39+ Sample Termination Checklist Templates

What Is a Termination Checklist?

A termination checklist is an official document you use for outlining every to-do list of what to accomplish when a worker leaves your business or organization. And since this document is a checklist, you will put checkmarks on items you have accomplished in the termination process. Hence, it will be easy to navigate the processes you have done or yet to finish. Thanks to termination checklists, a manager or HR will no longer have a difficult time managing terminated employees since they are guided accordingly.

According to SHRM, the average yearly turnover rate is 19%, meaning a business with 22 employees could lose four workers per year.

SHRM added that in 2017, about 40% of workers quit just after 12 months of employment.

Meanwhile, a study reported that employee turnovers cost nearly $10,000 or more.

Why Are Termination Checklists Important?

Termination checklists are essential to be prepared. Based on a survey, 40% of employees quit after 12 months of being employed. As an employer, expect to witness anyone filing for resignation or termination eventually. At least employers are prepared enough on how to handle termination since the checklist contains all the tasks to fulfill until a terminated employee leaves the business properly. In fact, the checklist helps a company be protected in case of any lawsuit whenever terminated workers are not handled appropriately.

Forbes also mentioned that it is crucial to have a carefully organized plan or step-by-step guide in terminating employees. And that is just what a termination checklist offers. Since there are tons of procedures to expect down from processing forms, interviewing employees, to updating the payroll, you will not forget any task with a reliable list in hand. More so, strictly following the termination checklist’s items will observe a smooth flow for the company on how to end terms with an employee.

Employee Termination Checklist Must-Haves

Indeed, it would help if you had a checklist to process a worker’s termination. But do you know the exact procedures taken for an employee termination? Yes, there are interviews, documents, and payrolls to manage. However, some important elements should be included in the checklist. So in this section, we outlined the employee termination checklist must-haves to incorporate in your list.

Talk with the Employee: When there is a resignation letter sent, or maybe you heard rumors about an employee planning to leave, the employer should reach out to that employee first. The purpose of this quick catchup is simply to confirm if the employee is actually quitting. A private conversation helps you know the reason behind the resignation and what date they will officially leave. Once it is confirmed that an employee quits, begin processing the items enlisted in the termination checklist.Schedule an Exit Interview: HR should inform the soon-to-be ex-employee about the official exit interview. Yes, a private conversation lets you learn a lot, but there are still other factors to discuss as well. And those aspects will be opened during the exit interview. This final interview is one of the most important parts of termination. It lets you discuss what benefits will be cut off, how much the final paycheck is, and other things to sign in an agreement or contract.Remove Employee Access: Since an employee will no longer be working under your organization, cut off that person’s access to your company’s official records, computer network, and other important passwords. Maybe that ex-employee plans to move to one of the industry’s tough competitors. And that ex-worker might leak some information coming from your enterprise’s records if access is still there. Thus, remove it once they are gone.Collect Any Business Property: Is the soon-to-be ex-worker using any of your company’s things or properties? Be sure to collect those items before the employee’s last day in the workplace. An example is when employees borrowed the company’s laptop, cellphone, credit cards, or vehicle. Without having those returned, it would be a huge loss for the company.Pass Some Forms: If there is any form or document to send to the employee and collect afterward, be sure to pass out such forms. Some documents that might be relevant are the resignation form, change of address form, clearance form, separation agreement, or termination of contract. You can make another checklist specifically for what forms to distribute so an employee can process all documents in just a day.Inform Other Members: Inform other employees about someone’s resignation. But no, this does not mean you should share about the termination in a loudspeaker. Just report it to those who need to know about the resignation. For example, the soon-to-be ex-worker’s team leader should know about the termination so the team leader can look for a replacement. Also, updating other members helps the rest of the team adjust, especially if the one who leaves is very important to the company.Distribute the Final Pay: Ex-employees will ask for their final paycheck, and it should be calculated properly. Sending the payment can be done in the exit interview, or maybe you can mail it after. Refer to official accounts at work since the paycheck should account for how much you owe to the worker and how much that employee owes you. Bear in mind that according to HuffPost, turnovers cost nearly $10,000 or more. And some considerations in calculating the final payment are the paid time off, bonus pay, and other commissions or reimbursements.Update Records: Most importantly, look through other records to ensure the ex-employee’s information will be changed from such records. Maintain accurate records as much as possible because maybe the worker is still part of the payroll even though he or she is no longer working under the company. And once all these elements are done, the employee is free to leave.

