How to Write a Sick Day Email (Samples & Free Templates)

When you fall sick, you need time to recover and avoid spreading the illness to your colleagues. All in all, you should send a sick day email to inform your employer of your situation and inability to attend work. Calling your employer may also work, but a sick day email is preferable and more professional.

A Sick Day Email is an email required by an employer when you, the employee, are sick and have to miss work.

Writing a sick day email is essential as it accomplishes several things for you as a sick employee. A sick day email informs your colleagues of your absence. They will know if you will be active or not during the sick leave. Also, it helps them to plan how they will continue with work without you present.

Another role it plays is to your employer. Informing them about your absence caused by an illness ensures that work can still flow without any hitches. It portrays you as responsible and appreciative of your work and position at the workplace.  

Finally, writing a sick day email guarantees you a peaceful recovery process. You can inform the necessary parties of your absence and even highlight how various tasks will proceed without you or how they will be tackled once you return.

Know When to Send your Sick Day Email

When you are sick or dealing with a medical emergency, work might be the last thing on your mind. However, it is only polite that you inform both your boss and colleagues of your absence. This way, any inconveniences can be avoided. Send your sick day email as soon as you find out that you are ill and cannot be at work. You should avoid sending it when you should already be at work.
Your sick day email should be sent to your manager or supervisor first before getting into contact with your colleagues or co-workers. They might have instructions about the next steps to follow in regards to your absence. Your manager should be informed through your sick day email either the previous night or early in the morning.

Sick Day Email and Employees’ Handbook

Different companies have different rules when it comes to when and how to send a sick day email. As a sick employee, ensure you know the policies surrounding a sick day email to avoid disciplinary issues at work.

Some managers may expect to receive your sick day email at least two hours before your work shift. Others may need a sick day email together with a doctor’s note if your leave takes three days and more.

To be on the safe side, ensure you check and observe the protocol as stipulated in the employee’s handbook. The employee’s handbook will also guide you concerning the level of formality expected when you inform your employer about your absence due to illness.

Based on the employee’s handbook, some employers may require formal communication like a sick day email, while others may be okay with word of mouth, a text message, or a phone call.

An employee’s handbook will also inform you of the person who should receive your sick day email. Depending on your workplace, you might be required to send it to your manager or supervisor. Furthermore, if you have people working under you, you may need to inform them about your absence to avoid being disturbed as you recover.

Writing a Sick Day Email

Since most organizations will require you to inform them about your absence in writing.

Here is how you should write a sick day email and what you should include in the email.

To-the-point email subject line 

The subject line of the sick day email should not be lengthy and wordy. Try and makes sure that it is brief, straightforward, and communicates the message effectively. A subject line is used to reflect the importance of the message contained in the email.

For example, You could write “Sick Day” if you work in a small organization. For more prominent companies, your subject line can read as follows “Your Name – Sick Day.”

Reason of your absence 

Start by highlighting the reason for your absence. You do not have to give all the details, but you should inform your employer about your illness. Mentioning the reason for your absence validates your absence and makes your boss empathize with you.

For instance: You could mention, “I have a fever and cannot come to the office” or “I developed flu, and I will have to miss work for today.”

Highlight your unavailability status

In this section, mention the number of days or leaves that you will be unavailable from work in your sick day email. Stating the number of days you will be unavailable due to your sickness will help your manager and colleagues to plan out their work better.

For example, You could mention that “I am feeling unwell and I will not be able to come to the office for three days due to the prescribed medication.”

Managing work remotely

Your manager may suggest that you work remotely from home while others might ask you to rest. Depending on your illness and type of medication, be sure before you agree or offer to work remotely from home. You might not be in a position to do so due to the medication or intensity of your illness.
Therefore it is important to highlight and convey to the manager how you will be handling the workload remotely in terms of attending any pending meetings via online platforms, sending and receiving emails, or also guiding the individual you picked as your backup.
Also, in this part of the letter, inform your manager that you will email them in case your condition becomes worse and you stop checking your emails.

For example: “In case it is needed, I will be available to manage the workload from home during the working hours, but considering that I am unwell, I cannot assure that I will be able to do so continuously as exerting that way is not recommended during illness.

Answering urgent calls and emails

In this part of the letter, ensure you inform your supervisor whether or not you will be available to answer urgent calls and emails during your unavailability status. This way, they can have a backup plan for how to deal with these urgent messages.

For example, You could say, “I am available to answer any urgent emails and calls but I will communicate if my illness worsens.”

Asking to reschedule tasks

For this part of the letter, you could request your manager to reschedule your tasks just in case the sick leave will take longer depending on your illness and recovery time. Also, another option is to offer to reschedule your tasks yourself.

