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Poor performance dismissal letter

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If an employee has previously been warned about poor performance but they have not improved, send this model letter to confirm dismissal.

This letter should only be issued after meetings have taken place to discuss the poor performance and that continued poor performance may lead to dismissal. 

Reading time
How long to understand and implement this letter?
5 mins
Word count
How many words in this letter?
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What is a Poor performance dismissal letter?

A poor performance dismissal letter is a written document that informs an employee that they are being terminated from their job due to their poor job performance. This type of letter typically includes details regarding the employee's unsatisfactory performance, any attempts made to improve it, and the specific reasons for termination.

The letter may also provide information on the employee's entitlements such as notice period, outstanding payments, and benefits, and how the employee can collect them. The letter should be drafted in a professional and respectful manner and comply with any legal requirements or company policies.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
As soon as reasonably possible after the performamce review meeting has taken place
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

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

United Kingdom

Here are some UK employment legislations that are relevant to implementing a poor performance dismissal letter:

  • The Employment Rights Act 1996: This act outlines the minimum statutory requirements for employee notice periods and provides guidance on the procedures that employers must follow when dismissing an employee due to poor performance.

  • The Equality Act 2010: This act prohibits discrimination in the workplace and requires employers to ensure that their dismissal procedures are fair and do not discriminate against employees based on their age, race, gender, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.

  • The ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures: This code provides guidance on best practices for employers to follow when managing disciplinary and grievance procedures. The code recommends that employers provide employees with clear and specific reasons for any dismissal due to poor performance and allow employees the opportunity to appeal the decision.

  • The Data Protection Act 2018: This act regulates the processing of personal data and requires employers to ensure that any personal data collected during the dismissal process is processed in compliance with data protection principles.

  • The Working Time Regulations 1998: These regulations provide guidance on working time, rest breaks, and annual leave entitlements. Employers must ensure that any dismissal procedures do not breach these regulations.

Other territories

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

Poor performance dismissal [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],

I am writing to confirm the outcome of the performance improvement hearing conducted on [date]. 

The hearing noted that, despite [describe measures taken to try to secure improved performance from the employee], your performance has still not reached an acceptable level. Specifically, you [describe briefly the respects in which the employee's performance remains below an acceptable level].

I listened carefully to what you had to say in the meeting, in particular that [describe the main points of the employee's submissions made at the hearing]. However, my conclusion was that you had failed to reach an acceptable level of performance in your role, despite extensive efforts to provide you with support and an opportunity to improve.

You were warned by letter dated [date] that a failure to make the required improvements would result in your dismissal. It is with regret that I must therefore inform you that this point has now been reached.

This letter gives formal notification of the termination of your employment. Your last day of work will be [date]. 

You will be contacted separately to give you details of any final payments.

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
Final performance improvement meeting notification letter template

Use this model letter to arrange the final formal performance improvement plan meeting after the second meeting has not led to any progress.

This step
Poor performance dismissal 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.

Poor performance dismissal letter
poor performance dismissal letter