Sample Appointment Letter
Compare the format of your organization’s present appointment letter to available sample appointment letter to see whether you need to make any improvement. There are websites that provide samples of appointment letter and other documents.
Use the samples as a guide. Do not copy every word used which is described by some as “lock, stock and barrel.”
When preparing your appointment letter, remember to include all the fundamental terms.
Having a good appointment letter is an important part of the recruitment activity.
What is an Appointment Letter?
An appointment letter is a legal document that serves as a written confirmation that your organization has agreed to employ someone and that person has agreed to work for your organization in return for pay.
In it are listed all the main terms and conditions of employment. It must state all the fundamental terms without fail.
Fundamental terms are those terms described as going to the root of the contract. The contract stands or falls depending on whether these terms are stated or not.
If appointment letters fail to mention the fundamental terms complications can arise later on.
But it is not wise or recommended to state every conceivable terms and conditions. It will become too long and difficult to manage. You will see that this is so as shown in sample appointment letters.
In any event some terms and conditions of employment are implied. These are binding although not stated.
How an Appointment Letter Looks Like
As indicated in the sample appointment letter, such a letter is prepared using the organization’s letterhead, containing the logo, address and contact.
It is dated and has a reference number.
It is addressed to the successful applicant using the address that he or she has given in the application letter or form.
The heading is usually in bold capital letters positioned at the centre of the page.
There is a one-line space between the heading and the commencing paragraph.
The first paragraph informs the applicant that he or she is offered the position that had been advertised and for which he or she had applied for. For example, the vacancy being filled is that of an HR professional.
The following paragraphs list out the fundamental terms and conditions of employment.
One fundamental term that an appointment letter must contain is that the employee is subject to deployment or transfer to any area of the organization’s operations including subsidiaries and even associated “companies”.
The appointment letter must state that the selected candidate must accept the offer within a specified period of time such as within thirty days from the date of the letter. Do not leave the offer open “forever”.
The executive who has the authority “to hire and fire” must sign the appointment letter. This is usually the CEO.
The board of directors can delegate responsibility to an executive whose rank is lower than the CEO by whatever he or she called such as Managing Director, Executive President, and so on.
Number of Copies of Appointment Letter and Distribution
Prepare at least three (3) copies of the appointment letter.
The original copy is forwarded to the successful candidate.
One duplicate copy is for filing.
The third copy of the appointment letter is forwarded to the successful job applicant if you want the person to indicate his or her acceptance on the appointment letter itself. It is returned after signing.
Sample Appointment Letter
This is an example of a sample appointment letter. Your organization can make modifications as the situation requires or as your organization deems appropriate. On the other hand, you may want to follow an entirely different sample appointment letter.
- (Company’s Letterhead, Address and Logo)
(Name of Successful Applicant and Address)
Dear Sir/Madam, (or State Name)
APPOINTMENT AS …………………………………………….
We are pleased to offer you employment in the position of (State Title of Position and Grade, if any with effect from … (state date).
This appointment is subject to the following terms and conditions:
- BASE SALARY
Your starting salary is … (state amount) per month.
May include cost of living allowance, hazards allowance, housing allowance, entertainment allowance, etc.
Example: You are entitled to … (state type) allowance of … (state amount) per month.
The probation period is the length of time given to the employee to learn about the job. Legislation may impose the length of the probationary period. This is the norm found in every sample appointment letter.
Example: You are required to serve a probationary period of … (state period in weeks) after which your service will be confirmed subject to satisfactory performance. The probationary period may be extended or shortened at the absolute discretion of the Company. During the probationary period, the appointment may be terminated by either party giving … (state period in weeks) notice in writing to the other party or on payment of one (1) month salary in lieu of notice.
- DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
This points out the requirement to perform the tasks related to the job and may identify the place where the employee will be stationed.
Example: “You are required to perform the duties and responsibilities related to your position at any division, department or section in the Company or within the Group of Companies. You will be deployed at ………. (state place).”
- WORKING HOURS
This is where the details of the working hours and lunchtime / rest are stated. Different sample appointment letter puts it differently. The aim is the same.
“Monday to Friday: 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Lunch time: 12.00 noon to 1.00 p.m.
Two (2) tea breaks of 15 minutes each.The Company reserves the right to change your working days and hours.”(Note that the working hours for shift workers are different.)
- ANNUAL LEAVE/HOLIDAYS
This states the number of days given to employees and the number of public holidays observed by the Company. The number of days of annual leave is subject to a minimum for certain groups of employees as provided for under legislation. There are also public holidays that organizations are required to observe. If possible, request for sample appointment letter from other organizations so that you can verify the figures.
