Employee Recommendation Refusal Letters

A letter of recommendation for an employee is a document provided by the employer or supervisor for their subordinates that helps the employees enhance their applications.

When applying for jobs, some organizations request submission of at least one recommendation letter. This helps the organization in accepting the more suitable candidate out of the applicants for the respective occupation.

The employee recommendation letter mainly consists of the employers’ experience of working with their subordinates. The employer provides reasons for an organization to consider accepting the applicant for a specific job position. This provides an idea of the applicants’ character and personality in the work environment.

For example, information about the applicant’s ability to work in different types of conditions, provide an insight into the work behavior of the applicant. This helps the organization choose the more appropriate applicant for their organization.

However, there are many situations in which a previous employer may refuse to provide a recommendation letter. The reputation of the employee depends on work performance and behavior. If an employees’ work performance did not meet the work standards of the organization, the organization is allowed to decline the request for the letter of recommendation.

A supervisor may refuse to provide a letter of recommendation due to personal grievances against the said employee. For example, if the employee and their supervisor did not have a good work relationship, the supervisor may decide not to issue the letter of recommendation.

Another reason for the refusal of the request for a recommendation letter is the termination of the contract before it officially ends. In case an employee’s contract is terminated due to their work behavior or performance, the organization may not provide a recommendation letter.

Moreover, some organizations have a policy to not provide recommendation letters to any staff member.

In a situation where the employee requests for a recommendation letter from the organization, the appropriate way for the organization to refuse the request of a letter of recommendation is to inform the employee through an official email. This email should consist of the reason, clearly explaining the issue due to which the recommendation letter has been refused.

If the employee asks for the letter of recommendation from their supervisor, the supervisor can decline the request verbally. This depends on the type of relations the supervisor and their subordinates have.

Below is a sample letter sent by the organization for the refusal of the recommendation letter due to company policy:

Dear Mr. /Ms. XYZ

This is to inform you that your request for the letter of recommendation has been declined. Unfortunately, the organization has a policy to not provide letters of recommendation to their employees.

For any queries, please feel free to contact us.


The HR Department.

Other Sample Letters



Thanks for writing me a letter and requesting my recommendation. I would like to tell you that this is not possible at this point. As you know that I am a very honest person and like keeping up with my integrity. I have a long work relationship with you and I am aware of your work practices. I take recommendation letters very seriously and know the level of responsibility they bring to you. I would like you to request some other colleagues for the reference. I wish you the best of luck in your job search.


Thanks for requesting me for a recommendation letter. I would love to fill this out for you. But I feel I am not the best person to do so. I know you only for two months and during this limited time, I hardly worked along with you. A colleague who is aware of your skillset and work ethics would be a better contribution for you to get this job. This time wasn’t enough to analyze your work. Therefore, I would like to refuse this recommendation. But I wish you the best of luck in exploring the new opportunity.


I am so honored to receive your letter requesting the college letter. I am sorry to refuse this recommendation letter. We have studied together with a few courses. But now, I am not sure what your area of research and interest is. In these circumstances, someone who’s talking these courses along you can be the best recommendation.

I would like to advise you that a recent lecturer can be a strong reference for you, as they have worked with you on the thesis and proposals and can better vouch for you. please let me know if there is any other way I can help you.