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If you are an experienced professional, then you may have an idea about resignation and relieving letters. They form an important part of the resignation procedure and most managers need to be careful when drafting them. If you aspire to become a manager, then you need to know all there is to learn about writing such letters. But before we get to the format and tips for writing a decent relieving letter, let’s understand why this letter is important.
What is a relieving letter?
A relieving letter is a formal letter that informs an employee that he/she has been relieved of their duties at the organization. It is a response or acknowledgment to the resignation letter drafted by an employee and represents a termination of the employment contract between the employer and employee.
Why is it important?
A relieving letter serves as evidence for future employers that the said employee no longer works in their previous firm. It is also proof that the employee has cleared all their pending responsibilities with their existing employer. Finally, the letter is also a testament to the fact that you do not possess any of the company’s assets.
Since these letters are such an important part of the employee termination process, it is important to know their right format.
While the exact relieving letter format differs from one company to another, there is a general format you should know about-
Name of employee: _______________
Dear (Employee Name),
(Body of the letter)
(Name and signature of manager)
What makes a good relieving letter?
Whenever you write such a letter, you need to ensure that you cover all the following aspects –
- Letter issuing date. To avoid any kind of confusion during the termination of an employee’s services, you should clearly mention the date on which the letter was issued.
- Details of the employee. Add the complete details of the concerned employee – like designation, contact information, etc.
- The subject of the letter. The subject of this letter should specify exactly what it is about. You can simply write “Relieving Letter” as the subject.
- Details about resignation. Here, you should first mention that the resignation letter handed in by the employee has been accepted. You can then proceed to state all other relevant details about the resignation. These include specifics for handing over duties to someone else and the date of the employee’s last working day.
- A statement of appreciation for the employee. You should end the letter with a note of appreciation for the employee. Also, make sure to wish them well for their future endeavors.
- Final salutations and signature. The final salutations and signature of the relieving authority (you).
How to request a relieving letter?
Most organizations have a standard procedure of providing relieving letters to their employees as an acknowledgment of resignation. However, if your organization does not provide you with one, you will have to place a request for it. Here is how you can ask for one-
- First, send in an email requesting this letter and subsequently notify your direct reporting manager. You can also contact your human resource personnel.
- Next, find out about any documentation or formalities that may be pending from your side.
- Keep the communication channel open between you and your employer.
- You may need to seek an appointment with the Human Resource Manager or Director in person and explain your reasons for requesting a relieving letter.
- Finally, if your employer does not provide you with a standard hard copy version of this letter, go head and ask for a soft copy.
Difference between relieving and experience letters
Although most organizations provide their departing employees with both an experience letter and a relieving letter, there are some that club both. Here’s how the two are different-
- An experience letter is just a statement of the experience you have earned at your existing organization. Whereas, a relieving letter states your termination with the existing organization.
- The former may also provide a statement of your conduct within the organization through your entire tenure. On the other hand, the latter only acknowledges and accepts your resignation from the organization.
- An experience letter does not have any details about the handover of job responsibilities but simply a statement of all the responsibilities an employee was given. However, the relieving letter has complete details about the responsibilities that need to be handed over and to whom.
Things to keep in mind
- Draft this letter on the company’s letterhead because that is proper evidence of who the sender of the letter is. The company’s letterhead usually has the full postal address as well as other details, like registration number, address, etc.
- Always begin the letter with the phrase “To Whomsoever It May Concern” unless you have been specifically asked to mention the employee’s name.
- Confirm that the employee’s resignation letter has been received and accepted within the first couple of lines of this letter.
- When proofreading the letter, remember to cross-check with all the employee and organization details.
- Also, remember to keep your writing brief, professional, and to the point. This means you should only give out as much information as is needed and nothing more.
1. Can my employer terminate me without a relieving letter?
In cases, where the said employee has a negative track record, a history of misconduct, or unethical practices, then the company may refuse to provide a relieving letter.
2. Is it possible to send a request for a relieving letter after leaving a company?
Yes, you can request your previous employer for a relieving letter by referencing your resignation letter. Remember to keep the resignation application email and this email in the same loop to make the process easy.
3. Is it possible for absconding employees to get a relieving letter?
Although absconding from employment is a highly unethical practice, an employee can still request a relieving letter after doing so. However, in such a case, the employer reserves the right to refuse to provide the letter.
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