I am leaving my current employer.

What information/forms should they present to me? What information should I request from them?
What information am I entitled to take with me? (e.g. a copy of my historical payslips, etc.)

  • 11
    Where are you located? Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 12:55
  • 4
    Is there a reason you don't have copies of pay slips or contracts and agreements you signed? (Of course this could be cultural based on where you are at.) I tend to keep a folder for each job I have had and have every employment contract, NDA, and Non Compete from the last 5 years or so, payslips only going back a year or 2. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 13:01
  • 1
    @Ghost I can give my location but perhaps the question would be more beneficial to more people if the answers were not specific to jurisdiction? Although I realise employment laws are usually specific to country. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:02
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    @motionpotion "...employment laws are usually specific to country"? I think this statement should read entirely. On top of the law there is also social norms. A reference letter on departure is the norm in some countries whereas it may be a very odd request in others. This question is much too broad as presently written.
    – Myles
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:16
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    @motionpotion Unless you include a specific country in your question there are potentially hundreds of equally valid answers.
    – Myles
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:27

4 Answers 4


This depends on the country and jurisdiction. In India, for example, the company would need to provide you with a relieving letter formally indicating you are no longer employed. This is required because Indian law prevents people from being employed by multiple companies.

Generally speaking, I would take/request:

  1. A written reference from anyone that you want. Most companies will not give written references anymore due to legal issues but, if you can get one, get it before you go.
  2. Contact details and permission from anyone you want to use as a referee (i.e. verbal reference).
  3. Ensure you have a document stating the period employment and your final title. This proves your employment without any endorsement of you or your skill by your soon to be ex-employer.
  4. Any payslips or similar information needed. Generally this is the employee's responsibility but with many companies moving to electronic payslips, get everything you can before you go. If the company uses physical payslips and you need new copies, talk to HR.
  5. If you receive share options, commissions or other forms of periodic or conditional remuneration, ensure these are settled before you leave. For share options, ensure you have all tax and identifying details you need.
  6. Any 401K/superannuation/pension details. You will need this to contribute/access the fund in the future or roll the benefits over to a new fund. Get contact details of the fund administrator, too.
  7. Other benefit information, such as company provided health insurance. Ensure you are still covered in the interim and you know how to make a claim if needed.
  8. Any taxation information. In some countries, this may be sent to you at the end of the financial year, instead.
  9. If you are contracting, ensure you have given the hiring organization any remaining invoices and they know how to pay you.
  10. If you have any remaining expense claims, ensure these are submitted and paid. Getting them paid after you leave can be difficult and time consuming.
  11. If your termination was not amicable, ensure you have any supporting evidence, e.g. E-mails, performance reviews, company policies and so on. These will be practically impossible to get after you leave.

Ensure HR has your contact details, especially if they need to forward you tax or other details.

Ensure any details of your employment contract that continues after you leave employment are clear, e.g. non-compete agreements, non-poaching agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or intellectual property restrictions. Check the text of your employment agreement against the company's copy if needed.

If there are people there you would like to work with again, connect with them on professional social networks like Linkedin. You can do this after you leave but it is easiest when you are working together.

Depending on your role and the specific intellectual property clauses in your contract and company policies, you are not entitled to take anything owned by the company with you.

For example, if you are in a software developer role, for example, you cannot take any source code, designs or documents with you. Return or destroy any personal copies. If you use company provided software on your own devices, uninstall or remove that software. If you read company E-mail or notification on devices, remove those accounts.

For example, if you are in a sales role, you will have to return your business cards and any promotional material you use. You should ensure your CRM is up to date with your customer contact details and any sales, opportunities or accounts are handed over to your replacement.

  • 4
    It's probably worth speaking to someone at the company about it before deleting/destroying anything, to get their approval. Even if you (think you) have a completely unmodified copy of company files (source code or other materials), they might want to grab an archive copy before you go "just in case". Not that they'll ever use it. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 15:05
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    "This is required because Indian law prevents people from being employed by multiple companies" even if both companies are ok with that?
    – o0'.
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:29
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    Also, anything you signed -- NDA, agreement to IT policies, performance reviews, etc. Should there be a problem later, you don't want to be asking them "hey, what was in that NDA again?". Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 17:26
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    @Lohoris Having worked in India, I always thought it was required to verify the work experience you indicated on your resume. Maybe it deters candidates from lying on their resumes because a forged experience letter might constitute criminal fraud? I've never heard of there being a legal restriction against working for two companies. It can also ensure that an employee serves their entire notice period before leaving, which is pretty long in India; from a month, up to three months.
    – Jay
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 17:57
  • I would add: *) A copy of your employment contract, if you don't have it already. *) Record of any unrealized future earnings, this means stock options and stock vesting over years. You are not entitled to this, but it can be a good idea to keep a record of how much you were set to earn if you had stayed in your job.
    – Ida
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 19:14

Get a copy of all of your performance reviews. Those will be almost impossible to get later. Particularly if all of your reviews were outstanding and you were suddenly let go for "performance." :)

Also, information regarding any pension and/or 401k (if in the US) benefits you may have, in case you need to do a rollover, etc. Make sure you know when any other benefits stop (medical, etc. -- do they cut off immediately or run through the end of the current month).

