4 Important Things To Remember When Firing Someone

Sometimes, it’s time to let go of the virtual assistant you hired. It may be because they’re underperforming, or maybe because they’ve outgrown their initial purpose for your business. Maybe your company is shrinking, or maybe you just want to be smarter with the decisions you make about how many people to hire at a time. Regardless of the reason, it’s tough to fire someone. But before you lay someone off, you need to know these four very important things:

Let them know how they’re doing

Don’t fire them all of the sudden, nor keep it in if they’ve been performing very badly the past few weeks. Suddenly laying them off can mean a big mess. Giving them regular feedback is crucial to give them a chance to improve and to let them know about what their status is. Communication is important so they won’t get left out in the dark.

If they continue to disappoint, it won’t come as a shock when you finally decide to let them go because you’ve been transparent with what you feel about their work. It will be easier for them to accept your decision.

firing 1

Be 100% Sure

Don’t let one single mistake determine their fate. You might fire them at the peak of anger without considering the consequences. You might still need a couple of things done from them, or their behavior may not have been totally objectionable according to your policies and/or guidelines.

This is why you need to take the time to think about this decision. Review your policies, and properly assess your worker. This is the only way you will be able to give a clear explanation for why you are firing this person. Not being able to give a proper justification might get you tangled in an unnecessary mess—legally or otherwise.

Don’t make them stop immediately

Make sure to give them apt time to prepare for the termination of their job. Just as you’d expect employees to hand over their resignation weeks before they will leave, they too need to prepare for getting fired. This is beneficial for both of you because your worker will need to turn over some files or tasks, and he/she will also have the opportunity to start looking for other places to work.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep

This is especially important if you’re firing someone because of factors that are not related to their performance (such as the company cutting some costs, or you not needing their service anymore). Just wishing them the best for their career will do. Don’t give them false hope. Offering them help when you can’t give any will come out as insensitive especially when you’re not sure that you can follow through.

sad gdbyes

Regardless of the reason for letting them go, respect is always key. They are still human beings and they deserve to be treated well even when you’re about to fire them. It’s also better for both your sake and theirs that you don’t part ways on a bad note.


Jessica MadrazoAbout Jessica Madrazo
Jessica creates content and support for OnlineJobs.ph. She is also involved in different advocacies like climate revolution, local arts, internet freedom, women’s rights and more.

She dreams of a world where people are able to tap their inner heroism and work together for a better world.

She has a Dalek watching over her computer.

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  1. Michael VanHorn says

    I am almost ready to hire one or more VAs. Obviously I will try to ensure a fit before hiring, but since I do not understand the local labor laws in Philippines what are the considerations or risks if terminating the relationship later? As foreign contract employees I assume that we simply part ways (after observing the common sense advice you give about communications and being a decent human being), but are there any legal or financial considerations? Thank you.

  2. Mikaela Rivera says

    I’m also curious what the considerations for terminating a contract with someone are should they not work out due to performance or changes in business needs etc..

    • says

      Hi Mikaela,

      Thank you for your comment. Some employers/clients have their in relation to a worker’s performance such as KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and other similar measures, if the goals are met or not. But if a worker wants to clarify things regarding work performance measures or other concerns, they can always talk to the employer so that employer is aware as well

  3. Alis says


    What are the legal implications of firing a VA? Which law applies? Philippines or US?

    Say the employer just wants to fire a VA because of bad attitude. Can he do that suddenly?

    • says

      Hi Alis,

      Thank you for your comment. The PH law is applicable. Its best to talk and communicate with the worker, reach out to them so that they are aware on what will happen afterwards (last pay, turning over of company data, passwords, property, etc.), why they have to leave the company, what were the reasons (this is most important). Not letting the worker know will make them anxious and might misunderstand what has happened

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