Employee confirmation letter basics
An employee confirmation letter is a formal document that verifies an employee’s work status. This letter may also be referred to as an employment verification letter. The purpose of the letter is to document the employee’s role in the company and history with the organization. Confirmation letters are often needed when applying for a loan, signing a rental agreement, applying for new employment, attaining a green card or applying for an immigration visa.
Some government agencies may request job confirmation letters for legal purposes. Credit and collection agencies often make requests for this information as well. Before responding to a request that isn’t made directly by the employee, make sure you speak with the individual so they’re aware that an agency is asking for their information.
An employee might ask for a letter confirming employment when seeking a new job or after leaving your company. This can assist them in finding new work if they’ve been laid off or are taking the next step on their career path. Most businesses are happy to provide a job confirmation letter to someone who left the company in good standing and performed their duties well.
Employee confirmation letters don’t need to be lengthy to be effective, but they need to include the following elements:
- Company letterhead: This provides legitimacy. You should also add any commonly used company seals or logos.
- Subject or attention line: This draws the reader’s attention to the purpose of the letter. If you send an email, a clear subject line makes it easier for the recipient to see it in their inbox.
- Your position and title: Including a title and position allows the recipient to have a point of contact if questions arise and contributes to the letter’s authenticity.
- Employment verification: Provide verification of the staff member’s employment and a synopsis of the employee’s work duties. Include years of service, employment status (temporary or permanent, full-time or part-time), dates of employment and if they’re still employed at the company.
- Required financial information: If the purpose of the letter warrants it, include financial information such as bonuses, salary history and raises received.
- Contact information: Provide a phone number, email address and business address so inquiring parties can get in touch with you if they need more details.
- Signature: Be sure to include your signature and printed name at the bottom of the letter.
- Employee consent: Include a consent to release employee information in the letter if your company requires it. The employee should sign underneath it to document their consent to having the information shared to avoid any legal issues that may arise.
What to leave out of your employee confirmation letter
There are no federal laws regulating the disclosure of employee information, but many states do have rules in place to protect employees. Some states are very specific about what information can be included in employee documents, while others are more general. Before writing an employee confirmation letter, check the guidelines for employee verification documents in your state. As a general rule, employee confirmation letters should only contain facts you can verify.
Sensitive information that shouldn’t be part of an employee verification letter includes:
- Information that’s class-protected or discriminatory. When writing an employee confirmation letter, avoid references to the employee’s religion, health, marital status or disabilities.
- An employee’s credit score, criminal record, driving status and drug test results shouldn’t be mentioned.
- Details of the employee’s job performance. If the person requesting the letter is no longer an employee, don’t mention their reason for leaving the company.
- Anything that hasn’t been fact-checked and verified. A job confirmation letter needs to be accurate and factual.
- Financial information the employee doesn’t consent to being released. If they’re applying for a loan or signing a rental agreement it may be necessary, so ask what financial information is needed and don’t divulge anything beyond what the employee wants included.
- Anything that violates company policy regarding the disclosure of personnel records. It’s important to make sure the employee confirmation meets your company’s standards.
- Copies of confidential records.
Top employee confirmation letter tips
Follow these additional tips for delivering an employee confirmation letter on time:
- Employees often request a letter to confirm employment directly, but there are instances where an agency might make the request. Obtain and follow the correct guidelines for the letter submission, which include:
- How to send the letter: Some letters need to be mailed via certified mail while others can be delivered through email or fax. Use the delivery method the employee or agency indicates.
- Due date: To ensure you’ve got ample time to prepare the employee confirmation letter, ask that the employee give advance notice when requesting one. Once the request is made, ensure that it’s delivered ahead of the due date to account for unexpected delays.
- Required information: The request for a job confirmation letter should include all of the information needed, such as length of employment, title, start and end dates and any financial data.
- State regulations: As reviewed above, make sure the letter is compliant with all state laws.
- Corporate guidelines: Internal compliance is also necessary, as companies create their own guidelines both to comply with legal requirements and protect their employees’ privacy.
- Create templates to help streamline the process by allowing you to insert the information needed for each certification letter and make minor edits. It’s a good idea to have a template for each type of letter. Some letters are used to obtain loans or housing while others are used for job applications. You may need a different template for workers who are applying for a visa or trying to become citizens.
- When preparing a letter of confirmation of employment, remember that it can have a positive impact on an employee’s life if done correctly. Use the following checklist to review the letter before sending it:
- Is the letter concise and to the point?
- Does the letter include all the information specified in the request?
- Have you included the company letterhead and logo?
- Is the company address, phone number and email provided?
- Does the letter contain your title and position with the company?
- Is the letter being sent via the correct delivery method?
Employee confirmation letter FAQs
Here are some common confirmation letter questions with answers:
Can an employer reject a request to write an employment confirmation letter?
You aren’t required to provide employment confirmation letters or references for employees unless the request comes from a federal or state government office. Providing a job certification letter may improve your employee’s quality of life and increase productivity. Workers with less stress in their personal lives tend to be more attentive to their duties.
Can a collection agency demand a job confirmation letter?
Collection agencies are able to request an employment certification letter, but you may not be required to comply. You’re not required to comply with the request because they aren’t part of any government organization. Asking for an employee’s consent to respond can avoid headaches and claims that their privacy has been violated.
Do employee confirmation letters that provide documentation for a green card or visa application need to be handled differently?
If an employee is applying for a green card or visa, the confirmation letter should include their position held, a description of their job duties and salary. It may be helpful to include why an employee is valuable to your company. Having letters notarized for employees who require them for this purpose can add authenticity and professionalism.
Who can write a letter confirming employment?
Each business has its own guidelines regarding how a letter confirming employment is prepared, which includes who has the authority to prepare one. Some companies generate these letters through the HR department while others allow the employee’s direct supervisor to write them. When a supervisor writes the letter, the recipient has someone to contact if additional information is required.