You are entitled to … (state number of days) annual leave in addition to … (state number of days)gazetted holidays observed by the Company.”
Here, you reserve the right to transfer or second employees.
You are subject to transfer or secondment to any place where the Company has an office or when required in the course of performing your duties.
- MEDICAL / SURGICAL
This is where you state the details of medical and / or surgical expenses your organization is willing to pay for. You may want to specify the maximum amount. It can be for a year or per visit.
- PROVIDENT FUND
This states the contribution to Employees Provident Fund (if any). Legislation may provide for this.
- GROUP PERSONAL ACCIDENT INSURANCE (GPA)
This may be a rider on group life insurance or has a a rider on “hospitalization and surgical”.
- RULES, REGULATIONS & CONFIDENTIALITY
It is important to state this especially when your organization has no written disciplinary rules and procedures. Sample appointment letters will help.
“You shall at all times, devote your full attention and skill to the affairs of the Company and will endeavor to your utmost ability to promote and advance the interests of the Company.Accordingly, you undertake that:
- you will under no circumstances make available your services to any undertaking, or have any interest directly or indirectly in any other undertaking or activity which might interfere with the proper performance of your duties without first obtaining the written permission of the Company;
- you will not at any time during the continuance or after the termination of your services with the Company irrespective of any reason for such termination, make use or disclose to any party either for your own benefit or for the benefit of any party (individual, firm, company, any trade or business), the affairs and confidential information of the Company or any of its related companies of which you have knowledge or become aware during the course of your service with the Company;
- you will obey and comply with all reasonable orders and instructions given to you by the Company or its authorized agents and observe all standing and other rules and/or regulations now in force or from time to time approved by the Company.
Sub-paragraph 2 may specify that information available in the public domain is excluded.
This is an important provision. Most if not all appointment letters contain this term.
“After confirmation of your employment, notice of termination of employment will be three (3) month’s notice in writing or three (3) month’s salary in lieu of notice from either party.Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the Company shall be entitled to terminate your employment without notice, indemnities and compensation in any of the following events:
i) if you are, in the opinion of the Company, guilty of dishonesty, misconduct or negligence in the performance of your duties;
ii) if you have been found to have committed a serious breach or continual material breach of any of your duties or obligations;
iii) if you are found to have made illegal monetary profit or received any gratuities or other rewards, in cash or in kind, out of any of the Company’s affairs or any of its subsidiaries or related companies.”
In the public sector, the compulsory retirement age is imposed by legislation. Other organizations have the option of using such retirement age or any other age subject to legal provisions, if any.
The retiring age is at fifty-five (55) years.
In the absence of evidence of the exact date of birth the employee shall retire on 31st December of the year the employee attains fifty-five years of age. You can include this in the appointment letter.
(Note: The retirement age may differ from country to country, from organization to organization and whether you are working in the public or private sector.)
**If you find that the terms are favorable, please indicate your acceptance within thirty (30) from the date of this letter.
This offer will automatically lapse and can no longer be accepted if we do not hear from you by the stipulated date.**
for and on behalf of … (Name of organization)
(Name of CEO and designation)
Alternatively, you may want the selected candidate to indicate acceptance on the duplicate copy of the appointment letter with wordings such as:
“If you find that the terms are favorable, please indicate your acceptance within thirty (30) days from the date of this letter by signing on the duplicate copy of this letter and thereafter returning it to the Human Resource Department.”
If we do not receive the said document from you by the stipulated date, this offer will automatically lapse and can no longer be accepted.
(This paragraph is included on the lower part of the appointment letter if this is the format used. See the paragraphs between the two asterisks **. However, you may want to use your own words other than those used in this sample appointment letter.)
I have read and understood the terms and conditions stated in the appointment letter and hereby confirm my acceptance / rejection of the offer of appointment as ____________________.
It appears that there are not many organizations that use this type of format as seen from sample appointment letter.
The sample appointment letter found herein is just one of many possible versions.
Check out other formats of sample appointment letter.
It is important to know the legal requirements in the preparation of appointment letters. You may observe evidence of this in any sample appointment letter.
Find out provisions of the law in your country or in the country where you are carrying out your activities. Ensure that the terms and conditions of appointment in the appointment letter comply with the current law.
You may also want to find the best sample appointment letter currently available on-line. Even if this is not available, you may draw guidance from the explanation above in preparing the appointment letter for your organization.
When you have some doubts on the implications of the wordings you use, ask your legal adviser.
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