10 – Letting Staff Go

SIL Advisory Notice

  • Notice Number: 10
  • Notice Date:
  • Distribution: SIL Area HR leaders – Forward to all Area Directors, Unit leaders & Unit HR teams Alliance Representatives – forward to Organisation and your team members. Cc: HeRMiTs where appropriate please forward to your teams


This advisory notice does NOT advise about disciplinary issues. It can address situations such as poor work performance, poor teamwork, unacceptable attitudes, etc.

NOTE: Line Manager is a term used to describe the immediate supervisory level of a staff person. The title may be: supervisor, department manager, team leader, etc.

Recent experience has shown that Unit leaders and department managers are struggling to end people’s assignments well – especially when the reason for ending the assignment or employment is NOT for non-compliance with SIL’s Behaviour Code of Conduct.  This HR advisory notice should be read in conjunction with Advisory Notice #   05 When Staff Need to Go.


to Unit leaders and Line managers (advisory notice 12 is to HR workers on the same topic) 

The principles listed below should be followed to ensure you meet SIL’s procedural expectations. If you don’t follow the correct procedures, it is possible that the staff person could appeal a decision. The appeal process is in place to ensure fair treatment of staff. However, following the correct procedural expectations can reduce the risk of grounds for such an appeal.

Please note! At times there will be sufficient reason to end the assignment immediately. However, if the concern has been ongoing, make sure you have followed the steps for progressive discipline before proceeding with the steps below!


  1. Ending of an assignment does NOT need to be based on a workplace inquiry. It is sufficient if the staff person is not performing their duties, is causing disruption or is not an adequate fit on a work team.
  2. Releasing someone from an assignment can be the right approach for a team, but may be positive for the individual as well, even if it isn’t recognized at the time.
  3. As a Unit leader or department manager contact your HR department early – when you recognize performance concerns, disruptions or when you sense that the position may not be a good fit. Your HR department will assist leaders and managers through personnel issue processes. HR has the responsibility to protect staff (including managers, leaders AND the staff person) and to protect SIL.
    1. Leaders and managers must ensure their HR manager / leader is involved as soon as an initial issue arises, which includes considering ending of an assignment.
    2. NO ACTION should be taken without the assistance and approval of HR.
  4. There must be adequate reason(s) for the dismissal process to move forward.  Your HR department will help you objectively identify the reason(s).
  5. In most cases, and whenever possible, the staff person will have been given adequate opportunity to confront, address, and correct identified issues. However, this may not always be the case. Contact HR for guidance about whether the situation requires confrontation.
  6. All discussion MUST be documented. Keeping HR in the loop helps support transparency and the right approach when facing personnel issues. A lack of documentation should not prevent managers and leaders  from reaching out to HR.
  7. Seconded staff:
    1. the sending organisation must be kept informed during the entire process – preferably as soon as a concern is identified. Your HR manager has the responsibility to communicate to the staff person’s sending organization.
    2. If immediate dismissal of a seconded staff person is being considered, the sending organisation must be informed BEFORE the dismissal is carried out. Government to employment or organization requirements of the sending organization may impact the process steps. HR will request the sending organization to take NO action until SIL has  delivered its administrative letter.
  8. All steps and decisions made relating to staff persons MUST be fair and professional.
  9. All communications must be documented and securely filed.


  1. As a Unit leader or department manager ensure discussions are documented (see Advisory Notice # 05 ).
  2. Ensure HR is contacted when considering  the process of ending an assignment.
  3. An administrative letter needs to be checked by HR prior to giving it to the staff person.  HR will ensure the letter does not breach HR principles or local/sending organization employment laws or requirements. HR will ensure basic HR process is followed such as the person having the right to have someone accompany them to the meeting.
  4. Different organisational Units or departments have different protocols for who holds the final “goodbye” conversation and when or how it should happen. Ensure that a clear plan is established (by the HR and the Line manager) on who has which role in this meeting.
  5. Before the final conversation occurs, both HR and the Line manager should be prepared for the possibility of an angry response from the staff person. Make provision for security personnel to be available, removal of IT systems,removal of access to corporate data or assets, the return of keys and equipment.
  6. The meeting should minimally include the staff person’s manager and HR.  Please ensure the staff person sits where they can exit the room without obstruction.

HR exists to support leaders, managers and staff, to encourage the best process is followed, and to be available when called upon for guidance and advice.

This Line managers Advisory Notice is supported by the 12 – HR advisory – HR Processes on Letting people go.

Actions Requested of HR and SIL Leaders

Please ensure all Line manager receive this now and in any new orientation you provide line managers so subsequent line managers also know what to do.