A permission letter for leave is written by an employee to their supervisor, manager, or employer to request leave from work for a specified period due to personal reasons.
In a typical workplace, there are instances when an employee requires time off for personal reasons, such as the death of a family member, a medical emergency, or a vacation. During such events, an employee has to obtain permission for leave from their employer, and a permission letter for leave is used to make such requests formal. This section outlines the key benefits of having a written permission letter of leave in an employee’s personnel file:
- The letter provides a written record of the notice issued by an employee to the employer before taking the leave of absence. Thus, if the employee is later penalized for being away from work, the leave letter can be used as evidence against the employer.
- An employee’s permission letter for leave explains why they are requesting time off. Whereas explaining this reason in person might also work as a written explanation makes it easier for the supervisor, human resource manager, or employer to understand the urgency of the matter. Therefore, they would be more willing to grant the employee leave from work.
- A written permission letter can be forwarded to the company’s executives, if the need arises, instead of relying on a supervisor to give an oral explanation of the situation- leading to distortion of the message. This helps maintain an employee’s standing at the organization and consequently minimizes the fallout in relation to the employee’s career.
- Laws such as the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) dictate that eligible employees be given time off from work for personal reasons that meet the criteria specified in the Act. While on leave, the employee’s job must remain open, and their benefits, such as health insurance coverage, must be continued. If an employee’s job is compromised or their benefits discontinued for taking leave from work, a written permission letter can serve as sufficient evidence to sue the employer on the grounds of non-conformity to federal employment laws.
Reasons for Writing a Permission Letter of Leave
An employee may need to take time off work for several reasons, including personal or family-related reasons. Some of the reasons are protected by federal laws such as FMLA and ADA, and others are covered under company policies. This section describes some of the common reasons why employees request leave from work using formal permission letters:
Eligible reasons to take time off from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act include:
- Birth and care of a baby
- Adoption of a child
- To take care of an ailing immediate kin, for example, a sick spouse, child, or parent
- If an employee is sick with a severe health condition, such as; surgery, trauma due to an accident, or mental health issues such as depression.
- The FMLA also allows eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks off from work to take care of a military service member with a severe injury or illness if the employee is a spouse, child, parent, or the next of kin to that service member.
Important Note: Not every worker is eligible for job protection under the FMLA. Eligible employees are those who are working with companies/employers with 50 or more employees working within 75miles of the office. Besides, those who qualify to take leave from work under this Act must have worked with the employer for at least a year before needing the time off. Moreover, they should have put in at least 1,250 hours of service to the organization.
Situations not protected by the FMLA or any other employment laws that may necessitate an employee to request for leave from work include:
- Happy occasions that deserve to be celebrated with leave from work, such as taking a sabbatical, finishing graduate school, or taking an extended honeymoon with a spouse.
- An employee may request permission to be away from work to mourn a friend/ loved one’s death or make complete funeral arrangements for a relative.
What to Include in a Permission Letter for Leave
When crafting a permission letter for leave, there are essential details that the employee should include in the letter to help convince their supervisor or HR staff to grant them the leave of absence. They include:
The employee’s personal information
A well-written permission letter for leave should include the personal information of an employee. Here, the employee should provide their full name as on the personnel file, their employment/payroll number, and their respective department name. One can also include an email address or a reliable mobile phone number to make it easier for the supervisor, manager, or HR staff to contact them.
The date on which the permission letter for leave from work is written should also be featured in the letter.
The manager/supervisor/HR staff’s information
In this section, the employee should write the recipient’s information, including their name, title in the organization, organization’s name, address, city, state, and zip code.
A formal greeting/salutation
Before writing the contents of the permission letter, the employee should write a formal greeting addressed directly to the manager or supervisor. This shows professionalism, and it makes the letter seem more personalized.
The reason for the request
The introductory paragraph of the letter should typically explain why the employee needs to take some time off from work. If the reason is a personal/family medical emergency, taking care of a newborn baby, caring for a military service member, or simply for sabbatical, the employee should make sure to mention it.
The reference date
If an employee meets with their supervisor or manager and discusses their intention to take time off and attend to personal matters before the actual writing of the permission letter, then he/she should reference the date of the discussion in the letter’s body paragraph.
The proposed absence dates/affected dates
The proposed absence/affected dates refer to the exact dates that the employee intends to be away from work. These dates should be spelled out in the Day/Month/Year format to avoid any ambiguities. The total leave days should also be mentioned in the leave letter.
The planned return date
The employee must categorically state when they plan to return to work. Generally, this is usually on the last date of the leave, but in some cases, it is usually the first workday of the week, after the last leave day, exempting weekends and public holidays.
Important Note: Different companies may have different policies that stipulate eligible reasons for taking leave from work and the acceptable timeframe. For this reason, employees should check their employee handbook on leave-related policies to ensure they conform to company policies and avoid frustrations when superiors deny their leave requests.
An offer to aid with transition, if feasible
If possible, the employee can offer the employer some form of assistance to help them and their colleagues’ transition while they are on leave. This can be in the form of allocating some of their duties to a colleague to avoid piling more work on other workers or offering to work remotely from home. If the employee decides to include an offer of assistance to the employer, they should be specific about the exact nature of the assistance.
