COVID-19 Layoff Letter Sample

covid19 layoff letter sample

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a significant amount of financial turbulence of small and medium-sized businesses. And unfortunately, for many of us, a few weeks where no revenue is coming through the door is not sufficient to keep the lights on.

The first thing you should recognize as an employer is that this is a difficult time and most of what you’re about to experience is out of your control. Take pride in the fact that you employed someone in the U.S. for a significant amount of time and provided resources to put food on their table.

Termination, during this time, can be difficult. Remember that you are not technically terminating your employee. You are laying them off. And these are two different terms you should be familiar with.

Termination for cause would be when the employee takes an action after one or two disciplinary measures that causes you to have to remove them from the workforce.

Layoffs are more common and happen when the employer can’t sustain the cost of keeping the employee on the payroll. In this instance, your employee will be able to file for unemployment.

Ways you can help your employee after the layoff:

Sample Layoff Letter Due to COVID-19

Dear Employee—

I want to say this has been a difficult time for us all. And we have been transitioning into a unique place in our society. One that is full of scarcity and fear for our well-being. This is a difficult time for everyone.

This decision is not an easy one. In order to protect our business from being existent in the coming weeks, we must make hard decisions. And one of those decisions is to reduce our payroll in order to pay other expenses while revenues have declined.

I want you to understand that this is a difficult decision and one that I wish we didn’t have to make. It is unfair that you have to suffer the repercussions of this. But mind you, we hope that this is temporary and that there will be a time we can employ every single one of you.

By doing this now, we hope this ensures we can bring everyone back.

I’m here to help in a variety of ways. From filing employment to writing recommendation letters and being a sounding board.

We will be speaking with each one of you directly if you are involved in these layoffs.

I want to thank you for your effort in this business.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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