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Career Development Tips

Writing a Leave of Absence Letter With Examples

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

Reasons for requesting a leave of absenceInformation to include in a formal leave of absence request letterInformation to exclude from a leave of absence requestHow to write a leave of absence letterLeave of absence tipsSample letter for request for leave of absence

Guide Overview

Writing a comprehensive leave of absence letter

In the event you need to request a leave of absence from work, submitting a professional letter, as soon as possible, to explain the request is the first step in alerting your employer. Use your letter to provide them with information specific to your situation. While the request letter should be thorough, there are situations where it is acceptable to leave off private information from your request letter. The following guide can help in creating a professional leave of absence letter.

Reasons for requesting a leave of absence

Some of the reasons an employee would submit a request for a leave of absence from work include:

Information to include in a formal leave of absence request letter

Once you’ve met with your manager or representative, create a formal leave request. Include this information in a formal leave of absence letter:

  • The reason for the requested leave
  • The date when you will start the leave and the date you plan to return
  • A list of job-related responsibilities you will help with to prepare for your departure, such as training or cross-training, documentation of job directions/instructions
  • A request asking your supervisor or manager for their support through the leave of absence process with upper management or personnel in human resources, if applicable
  • A professional closing of the letter on a positive note such as, ‘thank you for your time in this matter’ or ‘thank you for considering my request for a leave’

Information to exclude from a leave of absence request

When you request time off from work for personal or medical reasons, it usually isn’t necessary to provide personal details. Unless approval for the leave is contingent upon access to medical details, using ‘personal leave’ or ‘medical leave’ is usually all you need to include, but the company may require written validation from the doctor or specialist.

How to write a leave of absence letter

When writing a formal request for leave of absence to submit to either the human resource department or your supervisor, you can use a hard copy or email format. You may choose one of the two based on whether you will submit the request for leave letter in-person or online.

When you can hold an in-person meeting or otherwise submit a hard copy for a formal request for a leave from work, follow these steps:

  1. Provide complete employee contact information, which includes name, address, and phone number.
  2. Include the date you will submit the letter.
  3. Include the supervisor or manager’s name.
  4. Include supervisor or manager’s title.
  5. Add the company name.
  6. Include the company’s location.
  7. Add a salutation (Dear, followed by the appropriate person’s name).
  8. Include a clear and succinct explanation of the request, written in first person (I am requesting, I will return).
  9. Add a closing like ‘sincerely’ or ‘thank you.’
  10. Include your full name.
  11. Include your signature.

When submitting an email request for a leave of absence, the process does not require as much information as a written request. Use the following steps:

  1. In the subject line of the email put the reason, (Leave of Absence Request, Request for Leave of Absence) followed by your full name.
  2. In the body of the email, begin with the salutation and the addressee’s name.
  3. Explain the leave of absence request.
  4. Include a closing.
  5. Include your name.

Leave of absence tips

No matter which format your use for the request letter, use professional language and tone to show your cooperation and willingness to help before and during your time off, if needed. Whether a hard copy or an email of the request is provided, both serve as documentation and a timeline you and your employer can refer to if needed.

  • Become familiar with the leave of absence policies for your company such as how much time is available for leave and if the time away from work is paid or unpaid.
  • Ask a representative of the human resource department or look in your company’s employee handbook to review any established policies.
  • Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these policies, request a meeting to discuss the request with your immediate supervisor or manager.
  • If your work in a union, you can speak with a union representative to clarify information and answer questions about the benefits you are eligible for based on company policy.
  • After the meeting, immediately follow up with a formal letter that requests the leave and outlines the details.
  • Make sure the letter provides your employer with all details they need to approve the request.

Sample letter for request for leave of absence

Below is a basic format for a formal request for leave letter:

John Smith

123 Green Street

New York, New York 12345

Phone: 999 123-4567


Dear Mr. Brown,

After our meeting on November 15, I am submitting my formal request for a leave of absence from my position as sales manager. My time away from work will be from December 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021.

If my request is approved, I am more than willing to help prepare a plan of action to take care of my job responsibilities while I am away from the job. If needed, I can be available by phone or email to provide help in answering any questions that may arise.

If you need any additional information, please let me know. Thank you for your time in discussing the leave with me and for considering my request.


signature here

John Smith

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