Dismissal Letter for Poor Performance

A dismissal letter also referred to as a termination letter is written by an employer to an employee, for communicating the reason for termination and notifying the employee of his/her contract termination at the workplace. The letter could be issued as a result of the employee’s misconduct, poor performance, or any other disciplinary issue.

The letter is issued when no noticeable improvement is observed in the employee’s work ethics, despite being given substantial time, and necessary training, assistance, and suspension period (if applicable), to the employee to make up for the issues highlighted in earlier warnings. The letter serves as official documentation for the employee’s termination. 

A dismissal or termination letter can be challenged by the employee in a court. Hence, to avoid the legalities, and to get discharged of any liability that may arise during a court’s hearing the employer tends not to specify the reason for the employee’s termination.

It helps the employer to provide any, or all, evidence(s) that can serve the purpose of proving fair dismissal. Therefore, the employer must take into account the country’s employment law, and legal procedures before terminating the employee. 

While writing a dismissal letter to an employee due to poor performance, the employer may specify the reason for dismissal by supporting it with evidence(s).

The poor performance can be supported by highlighting the area(s) where the employee’s performance has been falling or lacking. It should also comprise a reference to the meetings conducted, discussions held, and warnings given to address the subject in question.

A dismissal letter comprises the following components:

  • Reason for dismissal
  • Evidence to support the reason (only when sufficient evidence are available to support fair dismissal
  • Date after which the employee could no longer continue his/her services for the employer
  • Reference of prior meetings, discussions, and warnings on the stated matter
  • Elaboration on the way forward – for employees to seek monetary and health benefits. The employees, in many companies, are entitled to provident funds, old-age benefits, paid annual leaves, health, and life insurance. The way forward communicates the procedure to withdraw funds and to avail the insurance services after the dismissal
  • Returning the company’s assets – the letter needs to specify that the employee must return all of the employer assets such as ID card, laptops, documents or any other resource which belongs to the employer
  • The closing of the letter should be formal, yet respectful – it should mention that the employee may seek further information from a relevant focal person. But it should not state that the letter in open for further negotiation on the said matter

Sample Dismissal Letter for Poor Performance


[Recipient’s Name]

Dear Mr./Ms.,

This letter serves as formal documentation for your dismissal, effective from [Date]. You would no longer be able to continue your services as [Designation] for XYZ Company. The letter is being issued due to your poor performance over the course of the past six months. The specifics that led to the dismissal are outlined below:

  • Your KPIs were decided in consultation with you and your supervisor, which mentioned quarterly fundraising of $[X. But you have failed to raise the mentioned figure. The performance was monitored and reviewed in last quarter and you signed the document (attached) to make up for the lacking commitments in successive quarter
  • You were required to optimize the outreach, to explore new potential donors, but the donor’s repository has not been updated by you since the last four months, as evident from the attached file
  • At XYZ Company, we are liable to ensure quality services for our clients. It was communicated to you not only in the boarding orientation but also in monthly departmental meetings. You have signed the Quality Compliance Agreement (attached). But, the company has received an average of 12 complaints out of 20 clients you have served in the past two quarters. The matter was discussed with you in the meeting held on [date], and you were issued an official warning at the beginning of this quarter, but no noticeable improvement had been observed  

You are requested to return the company’s assets on your last days of employment. You will receive a paycheck of $[X], which includes monthly salary and payment for annual leaves that you have accrued in a week’s time after the last day of your employment. Your provident fund will be transferred to your account by [date].

If you wish to discuss the details of the exit-clearance procedure further, please get in touch with [Name], Manager HR.

We acknowledge the services which you rendered to the XYZ Company for two years.



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