How to write a letter to terminate an employment contract?

My friend has signed a contract with a company which she is supposed to serve for 1 year. However, due to unforseen circumstances, she is unable to fulfill the contract.
How can she write a letter to inform the employer regarding the intention to breach the contract, without hurting any party’s feelings?

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5 Responses to “How to write a letter to terminate an employment contract?”

  1. intracircumcordei Says:

    Ask to revise the contract.

    If there are failure to perform clauses this is already mitigated.

    That is if she breaches there are likely terms within the contract that delegate the result of breach of contract.

    If she explains the situation and it is reasonable they should understand.

    If it somehow is due to her not understanding a portion of the contract then the contract is not legally binding, because a contract must be understood to be bindable.

    If circumstances change.. and it is at no fault to herself then she should not be liable, if she did not agree to insure those portions of the terms. That is if the contract fails beyond her powers to enforce the contrac tthen she is not liable for breach.. but if she did have the capacity to perform then she would be in breach.

    But really the only thing that can be done is to discuss the diffiiculties and see if they may be able to be mitigated in both parties interests.

    PS if there is nothing to discuss penalties for non performance than at law there is no set penalty for non performance, nor was the position expected to must last 1 year.. only that the contract period was one year.. and that there was no inherent penalties for non performance.

    However the company may have grounds for tort if there was intentional damage caused to the company contrary reasonable good will.

  2. David M Says:

    Forget hurting people’s feelings, what does the contract say?

    What are the conditions under which the contract can be unilaterally breached?

    What considerations did she receive to sign the contract?

    Life is full of unforeseen circumstances, which is why contracts are drawn up.

    How would you feel if the shoe were on the other foot and the company said, sorry, we just can’t keep you on even though you have a contract, we’re letting you go???

    Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I think prior to writing a letter, she should discuss her situation with her immediate supervisor and/or somebody in Human Resources.

    It may turn out to not be a big deal.

  3. Akeem Rashad Says:

    She may be held liable if she breaks the contract. Have her read the fine print. The best way is to go in and talk with whoever she is signed to and see if they can work it out in a friendly way. Or get a lawyer and be prepared to pay.

  4. verybizzy2000 Says:

    What’s the nature of her employment? If it is in sales, I would not be shocked if she signed a covenant not to compete, namely that for a certain period of time after her employment is terminated, she will not work for a competitor. In those instances, the restriction on her taking a new job in a similar field must be reasonable as to both time and geographical territory. Those covenants are often only enforceable when the employee breaches the employment agreement, not the other way around, so if she is expecting to take a job elsewhere, she needs to be very careful about her actions.

  5. hmmmm Says:


    Dear Sirs:

    This letter is to inform you that due to unforseen circumstances I am giving the required_______________ weeks notice. I have enjoyed working with your company.



    (Keep a copy