How to Make a Termination Checklist

You are already informed about the termination checklist’s must-haves, importance, and definition. Now, apply your knowledge further as we head to the meat of the article—the steps of creating the termination checklist itself. Rest assured that it is not that complicated, especially with our sample templates. Without further ado, here are the steps:

Step 1: Determine the Termination Checklist’s Purpose

While it is common that termination checklists are used for job terminations, it also applies to the functions. You can terminate a customer from a specific membership, a tenant from a rental, and many other examples. Make sure to specify the termination’s purpose because maybe your document is tailored for a rental termination yet your goal was actually for employee termination. Thus, relevance is key.

Step 2: List the Expected Tasks in the Termination Process

After you finalized the termination’s function, start mentioning the common tasks in the termination procedure. Next, list each task in a draft first. Also, visualize what the needed things to achieve before an employee leaves are; therefore, you do not need to contact the ex-employee again for any forgotten task. If you need help on what tasks to add, the must-haves of a termination checklist discussed earlier are your guide. Lastly, arrange the tasks in the proper sequence. Begin with what is worth doing first until last.

Step 3: Transfer the Listed Tasks to a Template

From the tasks you listed and arranged in a draft, transfer such details to the termination checklist template of your choice. If you still have not chosen one, feel free to explore the samples given above. Each template is ready to edit, download, and print. Also, do not just copy and paste the details from the draft to the template. Pick out only the relevant items to add and organize the entire content further.

Step 4: Organize with Labels and Categories

Speaking of organizing, you can effectively do that by grouping the listed details with the appropriate labels and categories. For example, you can group tasks according to their schedule. So what shall be done on Monday will be grouped under the Monday category. Or, you categorize items according to their common element. An example is to list the business property to return in one group and another for the list of documents to pass. And how you organize that depends on your preference or whichever is the easiest to work on.

Step 5: Come Up with an Easy-to-Use Checklist

If you are making a termination checklist that you will use for future terminations, then be sure the checklist’s structure is user friendly. Otherwise, you might have a hard time processing the termination if you depend on a hard-to-follow document. You can add instructions and other ways to make it easy to follow. That way, you will know how to work on the checklist and ensure that every item listed there will be processed successfully.


What are the two types of employee termination?

The two major types of employee termination are voluntary and involuntary termination. Voluntary termination happens when an employee leaves the business through his or her volition. Meanwhile, involuntary termination occurs when the manager initiated the termination. It usually takes place when an employee did poorly at work or the business needs to downsize, like during the pandemic.

Does an employer need to give a reason for termination?

There is no specific section in the Fair Work Act 2009 that an employer should give a probationary worker a reason upon terminating their employment. However, it is encouraged to state a reason, so the ex-employee understands the whole situation, which is fair.

What are some tips for handling termination?

Sometimes, it gets difficult to cope with an employee’s termination, especially if it is very unexpected, and if that employee is a huge deal to the organization. But you can handle it well by following these tips:

  • Be professional in talking with that employee to understand each other.
  • Open up questions, particularly about why the worker wants to leave.
  • Mention the final tasks for the terminated employee to complete before officially leaving.
  • Check your records and focus on removing the terminated worker from the payroll.
  • Please do not ignore the other employees as they might have questions about the termination.

There is no denying that terminating employees can be an intricate procedure, which is most challenging for employers who are busy with other tasks. But do not treat an employee’s resignation as a bother because leaving also helps people gain new experiences, grow personally and professionally, and look for better opportunities. What matters most is that when someone resigns, you know what to do—download professionally-made termination checklists now!