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Voluntary (Resignation) or Involuntary Termination of Employment Policy Template

This template provides a basic structure for your employee resignation and termination policy.

The purpose of employment termination policy and procedures

Employee termination policies exist to make the employment separation process  as clear as possible for all parties involved. Properly defined employment termination procedures prevent misunderstandings and distrust between the employee and the company. The company is bound to handle any cases of termination of employment as dictated by law with discretion, professionalism and official documentation.But for transparency, this is how [company name] handles resignations and terminations.

The scope of this termination of employment policy

This termination (AKA separation of employment) policy applies to all prospective or current employees of the company in regards to possible separation of employment.

What is voluntary termination or resignation?

What does voluntary termination or resignation mean? Resignation of employment occurs when you voluntarily inform your company that you will stop working for them. We also consider you resigned if you don't come to work for [3 days] consecutive days without notice.

Our process for voluntary termination of employment

You are not required to provide advance notice before resigning. However, to help us prepare for your departure and ensure a smooth transition we ask that you give at least [2 weeks] notice, if possible. If you hold a specialized or executive-level position where your departure will have larger implications for our organization, we ask that you provide at least [1 months] notice, if possible.Verbal resignations are accepted. That said, we would prefer a written resignation letter for our HR records.Please note: If you have taken any classes or have relocated with money from the company, you must stay for at least [2 years]. If you decide to leave before then, you will be expected to repay the cost of all or part of the expenses.

What is termination of employment?

Termination (AKA separation of employment) policy refers to the event that an employee ceases to be part of the company’s workforce. And it can happen when the contract of an employee is discontinued due to their or the company’s actions.

Types of resignation & termination

Termination of an employee from their job duties may be categorized as voluntary or involuntary.Voluntary dismissal may include the following:

  • Resignation
  • Retirement
  • Failure to show for a specified number of days without notice
  • Expiration or completion of contract

Involuntary dismissal may include the following:

  • Discharge for cause
  • Discharge without cause

"Discharge for cause" refers to immediate termination of employment due to an employee’s misconduct. Any kind of disciplinary action or progressive discipline that results in termination may be considered “for cause." Other wrongful behaviors or actions that result in immediate dismissal are also considered “for cause.” Examples of such termination of employees include circumstances where an employee:

  • Breaches their contract of employment
  • Participates in fraud, embezzlement or other kinds of illegal actions against the company
  • Demonstrates discriminatory behavior or harassment
  • Displays unlawful or immoral behavior on the job
  • Willfully neglect of job responsibilities
  • Causes intentional damage to the company’s assets
  • Continuously disregards company policy

The list is not exhaustive therefore, discharge for cause remains at our company’s discretion. It must however always reflect an unacceptable behavior or action that violates legal or company guidelines and may result in financial and non-financial damages for the company, other employees or society.Discharge without cause can occur when the company decides that the services of an employee are no longer needed. In general, this does not refer to an employee’s conduct. Reasons for discharge without cause may be layoffs, rearrangement of a department or redefining of a position.

Our employee termination policy

The company will observe all legal dictations referring to termination (AKA separation of employment) and will avoid “implied contracts” and unnecessary terminations.In cases an employee must be terminated without cause, the company is obliged to give notice a specified amount of time prior to the date of termination depending on time of service, age of employee or position. If the employee has to stop working before the date of termination, the company will still provide compensation for the time remaining, specified as “pay in lieu of notice.”The company may compensate the terminated employee for accrued vacation time when appropriate. Severance pay may apply to cases of discharge without cause but not discharge for cause.The company is bound by the law to refrain from wrongful dismissals of employees. Wrongful dismissal may occur in cases when:

  • An employee is terminated unfairly for cause
  • An employee is forced into constructive dismissal

We expect all employees with the right of terminating subordinates to strictly refrain from discharging someone without adequate reason or without giving notice. Such an occurrence may be damaging for the company’s respectability and may result in disciplinary action. Discharge on grounds of discrimination or filed health and safety complaints is unlawful termination prohibited by legislation.Constructive dismissal refers to an employee that has been forced to resign due to an employer’s intentional or unintentional unlawful or hostile behavior (such as, breach of contract). It will not be practiced by any means by the company which is committed to maintain a relationship of honesty and fairness between itself and employees.

