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Employee exit checklist

If an employee is leaving your business — for whatever reason — use this checklist to make sure you've done everything you need to do.

Before they leave

They should:

  • complete any reasonable tasks and handovers
  • save important files and emails in a shared drive.

You could:

  • assign their ongoing tasks to another person
  • conduct an exit interview, to get any final feedback from the employee
  • hold a farewell morning tea.

On their last day

You should:

  • collect any assets — computer, phone, uniform, books etc
  • collect their keys and security pass
  • set up an auto-forward and out-of-office auto-reply on their emails
  • forward their phone calls, and set up an out-of-office message on their voicemail
  • remove their access to online systems, e.g. the finance system and the shared file server.

You could:

  • provide a reference or offer to act as a referee.

You must:

After they've left

You should:

  • remove them from email distribution lists and contact lists
  • remove their access to IT systems.

You must:

  • provide a statement of employment, if they request it
  • update their personnel file with:
    • their last day of work
    • last pay amount
    • final payout of all holiday pay
  • archive their personnel file and records (make sure you keep them for seven years).

Contractors vs fixed term employees

Employees on fixed-term contracts are not contractors — they’re employed by you and entitled to all the same benefits as a permanent employee. Fixed-term employees are contracted to work for a specific period of time, usually to complete a big project or to cover the workload when other employees are on leave.

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