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Probation termination letter

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Our Probation Termination Letter template streamlines the process, ensuring compliance and effective communication with professionalism.

Use this letter after a documented review has been carried out, and a meeting has taken place with the employee (via telphone in the case that the employee is absent).

Reading time
How long to understand and implement this letter?
10 mins
Word count
How many words in this letter?
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What is a Probation termination letter?

A Probation Termination Letter informs an employee that their employment is ending during their probationary period. It outlines the reasons, termination date, and notice period details, while providing an option to appeal the decision. A clear, concise, and objective letter is essential for internal records and effective communication.

Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this letter, and to whom?
The Employer (you) to the Employee
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this letter be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

How can I ensure that this letteris executed effectively?

Step Description Responsibility Timing (Days from Decision)
1 Assess Probation Performance: Evaluate the employee's performance during the probationary period. HR / Supervisor N/A
2 Document Performance Issues: Create a comprehensive record of any performance issues or concerns. HR / Supervisor Day 1
3 Discuss Termination: Arrange a meeting with the employee to discuss the termination decision. HR / Supervisor Day 2
4 Prepare Probation Termination Letter: Draft the letter outlining reasons, termination date, and appeals process. HR / Legal Team Day 3
5 Issue Probation Termination Letter: Provide the letter to the employee during the termination meeting. HR / Supervisor Day 4

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom

When issuing a Probation termination letter in the UK, there are a few key employment laws that should be considered:

  • Employment Contracts: The employment contract should be reviewed to ensure that it sets out the conditions that must be met for the employee to successfully complete their probationary period. The employer must ensure that the employee has been made aware of the conditions required to successfully complete the probationary period, and that they have been given adequate support and guidance during this time.

  • Notice Periods: Employers should give the employee sufficient notice of the termination of their employment. This may be outlined in the employment contract or in the company's policies and procedures.

  • Fairness and Objectivity: Employers must ensure that the decision to terminate an employee's employment during the probationary period is fair and objective, and that the employee has been given sufficient feedback, support and guidance to meet the required standards.

  • Discrimination Law: Employers must ensure that the decision to terminate an employee's employment during the probationary period is not discriminatory in any way. This means that the decision must not be based on the employee's race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic.

  • Right to Appeal: Although not explicitly required under UK employment law, it is good practce to allow employees to appeal any decision to terminate their employment during the probationary period. Employers should have a process in place for employees to raise any concerns they may have and for these concerns to be addressed.

  • Payment and Entitlements: Employers must ensure that they comply with any contractual entitlements or legal obligations when terminating an employee's employment during the probationary period. This may include payment in lieu of notice or holiday entitlement.

  • Documentation: Employers should keep detailed records of the employee's probationary period, including any feedback, support and guidance provided, and any performance issues that arose. This documentation may be useful in the event of an appeal or a claim for unfair dismissal.

A note about appeals:

Allowing an employee to appeal a decision to terminate their employment during probation, even when there's no legal requirement, can have several benefits for both the employer and the employee:

Fairness and Transparency:

  • Provides a fair and transparent process, demonstrating the employer's commitment to treating employees equitably.
  • Allows the employee to understand the reasons for termination and present their perspective.

Employee Engagement:

  • Engages employees in the decision-making process, fostering a sense of involvement and fairness.
  • Demonstrates that the employer values employees' opinions and is open to considering alternative viewpoints.

Retention and Morale:

  • May contribute to higher employee morale by showing that the employer is willing to give a second chance and invest in employees' success.
  • A successful appeal can retain a potentially valuable employee and their skills.

Legal Risk Mitigation:

  • Reduces the risk of potential legal claims or disputes by providing a mechanism for employees to address concerns internally.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to fairness, which can be important if the termination decision is ever legally challenged.

Identifying Systemic Issues:

  • Offers an opportunity to identify any systemic issues in the hiring or probation process that may need improvement.
  • Helps the organisation learn and refine its practices for future hires.

While not legally mandated, offering an appeals process aligns with principles of fairness, open communication, and employee engagement. It reflects positively on the employer's commitment to treating employees with respect and can contribute to a positive workplace culture.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Probation termination [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Termination of employment

Further to [your recent review | our discussion(s)] i[t is with regret that ]I am writing to inform you that your employment with [Company Name] will be terminated due to your failure to meet the conditions set out in your probationary period.

The reasons for this decision are as follows:

  1. [You have not performed to the expected standards of [performance | conduct].]
  2. [Due to your [sickness | absence], it has not been possible to adequately assess your performance.]]

Throughout your probationary period, we have provided you with feedback, support, and guidance to help you meet the standards and expectations required for your role. Despite our efforts, we have not seen the necessary improvement in your [conduct | performance | absence], and we do not believe that you have met the conditions for successfully completing your probation.

Your termination will take effect from [Date], which is [notice period] from the date of this letter. During this notice period, you will be required to continue to work and to fulfil your duties as normal. You will receive payment in lieu of any unused holiday entitlement.

We wish you all the best for the future and thank you for your contributions during your time with the company.

You have the right of appeal against this decision. Your appeal should be directed to [Name | the HR Department | HR Services] within [number] days of receiving this letter. It should set out in full the reason(s) for your appeal.


Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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In which communication or process sequence does this template belong?

Previous step
Probation review form template

Our Probation Review Form Template streamlines evaluation, ensuring consistent and objective assessments during the probationary period.

This step
Probation termination letter template
Next step
Dismissal appeal letter template

If you wish to appeal against your dismissal, send this model letter template to your previous employer.

Probation termination letter
probation termination letter