Terminating an employee is never easy. That’s why here at Plane, we try to make parting ways as painless as possible for both employers and employees alike. Here’s a quick guide on how to initiate employee offboarding through Plane.
When it comes to offboarding, we differentiate between voluntary and involuntary employee departures. In either case, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible and involve us from the start, so we can better support and guide you through the offboarding process.
We recommend including a probation period in each employment contract to protect both yourself and the employee. This usually ranges between 3 to 6 months, depending on the country.
For all offboarding, please involve the Plane team as soon as possible to help manage the process effectively and compliantly. We recommend you to inform us at least 30 days in advance.
Plane’s offboarding process and timelines differ for voluntary vs. involuntary terminations. In some cases, it may take up to 3 months to terminate an employee.
You can review and refer to your employment contracts for the most accurate information regarding terminations.
You can initiate the termination directly from the platform.
Voluntary Offboarding, aka Employee Resignations 👋
Voluntary offboarding refers to situations where the employee initiates their departure, e.g. by submitting a resignation letter.
Steps and Process
Please notify Plane as soon as possible if an employee informs you that they would like to resign.
The employee should email their resignation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, addressing it to the local entity that manages their employment and stating their termination date. If the employee wants to waive the notice period outlined in their employment contract, they may do so but must issue a statement that they are doing so in their resignation letter. In some cases, a wet signature will be required, but this is country-specific; we will let you know if this requirement applies.
Let us know how much paid time off (PTO) the employee has used so far. Employees are entitled to request that any accrued but unused PTO be paid out or used before their termination date.
Once we have received an employee’s resignation letter and PTO usage information, we will begin the offboarding process on our end.
Our legal team will prepare a release and/or waiver letter outlining the terms of termination (if applicable). Pilot will send the letter to the employee for review.
After receiving confirmation from the employee, Pilot will issue the release and/or waiver letter to the employee for their signature. A wet signature may be required, depending on the country.
The employee will receive their final pay, including any PTO owed (if applicable).
ℹ️ Important Notes
Timeline: Depending on the notice period specified in the employment contract, it can take anywhere between 1 to 4 weeks until an employee is terminated.
Documentation required: A resignation letter from the employee, details on their PTO usage.
Wet signatures may be required, depending on the country.
Involuntary Offboarding, aka Terminations ❗️
Involuntary offboarding refers to when the employer initiates the end of a work relationship, i.e. employee termination. However, such terminations outside the US can be tricky and time-consuming for employers. If you are planning to terminate an employee, please reach out to email@example.com right from the start to discuss the possibilities and timeline.
In most cases, an employee termination requires cause — you will need to have a valid and justifiable reason to terminate an employee. An employee dismissal should be treated as a last resort, proving that the employer has considered all other options before turning to termination.
For example: Say you have an employee who went through a performance improvement plan and received three written warnings, but still fails to meet expectations. You must have documentation of these instances and results; Plane will request these documents from you as part of the termination process before we decide the best approach.
If you do not have a justifiable reason to dismiss an employee, they may be able to take legal action against you for unfair dismissal — a lengthy, costly process that all parties should strive to avoid.
ℹ️ Important Notes
Outside of the U.S., “at will” termination is not common. In most countries, an employer must have a valid, just cause to terminate an employee.
Plane does not usually facilitate unilateral terminations or dismissals, due to risk of litigation that can expose employers to increased damages. Also, the grounds for these terminations may not be valid for an employer of record.
Mutual Termination Agreements 📝
Plane employs the practice of Mutual Termination Agreements (MTAs) for involuntary offboarding, which enable employers to terminate employees while minimizing costs and the risk of litigation. This agreement covers unused leave, notice periods, severance, and negotiated terms, in exchange for the employee waiving their right to challenge the termination.
It’s important to note that an employee cannot be forced or coerced into signing an MTA if they do not wish to do so.
If an MTA is not necessary or cannot be signed, we will conduct a thorough legal investigation, gathering information about the reason for the termination/dismissal. The purpose of this investigation is to ensure that an employee termination is conducted in full legal compliance with any relevant labor laws. Based on our findings, we will determine whether there is enough supporting evidence to proceed with a termination notice without requiring any additional agreements.