Lastly, this might be a good time to ask for letter(s) of recommendation / reference permission from any past or current supervisors.


I agree with the caveat that must-have legal stuff is variable by country and also by the nature of the job. The relieving letter in India is an example. Also - in some types of jobs in the US, workers may expect to have the last paycheck in hand by the last day, while in others, it's expected that the paycheck can be delivered automatically in the way it is normally delivered - for example, by direct deposit. Also in some jobs pay may arrive up to 2 weeks later, and with a payout for unused vacation time.

Do Take

  • Any personal affects in your work space. If you bought it, it's fair game to take home.
  • Any documentation you want that reflects your arrangements/transactions with the company - pay stubs, tax paperwork, info about your investment plans, documentation of your benefits, employer/employee agreements.
  • Any documentation of violation of these agreements - if applicable. Particularly if you are leaving on bad terms.
  • Login/access information for any system that is yours when you leave - for example, your 401K, your healthcare card and login information, etc.
  • Take or delete personal info from your work computer - photos, funny emails, bank login info, etc. - chances are that without going to great (and possibly destructive) lengths you can't completely obliterate the data. You have to assume that the company will wipe your drive before reassigning your equipment. But at least make it less obvious. At no time should you be storing your very, very private stuff (dirty pictures, very sensitive personal secrets), so hopefully we're talking about pictures of your cat or something similarly neutral.
  • The contact info of people you wish to stay in contact with. These days it's easiest to have personal details for those you want to stay in touch with - cell phone, email, social network link - but some folks expect to use work email/phone as well.
  • Jot down notes of work you want to remember - favorite tools that you liked working with, key technologies that you want on your resume. I find that 10 years later, I can't remember key facts and dates of projects or who I worked on what with. If this stuff matters to you, this is your last chance to check details on the network for your job history.

Do Not Take

  • Any intellectual property - notebooks, printouts of work paid for by the company, copies of software or other artifacts of your work.
  • Any business contacts that are presumed to be part of the value of the company - for example, if you are a sales rep, your rolodex of contacts. I've heard of people doing it, it's also pretty sketchy, ethically speaking.
  • Company equipment - if you are offered any, get documentation proving that it was freely given or sold to you. Also, do not destroy company equipment unless you are asked to do so. Conversely, in a security job, it may be your responsibility to dispose of (safely destroy) privileged information that was in your possession.
  • Make sure that your supervisor or another authorized person has been given any credential related information - badges, keys to the office or cabinets, passwords to other systems that your company relies on - if it can be used to get into something important, don't leave it lying around

Check on the rules for

  • last day's pay & unused time off - there should be a written policy. If you feel nervous, take a printed copy of the written policy with you.
  • tools purchased by the company but for individual use - for example, I've had companies tell me I could take books they bought for courses I took. That was a nice gift - but not one I would presume to be automatic.
  • rules for disposal - would they like you destroy any printouts/notes? or just stash them at your desk? If you have a TON of stuff to throw away, it's nice to ask where the dumpster is rather than fill a trash can to overflowing.
  • disclosure of information
  • non-compete hiring practices
  • referrals - a big company may have a referal/job verification hotline.

And on the last day, go to your supervisor and do a nice "thanks for the opportunity" - no matter how good or bad working with that person was. Don't just slink out the door.


Much (all) of your pay/compensation info should be available to you online. Companies (at least in the U.S.) have to have their retirement plans managed by a different company to avoid conflicts of interest and appearances of impropriety. So you should already have a login to access 401K, pension, stock purchase, etc. But just in case you don't, get them immediately.

You asked about pay stubs/slips, but you should have a record from your bank of your deposits. Are those not sufficient?

Don't worry about tax forms; the employer is mandated by law to send you those forms at the end of every calendar year. They have a payroll service that will do this automatically, whether you are a current or former employee.

That takes care of monetary issues. What you'll need to collect are your work products. Records of what you did, etc. As others have said, make sure you don't take proprietary work. But you are entitled to records of what you did so that you can show your abilities to others.

Also be sure to get contact info for all the colleagues you value. You never know when you may need to contact them, which will be harder once you no longer have access to the company email directory.

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