From the Hotline: Best Times to Perform Terminations

Question: What is the best day of the week and time of the day to perform a termination of employment?

Answer: There are varying viewpoints as to the best time to terminate an employee; however, many HR professionals agree that the meeting should probably take place early in the week, and early in the day.

  • Try to hold the termination meeting at a time and location that will not parade the employee through the job site at a peak period.
  • Early-week terminations will allow the employee to reach out for any assistance and advice s/he may need to help cope during the week, including filing for unemployment and networking, as well as giving him/her an opportunity to begin searching for a new position. It will not leave the employee in a situation where s/he is facing a weekend of going over things without being able to seek help or gain new perspectives on next steps.

There are two points of view about layoffs during the holidays, so we recommend that you consider what you know about the employee involved when planning the termination discussion. In general, our best practice advice would be to wait until after the holidays if you are financially able to do so. There is one school of thought, however, that suggests letting the employee know PRIOR to the holidays so that the employee can manage gift spending during the period of unemployment.