English for Firing Someone Gently

Choose your time wisely. Do not fire someone just before a work party or event. Never fire someone on a Friday because they will have the weekend to think things over and come into work the following Monday ready for a fight, or even worse.

Do not make small talk with the individual. Ask them to take a seat and introduce whoever else is in the room. You can then begin by saying the following:

“This is not an easy task for me to do. I am afraid we will no longer require your services and we will be letting you go. We appreciate all the hard work that you did for us. It was a very difficult decision for us to come to but unfortunately it was one that had to be made.”

You can then go on to list the arrangements that you have made to ease the loss of work for your employee.

“We have made the following arrangements for you in order to ease this difficult transition. You will be employed for 30more days with the company. A 3 month salary package will be made available to you. We have made a psychologist available to you at no cost. We have written you a good letter of recommendation for any job that you apply for.”

You can then go on to apologise further to the employee for their loss of employment and then ask them if they have any questions. At the end of the conversation ask them to keep the news confidential, if they tell the other employees what has happened to them you may have a lot of people panicking that they too will lose their jobs. Apologise once again for the loss of their job and bid them farewell. As good measure you can give the employee the rest of the day off.

As soon as the employee leaves the premises, call your other employees together, tell them that the employee is no longer working for the company (but avoid giving details), and reassign their duties to other employees. That will prevent a “rumour mill” from starting and will protect the employees against any negative phone calls or e-mails they may receive from the terminated employee.

Here are some phrases that you can use in place of the word “fire”:
“We are letting you go”
“We will no longer require your services”
“Your employment has been terminated”