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Warning Letter

Getting away after doing wrong things is not easy these days. Every organization has its systems in place to keep a tab on what is happening around vis-à-vis their employees. Systems such as surveillance cameras or regular inputs from HR department or organization’s own informers are various ways to keep a check on the happenings around. Salaries have increased manifold and so have the expectations. If an employee falls little short of the expectations, s/he is warned to pull up.

A Warning Letter is a letter that is given to an employee when s/he is not performing up to the mark. It is purely an official letter that is written by a representative of the organization under unavoidable circumstances. A Warning Letter is a red-tag on the employee’s record. But most companies give a few verbal warnings before issuing an official warning letter.

Since a Warning Letter is the one that has been issued because of inappropriate behavior or work pattern by an employee, the tone should be firm but not rude. Only the reason for issuance of the letter should be dealt with in the Warning Letter. Careful use of adjectives or words should be done while writing this letter. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Deal with the problem and not the person”, it is always advisable to address the problem and not to get personal with the individual concerned.

The date of the Warning Letter should also be clearly mentioned. The repercussions of not respecting the warning being given in the letter should also be highlighted so that the individual is aware of the actions that can be taken against her/him. A copy of the letter should always be signed as acknowledgement of receipt by the individual to whom the letter is being issued for any legalities involved.


  • A Warning Letter is purely an official one so the tone should be very firm
  • Efforts should be made to only address the problem or issue in the letter
  • Do not get personal about the individual to whom the letter has been issued
  • Ensure that appropriate adjectives are used in the letter but only the ones that do not sound insulting
  • Two copies of the letter must be printed and one should be kept as acknowledgement from the employee
  • The Warning Letter should clearly indicate after how many verbal warnings has this letter been issued
  • The date on the letter should also be clearly mentioned on the letter
  • The letter must be short and crisp so that it retains its impact
  • Repercussions of not going or respecting the warning forms an integral part of the letter
  • The letter should be very clear with all points taken into consideration leaving no room for ambiguity


Name and address of employee to whom warning is being given


Subject: Warning letter

Dear Ms/Mr __________

We have given repeated verbal warnings to you regarding coming late to office every other day. The management has noticed that no heed has been paid to those warnings. So we are writing this warning letter to you. You are requested to strictly start following the office timings with immediate effect failing which we will be compelled to start deducting a day’s salary for every day that you come late to work.

Please sign a copy of this letter in acknowledgement of receipt of this letter.

Hope to see you complying with the company rules.

Best regards,

(Name of signing authority)

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