Letter to Employee – First or Second Written Warning Regarding Unacceptable Conduct or Performance

Template written warning letter confirming the issue of a first or final second written warning in relation to unacceptable conduct or performance in the workplace.

Letter to Employee – First Written Warning or Second Written Warning Regarding Unacceptable Conduct or Performance

When unacceptable behaviour, conduct or performance is reported against an employee, as an employer you need to investigate and take action. If you have previously issued a verbal warning to an employee and the poor behaviour, conduct or performance still continues, or, due to the severity of a first-time incident, you may need to issue a first or a second written warning.

Whilst we recommend initially to counsel employees, assign a buddy or provide extra training around critical processes and protocols, if issues persist, then formal action is needed. Depending on the seriousness, you may decide to skip all of these steps and head straight to a final written warning or termination.

What to include in the letter?

This letter is issued after an investigation and discipline meeting has already occurred and is used to confirm the outcome; i.e. this is a formal written warning. Mention that this is a first or second warning about the employee’s behaviour, conduct or performance. It is important to note in the letter that a disciplinary meeting occurred and that the continuation of such unacceptable behaviour or performance will lead to further disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment.

It is important to mention the improvements that are required to be made by the employee and that the warning will be placed on their employment file for a set period of time. Remembering to include all crucial key points can be daunting, which is why having a well-designed template will all these crucial elements will make this task easier.

Key Points

  • Outline the issues via a detailed description of the matters
  • Mention the serious consequences of the issue
  • Describe the actions to which the employee has agreed
  • Include a timeline for improvement
  • Include the likely outcome of the next step should the employee’s behaviour, performance or conduct not improve.

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