How to write a notice of termination of an employment contract


As an employer, you have the right to terminate the employment contract with your employees. An employment contract is most often terminated by submitting a notice, i.e. a declaration by one of the parties. When submitting a notice of termination of an employment contract, it is necessary to comply with the labor code, which regulates the notice periods, and indicates the situations in which the reason for terminating the cooperation should be indicated.

The notice of employment must contain several necessary elements:

  • place and date,

  • employer's data,

  • employee data,

  • a statement on the termination of the employment contract (with the date of signing the contract and indication of the exact job title for which the employee was employed),

  • indication of the reason for the termination of the contract,

  • a statement on the observance of the notice period and an indication of the date of its expiry,

  • information on the right to appeal and indication of the appropriate court,

  • signature of the party terminating the contract.

Termination of the employment contract

An employment contract is a contract with the greatest number of restrictions. First of all, it is necessary to check whether the employment contract can be terminated by the employee you want to dismiss. This is because the Labor Code specifies a group of people who are entitled to protection for work under a contract for an indefinite period. These are:

  • employees who are no more than 4 years away from reaching retirement age,

  • employees on vacation or sick leave,

  • pregnant women and employees using maternity leave and leave on the basis of maternity leave,

  • employees who are on parental leave or who are entitled to a reduced working time as part of the parental leave (the protection starts from the date of submitting the application for leave or reduction of working time),

  • members of the board of the company trade union organization,

  • members of the works council.


A termination notice given to an employee belonging to one of these groups will be valid and effective. The released person is entitled to appeal against the decision, it is also possible to refer the case to court. In such situations, the dismissed employee much more often wins, and the employer is obliged to pay compensation.

How to terminate the employment contract

The termination of the employment contract must be submitted in writing. They can be prepared in the form of a text file and printed (necessarily in 2 copies), signed and one copy submitted to the employee, and keep the other for himself.

Oral termination of the employment contract will be effective but illegal. The employee does not have to accept or sign the notice. The employer's declaration of intent to terminate the employment contract does not affect the effectiveness of the termination - it is important that the employee becomes familiar with it. The notice may be submitted to the employee, signed by the employer, or sent (with acknowledgment of receipt) to the home address. The term of the notice period will be counted from the date of confirmation of receipt of the letter, in the absence of receipt in Poland after double notification, there is a presumption of receipt. It is also possible to terminate the employment contract by e-mail.

Indication of the reason for the termination of the employment contract

Termination of an employment contract for an indefinite period must indicate the reason for the dismissal, it must also be justified, actual and specific. It does not have to describe a specific situation, although it may be, but it may be a series of general reservations, of which - in the event of a possible conflict - at least one of them will have to be substantiated in court.

The reason for the termination of the contract may be:

  • lack of care and diligence in the performance of employee duties,

  • failure to follow the employer's instructions,

  • being late for work,

  • showing up for work while drunk or drinking alcohol while working,

  • earlier imposition of an order penalty

  • undertaking a competitive activity or failure to consent to signing a non-competition agreement,

  • violation of work discipline,

  • lack of proper business relations,

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Such reasons are confirmed by courts in jurisprudence:

  • carelessness was recognized as a possible reason for the termination in the judgment of the Supreme Court of 3 August 2007, I PK 79/07, which stated that
    (...) lack of trust in an employee may constitute a justified reason for terminating an employment contract, especially when the employee holds a managerial position and his behavior is objectively incorrect, raises doubts as to the fairness of the procedure, even if there is no breach of employee duties,

  • lack of proper business relationships based on the judgment of the Supreme Court of April 18, 2001, I PKN 370/00, for which the reason for the termination is the lack of ability to properly arrange business contacts with subordinate employees and the conflicting way of performing work, in this case very large what mattered was that the reason was specific and understandable to the employee, moreover, the boss's decision was supported by the testimony of other employees.

However, this is not a closed catalog, the reasons for terminating the contract may be different, but it is important to be able to prove them, if necessary. It is worth keeping, among other things, e-mails that, for example, confirm that the employee did not fulfill his duties, or keep records of working time with marked delays, if this was the reason for the dismissal.

Withdrawal of the notice of termination of the employment contract

The termination of employment may be revoked. However, it requires the consent of the employee to continue working. To be sure, this consent should be given in writing by submitting the employee's declaration of will to continue working.

Employment contract notice period

Regardless of the type of contract, i.e. whether it is concluded for a definite or indefinite period, the notice period is calculated in the same way. In the case of contracts that lasted:

  • not more than 6 months - two weeks' notice is due,

  • at least 6 months - one month's notice is due,

  • minimum 3 years - 3 months' notice.

Employer's rights to the dismissed employee

During the notice period, we can grant the employee a holiday leave in the amount he / she was entitled to. Otherwise, you will have to pay him an equivalent for unused leave.

Sick leave during the termination of the contract

It should be remembered that the submission of a sick leave by an employee does not suspend the employer's decision and does not invalidate the employer's dismissal. This means that the contract will be terminated at the end of the notice period.


You cannot give notice to an employee who is on sick leave.

Shortening the notice period for an employment contract

In special cases, the notice period may be shortened. However, it must be agreed with the consent of both parties and approved, preferably by a written statement. The shortening of the notice period applies only to contracts which are entitled to a 3-month notice period and may be shortened to a minimum of one month. However, for the remaining time, the worker is entitled to compensation in the amount of the wages he would have received had he performed the work.