For instance: You could mention, “I have an employee training today and I have rescheduled it to Friday in the afternoon.”

Assigning work to a co-worker

In your sick day email, you should also offer to assign any pending work to your colleague. In case of an urgent project or an errand that needs to be handled, ensure you have appointed a co-worker to accomplish them to avoid delays.

For example: “I have assigned Margaret to be in charge of the pending project to ensure its timely completion.”

Also, you could find a colleague who will act as your backup in case of emergencies. Your manager may also choose to select your backup based on how you tailor the message in your sick day email. After talking to your manager, be sure to strictly adhere to the instructions they will give you as you communicate with other colleagues. Your boss might suggest either your rest and they deal with things or you rest as you balance with work.

Paid or unpaid leave

If you are an employee who handles hourly jobs or works in big organizations, you should mention if your absence from work is coming out of the accumulated sick leave or not. Other companies will expect you to mention whether you are using your personal or sick days in your sick day leave.

For example: “For this Sick Day, I will be taking an unpaid leave from my personal days.”

Send the email early

After you have included all the required details, ensure you send the sick day email as soon as possible. As soon as you know that you are sick, it would be best to inform your boss. The sooner your boss receives your sick day email, the easier it is for them to cover your shift and reschedule any listed meetings.

Provide a doctor’s note

In case your sick leave will take longer than three days, ensure you attach a doctor’s note when you send the sick day email to your manager or supervisor.
A doctor’s note is a document written by a doctor to explain your illness and how it is hindering you from performing your work or daily tasks. The note will help to inform your employer how much you need to rest in order to recover.

Sick Day Email Template

Here is a sick day email template that can guide you in writing a sick day email to your boss when you fall sick and have to miss work. This is an example of a basic sick day email template.

Hello {Insert Name of your Manager or Boss},

I will not be able to attend work today {date} due to {illness}. I have {symptoms} and the doctor has determined that I have {diagnosis}. In case something comes up, please reach out to {name of colleague} who will be dealing with my workload during my absence to ensure timely completions and prevent missed deadlines.

I have no urgent meetings or projects today but {name of colleague} is my backup if anything comes up. I will not be able to answer emails or calls due to my prescribed medication.

Thank you for your patience,

{Your Name}

Sick Day Email Sample

With the sick day template, you can use this sick day sample to fill out or craft your own sick day email easily. Learn what kind of information is needed on your sick day email by using this sick day sample.

Hello Maxwell,

I am writing you an email to inform you that I will be working from home today. I will not be able to attend work as I have developed the flu that might be contagious to my colleagues.

I expect to be back at work tomorrow based on my doctor’s instructions and prescribed medication. I have assigned Charity to be my backup in case of any emergencies. I have also rescheduled all my meetings and training.

I will answer urgent emails and calls as I work remotely from home. I will email you in case my condition worsens.

Thank you for understanding,

James Peters

Free Downloads

Learn how to write a sick day email by using our free downloadable templates.

Sick Day Leave Template 01

Sick Day Leave Template 02

Sick Day Leave Template 03

Sick Day Leave Template 04

Sick Day Leave Template 05

Sick Day Leave Template 06

    Sick Day Email Tips

    Here are some tips that you should observe when writing a Sick Day Email to your boss and colleagues:

    Avoid making it too personal

    Whether you are close with your co-workers, team, or boss, avoid giving too many details concerning your illness. It might become weird and suspicious when you choose to avoid providing details of your illness next time you are not at work due to being sick.

    Mental health days

    It does not have to be a fever or stomach ache for you to take a sick day. Those anxiety and depression episodes, weird headaches, and burnouts are also illnesses. You can take a sick day but ensure you write a sick day email.

    Handling sick days

    If you are unsure what format to use when writing a sick day email, ask your colleagues and observe how they handle such situations.

    Write sick day email

    Most people choose to work even when they are sick. 50 percent of Americans choose to work even when they are sick. 60 percent of these Americans are millennials aged between the ages of 18-29. Deciding to do the same will only worsen your health and prolong your recovery process. Companies offer sick days, and therefore you should use them when you are feeling under the weather. Do not forget to write a sick day email to your boss.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I write an out-of-office message for sick leave?

    To write a proper Out-of-Office message, you should include a polite greeting at the beginning of your email. After that, mention why you are away, how long you will be unavailable when the sender will receive a response from you and who they should contact in case of an emergency.
    In case there is a particular task that you handle for the sender, instruct them about the completion and where they can get more information regarding that task.

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