Our employee termination procedure

In cases of involuntary dismissal, the supervisor must submit an employee termination document to the human resources department at the date of separation or before that. Discharge for cause justifies immediate suspension until the necessary documentation for termination has been gathered. In some instances, a termination meeting with the employee, supervisor and a human resources officer may be scheduled.In cases of discharge without cause, the employer must officially notify the employee of the termination a specified amount of time in advance. When severance pay is appropriate it will be officially stated in writing.At all times, proper employee records will be kept containing all relevant documentation. A lawyer will be consulted prior to termination so the company can ensure the legality of its actions.

Return of company property

Upon termination or when the job no longer requires the use of company property, you are required to return all issues supplies, equipment, and tools. Document the return of [describe items]. Please contact [Name] at [phone number] as soon as possible to arrange for the return of all property belonging to [company name].

Exit interview policy

Employee exit interviews give us the opportunity to gather useful information about our company from employees who resign. When employees leave our company, they may feel more comfortable sharing experiences they had while working for us.Specifically, we want to discover:

  • Why an employee is leaving
  • What an employee liked or disliked about our company
  • Whether official job descriptions reflect our employees’ actual work
  • What we can improve to make our workplace more efficient and pleasant

Please note: This employee exit interview policy refers to employees who leave our company voluntarily.

What is an exit interview?

Exit interviews are discussions designed to discover an employee’s reasons for choosing voluntary termination. They are aimed at exploring what led to them deciding to leave our company so that we can discover areas where we can improve. In-person interviews help us gather more granular insight. We may use questionnaires or phone interviews, if employees find those more convenient.HR is responsible for organizing and conducting exit interviews. Occasionally, we may hire external consultants or assign interviews to supervisors of an employee’s immediate supervisor. Immediate supervisors will not participate in these interviews.

Exit interview procedure

Once an employee submits a notice of resignation, HR may reach out to them to ask for an exit interview, preferably in writing. Employees may choose their interview’s format or decline to participate.Ideally, interviews should take place before employees’ final week of work. HR should avoid scheduling interviews for an employee’s last day unless there’s no other opportunity. Alternatively, HR may schedule interviews within [a month] after employees leave.HR is responsible for analyzing data from exit interviews and sharing insights and recommendations with senior management. They may report on results annually, quarterly or more frequently if needed (for example, if a large number of employees leave within a certain period.)

These interviews are voluntary

There won’t be any repercussions for employees who refuse to participate (such as, references and payouts won’t be affected.) HR professionals are responsible for informing employees that their participation is greatly appreciated but optional.To encourage participation, we will offer [gift cards] to employees who agree to participate in an exit interview.

Conducting exit interviews

As a general rule, these discussions should focus on gathering information from employees and understanding their perspectives. People who conduct exit interviews shouldn’t:

  • Negotiate to persuade an employee to stay
  • Get defensive when employees share negative experiences
  • Focus only on getting negative feedback

Interview format

Interviews may be held in-person, over the phone or through a video platform. The length of each interview may vary, but it should generally last approximately [60 minutes.]HR should close interviews on a positive note, thanking employees for their time and feedback.

Sample exit interview questions

Exit interview questions may vary depending on each employee’s seniority and role. Here are some sample questions for all roles:

  • Please describe your general feelings about working here. If possible, please tell us what prompted your resignation.
  • What did you enjoy most about working here?
  • What would you change about our workplace?
  • How would you rate the availability of guidance and training opportunities here?
  • Do you feel you were recognized for your work?
  • Were there obstacles that prevented you from doing your job efficiently? If so, what were they?

HR should use those basic questions in all exit interviews to consolidate results more easily. After employees answer these baseline exit interview questions, HR may encourage an unstructured talk for employees to air whatever they’d like.

Uncovering serious issues during exit interviews

If interviews unearth serious incidents (such as, harassment, discrimination, embezzlement), HR should act immediately and according to company policy. They should inform employees that they may have to disclose some of their feedback to legal authorities.Everything discussed during exit interviews must be kept confidential. HR should assure exiting employees that interview records are confidential. HR should tell employees how they’ll present results to management (for example, in aggregate form or anonymous feedback.)

Follow-up exit survey process

For up to [6 months] after an employee’s initial exit interview, we may follow-up with an exit survey. This practice can help us confirm employees’ initial reasons for leaving, or gain feedback they may have been reluctant to share before.HR should inform employees that they might receive an email survey before sending it.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Have a question about this policy? Reach out to [HR contact].

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Voluntary (Resignation) or Involuntary Termination of Employment Policy Template

This template provides a basic structure for your employee resignation and termination policy.

Organize the chaos
of your small business