Warning letter

Welcome to our Template Tool

This tool will help you prepare a warning letter or a record of a formal performance meeting to give to an employee who is having ongoing performance problems.

The tool will ask you simple questions and use your answers to tailor a letter for you. You will be able to save and edit your letter at the end.

Important information

Click the ! buttons for important information about workplace rights and obligations

Get help

Click the ? buttons for explanations or help answering the question

To protect your privacy none of the information you enter is stored in this tool or captured by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Before you begin: To prepare your letter you’ll need to know if there has been a performance discussion with the employee, what was discussed at this meeting and whether any previous formal warnings have been issued to this employee.

All fields are required unless marked optional.

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If you don’t wish to use this tool, you can download and complete one of the following blank template letters:

Performance meeting

Have you met with the employee and had a formal discussion about their performance?

The Fair Work Ombudsman does not support issuing formal warning letters without prior performance discussion(s).

Your employee should understand why their performance is unacceptable and be given an opportunity to respond.

We advise you do not issue a warning letter until you have met with your employee to discuss their performance issues.

If you answer 'no' to this question you will not be able to proceed with this template.

Our free Managing performance online course has practical tips and practice scenarios to help you prepare for a performance conversation with your employees.

Letter details

Introduction details

Employee's address

Purpose of letter

What is the purpose of this letter?

Record of performance meeting

It is important to keep a written record of all performance discussions, even when a formal warning is not required.

An accurate record can assist you in future interactions if the employee’s performance does not improve and further action is required.

Warning letter

A warning letter is a formal document that confirms and addresses performance issues with an employee.

Issuing a formal warning can help you to resolve performance issues before the situation becomes worse.

Final warning letter

A final warning letter is a formal document that confirms and addresses ongoing and serious performance issues with an employee.

A final warning letter informs the employee that continued poor performance will result in termination of employment. Final warning letters are usually issued after a formal warning(s) has been issued and performance has not improved.

Find out more about managing underperformance.

Performance meeting

Did the person signing this letter attend the meeting?
Did anyone else attend the meeting?

For example, a witness or support person.

Has the employee received previous formal warnings on these issues?
How was the most recent warning given?

Closing remarks