Steps and process
If you would like to terminate an employee, please contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options and timeline. You may need to provide reasonable notice, in line with the terms in your employment contract.
You must provide information on how much paid time off (PTO) the employee has used to date and the reason for termination.
Depending on the country and specific circumstances, minimum pay in lieu of notice and severance may be required. This information can often be found in the employment contract or will be provided by Pilot. Often additional severance is offered on the Mutual Termination Agreement (MTA) to exchange for signature.
Once we have received the necessary above information, Plane will begin the offboarding process on our end.
Our legal team will prepare the termination letter, release and waiver letter, or the MTA, and we will share it with you.
You need to inform the employee about the decision to end your employment relationship, and present the termination letter, release and waiver letter, or the MTA to them the same day
The employee will have time to review the MTA and raise any questions or concerns. In some countries, employees may be entitled to involve a lawyer.
If the employee agrees to the terms of the MTA, they will notify either you or Plane. We will provide further instructions on signing and returning the release and waiver letter or the MTA. Please note that a wet signature may be required in some countries; we will let you know if this requirement applies to your case.
Once the MTA is signed, final payments, including any accrued PTO, will be paid out to the employee.
If an MTA is not signed or not required, we will conduct a legal investigation before issuing a termination notice.
Severance requirements vary by country. Please review your employment contract and contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Payout of Unused Holiday/Vacation Leave
If an employee accrued unused PTO or vacation leave, they are entitled to either having this benefit paid out or using it before their termination date.
Pay in Lieu of Notice
Many employment contracts outline a notice period: how much time an employer or employee must provide before terminating a work relationship. In some cases, an employee won’t be required to work their notice and may be eligible to receive pay in lieu of notice if the employer or employee wants to terminate the employment relationship immediately.
However, notice periods and eligibility for pay in lieu of notice can vary by country and factors like an employee’s tenure, age, etc. Please review your employment contract and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
ℹ️ Important notes:
Timeline: Depending on the notice period specified in the employment contract and the employee’s tenure, the process for an involuntary termination can take anywhere from 2 weeks to more than 3 months.
Documentation (if applicable): Performance improvement plan, written warnings, misconduct, or any info relevant to termination or dismissal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the employee need to work their full notice period?
If you both agree to it, we may be able to terminate an employment contract without the employee working their full notice. Please contact us at email@example.com to discuss in more detail whether or not this is possible for your situation.
How do I start the termination process?
Log in to your account on manage.pilot.co, and go to the People tab. Click on the “Team” tab. Next, click on the “>” next to the employee's information on the right-hand side of the page. Finally, click on the three purple dots in the top right corner and select “Terminate Employee.”
Our team will then reach out to you to discuss the offboarding process since this can vary depending on the grounds for termination.
What documentation do I need to provide?
In both cases, you’ll need to provide Plane with information on how much PTO an employee has used and how much unused PTO they have accrued.
For voluntary offboarding, aka employee resignations, you’ll need to provide a copy of their resignation letter.
In the case of involuntary offboarding, aka employee terminations, you’ll need to provide documentation that proves you have just cause to dismiss an employee. For example, a performance improvement plan, records of employee misconduct, written warnings, etc.
How long does it take to terminate an employee?
For employee resignations, about 1 to 4 weeks. For involuntary terminations or dismissals, anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. The exact timeline depends on various factors, such as the terms of your employment contract, the laws of the country you’re operating in, and an employee’s tenure.
All employee terminations must be compliant with applicable international labor laws. We try to work as fast as possible within the guidelines of these laws while maintaining compliance.
How do I terminate an employee during probation?
The amount of notice you must give before you terminate an employee on probation depends on the terms of their employment contract. Keep in mind the dismissal procedure must be fair and you must give a valid reason for the dismissal. Similarly to the process for an involuntary termination, keep documentation of any performance issues, feedback or concerns that arise during their probationary period.
You can reach out to our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you follow the correct procedures for your situation.