Redundancy Letter Template

Download our free redundancy letter template to inform your employee(s) that they have been selected for redundancy.

Redundancy Letter Template

June 7, 2021

Whatever the circumstances, letting people go is tough — and dealing with redundancy is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do as an employer, especially if you're issuing a collective redundancy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. You’ll be saying goodbye to talented employees, who have worked hard for you and your business and now have to leave through no fault of their own. 

If you’re making anyone redundant, then by UK employment law you are required to issue letters at all stages of the redundancy process. If you’ve never done this before, then we suggest using a redundancy letter template to make sure you’ve included everything you need to and make the process as simple and stress-free as possible for both you and your employees.

Redundancy is a stressful situation, and you’ll need to handle it with sensitivity and tact. Emotions will run high, and it’s tempting to hand the redundancy letter, and indeed the whole process, over to someone else. However, dealing with it yourself shows that you care and your staff will respect you more for it. If you break the news well and communicate change fairly then you and your employees can part ways gracefully and move forward towards a brighter future.

How do I write a redundancy letter?

There are several types of redundancy letters but they all have one thing in common - they keep the employee informed about the redundancy proceedings. These include:

Job at risk of redundancy letter

This lets the affected employee know that their role is at risk of being made redundant.

Redundancy consultation letter

This redundancy letter invites the employee to an individual consultation meeting to discuss their potential redundancy.

Redundancy notice letter

The redundancy notice letter tells the employee that as a final decision they have been selected for redundancy. It gives them their notice of redundancy and explains the next steps.

In this article, we’re going to focus on the final letter, the redundancy notice letter. We’ve created a step-by-step guide and a handy template to help make writing this redundancy letter as smooth as possible, so let's get started.

Get in the right mindset

Before you write any redundancy letter, or start any conversations about redundancies, it helps to put yourself in the shoes of your employees. They're about to get devastating news and will feel scared, upset and maybe even angry.

Try taking their perspective: how would you want someone to explain this decision to you? If you were going through the same thing, you'd probably be worried about the future, upset that this has happened to you and even resentful towards other employees.

The best way to ease your employee's suffering throughout the redundancy procedure is to empathise with them, which means taking their perspective. Professor and author Brené Brown describes how to engage empathy, rather than sympathy, in this handy YouTube video. This can help you understand what the other person is feeling and connect with them.

Empathy will help you handle any face-to-face meetings, and it will also help you get into the right mindset when writing any redundancy letter. After all, whether they love their job, or work to pay the bills, a redundancy situation will still come as a jolt and even affect their sense of identity.

Before you start...

You're ready to put pen to paper, but let's just hold on a moment. Have you gone through all the correct processes?

Before you send a redundancy notice letter you must have:

  • Warned any staff that are at risk of redundancy
  • Consulted all affected staff
  • Chosen those who will be made redundant fairly and be ready to explain why
  • Attempted to reduce redundancies by offering suitable alternative employment or part time options

If you've checked all these points off your list, then you're good to go. Let's run through all the points you need to include in a redundancy notice letter.

How to write a redundancy letter

Step 1: Confirm the redundancy

Some redundancy letter templates will suggest you write "Dear Sir/Madam", but this is someone who you know, and first impressions count. You're not a robot and they've worked hard for your business, so why not address them by their name?

Give them the bad news straight and tell them that they have been confirmed for redundancy. Remind them about any previous meetings and letters sent to them about the redundancy, and include any dates.

This is the time to be empathetic. Be compassionate by saying how sorry you are, and remind them that this decision is not based on their performance, but due to financial reasons.

Step 2: The notice period

Confirm their notice period. This will vary depending on how long the employee has been with you, so check their contract.

Legally, you need to give a minimum notice period (statutory notice period). If your employee has worked for you for:

  • Less than one month: no notice is needed
  • Between one month and two years: one week's notice
  • Between two and twelve years: one week notice for each year worked
  • More than twelve years: twelve week's notice

Remember, this will be a stressful time for them and they may not be able to concentrate on their work. Instead of asking them to work their notice, you could offer them payment in lieu of notice. This will give them some breathing space and the chance to look for a new role.

If you do need them to work their notice, then you can schedule a one-on-one meeting to talk about handover, or take any questions they might have.

Step 3: Annual leave

Do they have any holiday left to take? If so, let them know how much they have and what will happen. Check their contract and your internal records to make sure you have the right amount.

Any unused annual leave will need to be added to their final pay, so be clear on how much they will receive.

Step 4 : Redundancy pay

This is the big one. Anyone being made redundant will have an eye on their future budget, so you'll need to be explicit here.

Firstly, are they entitled to any redundancy pay? If not, say so.

If they are entitled to redundancy pay due to their length of service tell them what they will receive. Again, be explicit. Remind them in the redundancy letter how long they have been with you and include exactly how much they will receive.

Does your company have a redundancy policy? If so, your employee may be entitled to an enhanced redundancy payment. Check your paperwork to be sure.

A final note on pay: your employee may be confused about which payments will be taxed. You can take this worry off their shoulders by being clear about what will and wont be taxed.

Step 5: Alternative roles

If you have found any alternative roles which are suitable, invite the employee to discuss them. Give a set date and time, and remind them that they can bring someone with them to the meeting.

You could also include a job description of the alternative role in the redundancy letter.

If you haven't been able to find an alternative role for them, say so. Don't drag the process out with false hope.

Step 6: Redundancy appeal

The employee has the right to appeal the redundancy decision. Tell them who they should contact, and any cut off dates for the appeal process.

Let them know if you want their appeal in writing, or need specific reasons why they're challenging their redundancy. 

5 top tips for communicating redundancy

If you're still feeling nervous about writing your first redundancy notice letter, don't worry. It's perfectly normal and just means you're human. Just remember these tips when talking about redundancy.

Be clear and consistent

Keep it simple and leave no room for ambiguity. This isn't the time for flowery language or vague hints. Tell your employee exactly what's going on and keep to the point.

By being upfront and laying out all the facts, you'll help your employee feel more informed and relaxed about the decision.

Engage your empathy

You need to be clear, but not a robot. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you would feel getting this news.

You can extend compassion to someone in a letter as well as face-to-face. Tell them you're sorry to see them go.

Prepare

Be ready for any questions your employee might have. Check the employee's contract and your company policy to make sure you've got all the information you need.

Listen

When you make someone redundant, they'll probably be upset and need to vent. Practice active listening by paying attention, maintaining eye contact, paraphrasing what they say and switching off any distracting devices, like your mobile phone. 

Be available

It may be tempting to hide away after dropping a redundancy bombshell, but don’t disappear after giving such dramatic news. Let your employees know that you're available if they want to talk or need advice.

What happens next

Now that you're ready to send a redundancy letter, you can download our template. Follow the simple steps outlined in this article and you can help your employees feel more at ease about their options.

Making people redundant is never easy, but it can be done in a way that is supportive, fair and even positive. By sending a clear, simple letter you can ensure that any employees you have to make redundant feel supported and well informed.

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A full stack software engineer and designer by trade, Aaron has built a range of compelling web and mobile solutions for both small startups and large corporations across the globe, including the likes of Google, Red Bull and Unilever.