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Topic: Termination of employment

invitation to attend an exit interview
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Invitation to attend an exit interview

Invitation to attend an exit interview

Thousands of people resign from their jobs each year. By asking them to take part in a voluntary exit interview you can identify the reason behind their decision. The process may also be used to nip any hidden problems in the bud, thus avoiding a tribunal claim. Our letter invites an employee to attend this type of meeting.

Exit that way

It's not always the employer who terminates a contract of employment, i.e. via a dismissal; it can also be brought to an end by an employee's resignation. Sometimes, news of such a decision will be music to your ears - we've all had to suffer those employees! On other occasions, however, it might be bad news. When a resignation comes "out of the blue", it's likely that there are reasons behind it. For example, it could be because the employee has found work closer to home, or a position elsewhere with a higher rate of pay. In these situations, there may be little you can do to persuade them to stay; it may also not be financially viable for you to make them such an offer.

Alternatively, the employee might have decided to leave because they feel that there has been a fundamental breach of their terms and conditions of employment, or a breakdown in the mutual trust and confidence between you. The danger here is that they could be looking at issuing a constructive dismissal claim against you (assuming, of course, that they have at least two years employment). If made aware of this type of problem, there's no reason why you can't try to resolve it.


Best practice 

So with all resignations it's advisable to invite the employee involved to attend an exit interview. This is a voluntary process, i.e. the individual can’t be compelled to assist you. Most employees will, however, agree to this type of request; this is more likely if you impress upon them that any information provided is treated confidentially. Ideally, the meeting should be conducted by an impartial senior manager. The employee's line manager is not always the best choice here - after all, it's quite possible that their decision to leave is due to a problem with this individual.

Our Invitation to Attend an Exit Interview:

  • proposes a time and date for the exit interview
  • explains who will be conducting the meeting; and
  • sets out what matters will be discussed.

If you wish, you can enclose a copy of your exit interview questionnaire and ask the employee to return it to you completed prior to the meeting taking place. Not only could this give you advance warning of any problems, it will probably cut down the amount of time needed for this process.  

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