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Final written warning letter

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Our Final Written Warning Letter Template addresses repeated or serious issues, emphasising consequences and setting clear expectations for improvement.

Use this model letter to provide confirmation to an employee that they have been issued with a final written warning for misconduct, including provision for them to appeal.

This letter should normally be issued following a previous written warning for the same issue, and time has been given for them to improve. If the employee does not improve and they are still consistently late without good reason, then a final written warning is warranted.

Employers should follow the ACAS Code of Practice in relation to dismissal and disciplinary procedures. Use this letter after a conduct hearing has taken place.

Reading time
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5 mins
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What is a Final written warning letter?

A Final Written Warning Letter is a formal document that is issued to an employee as a final warning for their unacceptable behaviour or performance. It is usually the last step in a progressive discipline process that is designed to give the employee a chance to correct their behavior before termination of employment.

The letter is issued after a disciplinary hearing has taken place, and typically outlines the specific concerns or issues the employer has with the employee's conduct or performance, and sets out clear expectations for improvement. It may also provide details on any consequences that may result if the employee does not improve, such as termination of employment.

Like the First Written Warning Letter, the Final Written Warning Letter is also kept on the employee's personnel file, and may be used as evidence in any future disciplinary proceedings. It is important for both employers and employees to take the contents of a Final Written Warning Letter very seriously, as it is a formal warning that the employee's job may be at risk if they do not improve their behavior or performance.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
As soon as possible after the disciplinary hearing
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
1 Hold Disciplinary Hearing Chairperson/Panel After previous warnings
2 Review Disciplinary Policy HR/Management Before determining action
3 Assess Reasonable Employer Response HR/Management After policy review
4 Confirm Final Written Warning HR/Supervisor After assessment
5 Prepare and Issue Warning Letter HR After confirmation

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

United Kingdom
  • Employment Rights Act 1996: Provides guidelines on issuing final written warnings as part of disciplinary procedures.

  • Equality Act 2010: Ensures fair treatment during disciplinary processes, prohibiting discrimination based on protected characteristics.

  • ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures: Offers best practices for handling disciplinary matters, including final warnings.

  • Data Protection Act 2018: Ensures that employee data related to final written warnings is handled securely and confidentially.

Other territories

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

Final written warning [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Notice of Final Written Warning

Following the disciplinary hearing held on [date], we have decided to issue you with a Final Written Warning for your conduct [or performance] at work. The hearing was held in accordance with the Company's Disciplinary Policy and Procedure, and you were given the opportunity to respond to the allegations made against you.

We have taken into consideration the evidence presented at the hearing, as well as your explanation, and have concluded that your conduct [or performance] falls below the expected standard. Specifically, we have found that you [insert details of misconduct or performance issue].

We consider your actions to be a [serious] breach of Company policies and procedures[, as well as a significant failure of your duties as an employee]. As a result, we are left with no option but to issue you with a Final Written Warning.

This warning will remain on your personnel file for [timeframe], and failure to improve your conduct within this period may result in further disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

We expect you to take this warning seriously, and to take immediate steps to address your conduct [or performance] to the expected standard. If you require any support or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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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Our Disciplinary Outcome Appeal Letter Template empowers employees to seek fair resolution, addressing concerns and ensuring procedural fairness.

Final written warning letter
final written warning letter