employee decides to quit the business on their own. A decision might be made for a variety of personal or professional reasons. For instance, it may be a toxic work environment, a lack of possibilities for professional development or employee growth, personal issues, etc.

Involuntary Termination

Involuntary termination of employment refers to when an employee is fired or removed without their consent. For example, it may be due to poor performance, rude employees, or policy violations. An employee disciplinary action may also lead to this kind of termination.

Employment Termination at Will

This sort of termination stipulates that an employer may fire a worker at any time and place without any reason. The employer is not bound to give any reason or explanation to the departing employee. However, employers must document the reasons to be on the safe side to prove their case if a discrimination claim is ever made.

Mutual Termination

As the name implies, this termination occurs when both parties decide they are not a suitable fit. Given that it is a mutually made decision, this kind of termination is pretty straightforward and less messy. Such departures might occur for a variety of reasons or triggers.

Common Causes for Employee Termination

Employee termination can have various reasons, both from the employer’s and the employee’s perspectives.

From the Employer’s perspective:

  • Poor performance
  • Company Rules violation
  • Collaboration and discipline issues
  • Employee Disciplinary Action
  • Disclosing information to competitors
  • Any form of harassment, including sexual, physical, mental, and emotional

From the Employee’s perspective:

  • Better employment opportunities elsewhere
  • Lack of prospects for advancement, such as staff promotions, etc.
  • Lack of interest in the position
  • Poor working conditions
  • Business, studies, or retirement plans
  • Employees with personal issues


Termination of employment can largely vary depending on the circumstances involved. Employee termination is a sensitive issue that must be handled carefully and usually requires thorough review and reasons for the decision.

This article provides general insight into the termination of employment, the factors involved, and the roles of each party in the process.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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