How to Write a Forced Resignation Letter (With Examples)
Updated 26 May 2023
An employer may ask an employee to write a forced resignation letter, rather than have them end their employment contract. This may occur in professional organisations for different reasons, including unresolvable employee actions. If you're unfamiliar with writing a resignation letter, it may be helpful to learn how to structure one to ensure you do it professionally. In this article, we discuss what a forced resignation letter is, how and when to write one, explain why it is beneficial and provide a template and examples of forced resignation letters.
What is a forced resignation letter?
Understanding what a forced resignation letter is and why you're being forced to write one is important. A forced resignation letter officially informs your employer that you're leaving the organisation, usually with immediate effect. This letter gives you the opportunity to explain the circumstances of your departure and express your viewpoints.
A forced resignation letter allows you to list any outstanding payments owed by the company to you and note any tasks you were working on that remain unfinished. The resignation letter is typically formal, although the employer is forcing the resignation on the employee.
How to write a forced resignation letter
Learning how to write a forced resignation letter is important before you can draft one. You may disagree with your employer's decision when writing it. While your feelings are perfectly valid, try to remain formal and use this process to reflect on your time with the company. Be objective about your accomplishments and honestly assess your shortcomings. Remember that this moment doesn't define you professionally. As you reflect, channel your positivity into your future job prospects and write your forced resignation letter with this in mind.
Here are some steps for how to write a forced resignation letter:
1. State your last day of employment
Ensure your employer knows when your last day of work is going to be. State this clearly in the opening of your resignation letter. Usually, people choose to resign with immediate effect.
2. Explain why the company forced you to resign
Clearly state the reason or circumstance for your resignation. Make sure your remarks are factual and courteous. An employer is likely to have given you a logical reason when proposing a forced resignation, so ensure you include this in your resignation letter.
3. Share your point of view
A forced resignation letter gives you the opportunity to present your thoughts and opinions. As part of the main body of the letter, describe your version of events objectively. Consider areas where you understand the company's decision and apologise for any shortcomings if necessary. Outline how you feel the company could have improved its support. For example, you may provide constructive feedback on the training or support you received for particular tasks. Justify your actions rationally and professionally.
4. Include your unfinished tasks
Make sure your employer is aware of any tasks that you have not yet completed. By doing this, your employer can transfer clients or workloads to the remaining team members. This reflects a dignified resignation on your part and your employer is likely to appreciate the courtesy. Keeping your communication respectful may also help you gain future employment. If you ever require a letter of recommendation for a prospective job role, leaving a civil and friendly last impression on the company can make them more inclined to help you.
5. List what the company still owes you
If the company still owes you any outstanding payments, describe the amount clearly and accurately. Include your preferred method of receiving the payment alongside this. Typically, most employees who resign ask that their last paycheck includes this amount. You can also ask for assistance in transferring funds if you have questions about retirement or pension funds.
6. Be professional and civil
In the interest of your mental well-being and future job prospects, try to leave the company on a positively. Be polite and professional, even though you're resigning unwillingly. You may benefit from this in the long run if you want to add your manager's details to your reference document.
When can you write a forced resignation letter?
The human resources (HR) department or your manager may contact you to consider a forced resignation. Typically, you discuss the reasons behind the decision in a meeting with your employer or supervisor. Employers may ask you to resign, rather than immediately end your contract, in two situations. The first is usually due to employee performance, while the second is usually budget constraints or cuts. A forced resignation letter may contain different information depending on the reasons you're leaving the company.
Benefits of a forced resignation
Compared to immediate termination, forced resignation letters make finding a new job easier. Prospective employers see that you have left your job on good terms and it's unlikely to affect your application. A forced resignation letter lets you decide on the last day of your employment. It also gives you an opportunity to inform your employer if there are any clients that require redirection.
Forced resignation letter template
A forced resignation letter follows a similar layout to a regular resignation letter. Here is a template to use when writing a forced resignation letter:
[Date of letter]
Dear [Employer's name]
It is with regret that [Statement of resignation] from my position as [your current job title] at [company name]. My [state last day of employment].
Due to the [reason behind your resignation], management has recommended that I resign from my current position.
My time at this company has been valuable to me. [Enter the statement of reflection].
On the date of my resignation, the company still owes me [enter any outstanding payments here]. I am willing to discuss this payment with Human Resources to determine a payment plan, but I would appreciate it being added to my last paycheck. In terms of unfinished tasks, I have yet to complete [outline tasks and clients that require attention].
[Enter a sentence of gratitude].
[Your name and signature]
Forced resignation letter examples
There are two main types of forced resignation letters, as shown below:
Forced resignation letter due to an event
Below is an example letter is a response to a specific event that has resulted in a forced resignation:
Dear Scott Simmons,
It is with regret that I submit my resignation from my position as a marketing assistant at Best Brand Marketing Ltd. My last day of employment will be on the 25/10/2020.
Due to the unforeseen circumstances of my actions, management has recommended that I resign my current position. The outcome of events has disappointed me, but I understand that the company is restructuring in the future.
My time at this company has been valuable to me. Through this position, I have been able to discover my strengths and weaknesses. I have learned a wealth of useful skills that I can continue to develop and apply in my future endeavours.
On the date of my resignation, the company still owes me $160 for my overtime work. I am willing to discuss this payment with Human Resources to determine a payment plan, but I would appreciate it being added to my last paycheck. In terms of unfinished tasks, I have yet to complete the online photo portfolios for my two clients. Please redirect my clients to Angela in the marketing department. They can handle all of my correspondence with clients and develop a plan for moving forward without me.
I appreciate this opportunity and wish the company continued success.
Forced resignation letter due to budget cuts
Below is an example of a forced resignation because of department or company budget cuts:
Dear Sophie Davis,
To my dissatisfaction, I am resigning from my position as teaching assistant at Bridley Primary School. My resignation is effective immediately.
It was a pleasure to work at Bridley Primary School, but budget cuts have left the department unable to pay my salary. Although I wish we could have reached an agreement that allowed me to grow in my career, it appears that it is not possible. As a result, I am hereby forced to resign from this position and shall seek employment elsewhere.
I am extremely grateful for the time I have spent at this organisation. It has been a pleasant atmosphere to work in, and the team members were very helpful. I shall miss all the people I have had the privilege of knowing during my employment.
I accept the severance package that you have offered. The remaining employees can cover my current duties until you find a resolution.
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