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Writing a reduction in force letter can be difficult. In this lesson, we’ll provide a sample letter template that can be customized for your organization to help make the notification process simple and organized.

To the Letter

We author many letters in our lives: personal notes to friends, thank you letters after a job interview or perhaps a letter of complaint about a product or service that did not live up to expectation.

A reduction in force letter should be informational and sincere.
reduction in force, letter, notification, human resources, RIF

No letter is harder to write than one informing someone they are losing their job. This lesson will provide an overview in writing a reduction in force letter, complete with a template you can customize for your needs.

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Writing a Reduction in Force Letter

Whatever the reason, a reduction in force, abbreviated RIF, is not a pleasant situation for anyone in an organization, from top management to front-line employees to human resources professionals.

Other Study.com lessons on the topic establish definitions and guidelines for an RIF. Reduction in Force Definition and Guidelines To review, a reduction in force usually happens as the result of funding shortages, business restructuring or changes in work requirements, resulting in employees losing their positions.Human resources (‘HR’) professionals must often be the bearers of bad news concerning reductions in force. Frequently, HR is tasked with notifying individuals whose jobs are being eliminated. A personal letter to affected employees is one method for communicating the impending RIF.

Take a look at this template that can be used to notify impacted staff.

SampleRIF Letter

Date:Employee Name:Title:Department:Dear (Name):Due to funding cuts (or organization restructuring or changes in work requirements), our company has found it necessary to eliminate various positions (or departments). We have tried diligently over the past six months (or applicable time period) to cut costs and avoid this decision, but with limited success.

Unfortunately, your role with us has been identified as one affected by the reduction in force. Your last day of employment is (date). This is a (permanent or temporary) layoff until (date).

You final payroll check includes payout for accrued Paid Time Off (or vacation or sick days).If you have medical benefits through (company name), those will be paid through (date). You will soon receive a COBRA notice about continuing your medical, dental and/or vision coverage.If applicable, please submit all requests for reimbursement of eligible expenses as soon as possible so we can promptly pay those to you.Unemployment benefits are available to you through the (name of state) department for unemployment benefits.Employees eligible for a severance package have already been contacted by a member of Human Resources. Please sign and return the severance agreement.

Once submitted, you will receive a severance check for the amount of ($).Please turn in any keys, badges or equipment belonging to the company.We regret that a reduction in force is necessary, and we recognize the strain this places on you and your family. We appreciate everything you contributed during your employment here. Please keep us informed of any changes in contact information, in the event we need to reach you.

If we can assist in any way during this transition or answer questions, please contact (Human Resources representative).Sincerely,(Human Resources Manager)

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, we have tried to identify an acceptable reduction in force letter template that can be customized in the event your organization must conduct layoffs due to funding, restructuring or other reasons. The letter covers important points like the employee’s last date of employment, whether the layoff is temporary or permanent, information regarding benefits and unused leave as well as an optional severance package option. Employees should also be reminded to turn in any company property.

A reduction in force letter should be informational and sincere, but to the point. Always give employees a point of contact in the event of questions or concerns.


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