A thank-you note to the recipient of the letter
Including an advance thank-you note to the manager or supervisor for reading the letter and putting the request into consideration increases the chances of getting the leave request approved.
Other Considerations For the Employee Taking the Leave
Aside from submitting formal permission for leave letter, using a proper business letter format, and including all the critical contents of an effective leave letter from work, there are other considerations that the employee should keep in mind to help convince managers and supervisors to let them take time off from work. These considerations include:
Give as much notice as possible
Employees are advised to promptly inform employers of something happening in their lives that might eventually require them to ask for a leave, so an employer can plan and prepare for their absence. This way, when the time comes, they will most likely approve the leave request.
Understand the legal rights regarding time off
Before writing the permission letter for leave from work, employees should strive to understand their company policy on leave-related matters and what laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) dictates about the time-off. Understanding the workplace rights and federal leave-related laws enables the employees to approach the conversation knowledgeably and negotiate the best possible solution for themselves and their employer.
Develop an agreeable plan with the HR staff/supervisor
An employee who intends to take leave from work can consider working with their supervisor or manager to engineer a plan that works in favor of everyone. This may include working remotely from home for a few weeks while recovering from an injury or taking a voluntary leave of absence during the company’s off-season- (when the company is not too busy with work). However, in this case, employees are advised to keep a paper trail of FMLA-related documents and correspondence.
Plan a meeting with the supervisor or HR staff
Before crafting the permission letter for leave, an employee can consider scheduling a meeting with the supervisor to explain their situation and verbally request a leave of absence. In this case, an employee should be patient and tactful and plan the meeting on a day when the boss is generally happy with how things are working out in the organization. This way, their leave request will find a more receptive audience.
Never provide any legal ultimatums
An employee’s permission letter should make the employer feel that they are in control and can allow them to take the leave out of goodwill. If necessary, the employee can invoke any legal protection later with the assistance of the HR department, but legal ultimatums should never feature in the first permission letter for leave from work.
Consequences of Not Sendung a Permission Letter for Leave
When planning to take an extended leave of absence, employees need to inform their supervisors, managers, or personnel staff in writing. The written document certifies that the employer has been informed about the employee’s intention to take some time off work. Without the letter, there is no record that the employee requested the leave of absence, and these can lead to drastic consequences. These consequences include:
- Losing future vacation days and sick days, being demoted from work or worse, getting a termination letter: Some companies have policies that dictate that employees will be penalized if they are away from work without formal written notice. Based on the employee’s current standing with the employer/their value in the organization, they may lose their sick/vacation leave, be demoted from their current position, or the employer may decide to fire them on the grounds of insubordination.
- If an employee verbally discusses their intention to be away from work with a supervisor, they are granted an extended leave of absence. But unfortunately, the supervisor fails to record it in the employee’s personnel file or notify other executives within the organization. As a result, the employee might be penalized once they return from their leave. In addition, it may lead to a fallout with the employer, which is bad for the employee’s career and time in the organization, as it may lead to a more drastic consequence such as employment termination.
Sample Permission Letter for Leave from Work
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State Zip Code
Respected Mr. /Ms. Last Name:
Re: Permission Letter for Leave
In pursuance of the deliberations we had yesterday with regards to ____________ (specify the exact problem that has necessitated the need for the leave), I hereby ask you to allow me to be absent from work from _____________ (mm/dd/yyyy) to _________________ (mm/dd/yyyy), a period that is roughly __________________ (specify the total duration off time).
It is my hope that the issue shall be sorted out within that timeframe to allow me to resume duty on _______________ (mm/dd/yyyy). I am way too familiar with the fact that my departure shall impact your productivity adversely.
To help with stemming the tide, I offer to help with the transition. Just let me know what I may do in the meantime to help with that.
The chances are that you will require additional pieces of information to be able to arrive at a fairer conclusion. I am more than ready and willing to offer the same. Reach me on XXX-XXX-XXXX for urgent issues.
Let me take this opportunity to thank you in advance for the support and cooperation you undoubtedly shall give me.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Permission Letter for Leave (Email Example)
Subject: Your Name – Permission Letter for Leave
Dear Mr. /Ms. Last Name:
I am your bona fide employee who serves as support staff for your company. My daughter Malia Anderson has been suffering from some serious illnesses of late. Owing to the persistent nature of the illness, I have been forced to take leave from work to attend to her fully.
I plan to cease from coming to work from January 20th, 2020, to around January 27th, 2020. This shall span roughly a week. If all goes well, I plan to resume work on January 28th, 2020. In case I need more time, I shall communicate the same in advance for your consideration.
To help in mitigating the inconveniences and loss of productivity that my absence is bound to inflict on your company, I offer myself to aid with the transition. With this regard, I shall work longer for no extra pay.
Kindly give my request serious consideration and many thanks for your support in advance.
Free Permission Letter Templates
Following are some free downloadable templates for your use.
Generally, employers are always more than willing to honor employee’s leave requests if they submit their requests professionally and considerately. In this regard, writing them a permission letter for leave from work is considered an effective method. The employee formats their letter accordingly and provides a good enough reason for needing the time off. This article has covered everything that employees need to know about permission letters and considerations to take when asking for leave from work to improve the chances of its approval.