Cancellation letter: sample, tips, deadlines& info

If you are unhappy with your job or are looking for a new job, you should quit your job. But it is not enough to shout to your boss in the hallway that you want to give notice.

Rather, the termination must be in writing. t-online shows you which deadlines employees must observe when giving notice, what you should bear in mind when writing a letter of termination – and provides you with a sample for such a letter.

What do I have to bear in mind when sending a letter of termination?

If you want to terminate a job, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The following points are important for a notice of termination that complies with the rules:

  • Form: In any case, you must give notice in writing – on paper (§ 623 BGB). It is not sufficient if you call your boss, write an e-mail or just send a Whatsapp message. The written form is mandatory.
  • date: You must specify a specific date in the letter of termination. The easiest way to do this is to use the phrase "at the earliest possible date" in the subject line select.
  • Uniqueness: It must be clear that you are resigning. Therefore, refrain from elaborate sentences, but name clearly what you want. Write something like the word "resignation in the subject line and start the first sentence of the letter with the words "I hereby give notice of termination . ". In addition, you must include a personnel number in the letter of termination.
  • Access: It is important when your employer receives the termination letter. In employment law, this is called access. If you deliver the letter personally, it is valid at this moment. If you send it by mail, it will not be valid until your employer has received it – that is, it has arrived in the company’s mailbox.
  • Signature: You must sign the termination letter in any case. An electronic signature does not apply here.

Tip: To ensure that your employer receives the letter of termination, either drop it in the mailbox personally or hand it in and ask for written confirmation of receipt. You can also use a messenger. Registered mail is not suitable. Read more here.

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These elements in the termination letter are optional

  • Reason for termination: You do not have to include this in a regular notice of termination. This is only necessary in the case of extraordinary termination. Your employer, on the other hand, may have to give a reason if he wants to terminate your employment (see below).
  • Employment reference: You have a right to an employer’s reference. You should ask for this in any case if your employer does not issue one to you of its own accord. Read more here.
  • Acknowledgement: If you are parting on good terms with the company, add a short thank-you note at the end, such as "I would like to thank you for the good cooperation over the past years".

Good to know: Instead of giving notice, you can also agree on a termination agreement with your boss. However, this has some pitfalls. Read more here.

Sample: How a letter of resignation could look like?

In the box below, you will find a simple and brief Sample letter of resignation. Note: Above the termination letter, you should include your address as well as that of your employer or. Company, i.e., the letterhead, the current date, and a clear subject – such as "Notice of Termination" – preferably in the subject line.

Dear Ms. Mustermann,
I hereby give notice of termination of my employment contract with due notice as of the next possible date. Please confirm the receipt of the notice of termination as well as the termination date of our employment relationship.
I request the issuance of a qualified employer’s reference.
Yours sincerely
First name and surname
(handwritten signature)

You can copy this sample directly from this text and paste it into a blank Word document. To do this, select the text, click the right mouse button and select "copy" from.

Another possibility is: You mark the text and press the keys "Ctrl"/"cmd" and "C" on your keyboard. To insert the text in the document, use the key combination "Ctrl"/"cmd" and "V" or again the right mouse button.

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Which deadlines should I observe when giving notice of termination??

If you wish to terminate your contract, you must observe a so-called period of notice. The Legal notice period is four weeks before the end of the month or before the 15. of one month. Four weeks means exactly 28 days. Read more here.

However, it may be that the employment contract contains a extended notice period is regulated. In this case, you need to consider this deadline. A notice of termination is only valid when the letter has reached your employer (see above).

Tip: In the best case, you should already have a job in prospect before giving notice or even have signed a new contract with another employer. If not, you should register as a job seeker immediately after quitting your job. Here you can read what you should know about this.

You can give notice not revoked unilaterally. That means: If you have quit your job as an employee, you should talk to your boss about it, if you want to take it back. You can find out more here.

Must the employer justify his dismissal?

It depends on the size of the company and how long you have already been working there. If you have been working for a company with more than ten employees for at least six months, your employment relationship is subject to the German Dismissal Protection Act (Kundigungsschutzgesetz).

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The consequence: Your employer cannot simply terminate an employee without cause.

Possible reasons under the Dismissal Protection Act are personal, behavioral or operational terminations. Read more about the reasons for termination here.

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