15 Return to Work Letters – Samples, Templates

From time to time, employees will need a break from their day-to-day tasks to rest, recover, and travel. For these reasons, the employees should submit a letter for return to work following company guidelines to their supervisor.

Employers also send it to the employee as a welcome note that details the return date, updates on changes in the company and their role, and additional information regarding their triumphant return to work.

This article discusses its importance, contents, and examples.

What is a Return to Work Letter?

It is a document that an employee submits to their supervisor after taking sick or personal leave from the company.

It should also provide details of the approved leave, like the reason, official leave, return date, appreciation for approval, and any other important information related to their leave status. An employee must submit it before resuming their role.

Conversely, it is a document that an employer writes to an employee that contains information about the employee’s entitlements following their return from leave. This letter updates the business’s current status and provides information regarding employees’ roles and responsibilities after returning to work.


Employees who submit a valid letter have a better chance of getting approved for future time off. Employers also use this information to judge if an employee can be trusted with leave in the future or not without worrying about any negative consequences. They can also keep track of all employees who have been granted leave, their reasons, and their return date.

This letter from the employer is to extend full support and confidence to the employee. It acts as an official statement of the approval for the employee’s return to their roles. It also helps the employer communicate the expected return schedule for the employee and establish the employee’s competence to resume their official capacity, especially if they were absent for serious medical reasons.

If you are an employee

It is advisable to create it as an employee because it is one of the essential documents that a manager needs to consider when planning your return to work.


Creating an effective communication tool should be your objective as an employee returning from an absence to work. Some of the things you need to keep in mind before crafting it include:

Request a phased return

You do not have to return to work at once, significantly if your leave does not fully recover you. Instead, you can propose a phased return where you ease your way back into your duties and responsibilities. For example, you can take up minor tasks and gradually take up more significant tasks with time. A phased return can also involve resuming part-time, several days a week, or limited hours per day.

Stay in touch while you are away

You should stay in touch with the work environment and your supervisor while you are away. You can remain in contact by sending emails, phone calls, or regular updates. This allows you to remain up to date with the happenings at your workplace and ease the transition after you re-join. If regular communication is impossible, plan a meeting with your supervisor right before returning to work.

Stay current

Make sure you are up to date with everything happening at the workplace, whether it is operations, deadlines, new training, revised procedures, etc. This will allow you to come back fully prepared, specifically if your company is in the midst of a critical project or a significant change.

Keep records of your absence

Take down all the crucial records about your absence, including the details of your medical condition or leave approved by the employer. In addition, documents such as employment insurance benefit forms and receipts can be kept.

Meet with the doctor

An employee on medical leave must have a doctor’s note stating that they are entirely fit to resume work. This is necessary because many employees take a break from their careers without formal authorization. The supervisor may come across such a case and not be aware that the employee is on leave for a prolonged period of time. The employer must also be informed about the duration and reasons for your absence and when recovery is expected.

Ask for help

Seek help from co-workers, HR, and supervisors when transitioning back to work. For example, identify who has fulfilled your role and consult them on any queries you may have about ongoing projects.

How do I Write a Return to Work Letter?

You need to present as much information as possible in the letter, including the date of your leave, the reason for your leave, and the expected return time.

The process of creating such a letter can be done in the following steps:

Address the letter to the right person

It should be addressed to the person with authority, not the colleague. More often than not, the recipient will be the person who approved your leave. If you are working for a large-scale company, you can address it to the HOD instead of your supervisor. Ensure the name, designation, and contact details are captured accurately.

Include a thank you note with this letter. Sending a thank-you note allows you to let them know how you are recovering and your readiness to return soon. This section can also be used to update the recipient on what you’ve been doing during leave, whether it’s recovery plans, learning new skills, or any major notable event. In addition, showing you were productive in this section can prepare your supervisor for how best to incorporate you into the team.

Reason for absence with proper documentation

After thanking your employer, explain why you had to take a leave. Try to justify with specific details as per the company’s rules and regulations, if there are any. Provide documentation that supports your recovery process, such as a note from your physician or therapist. This can include a doctor’s release letter that states you are fit to return to work or company forms you must fill out before and after your absence from work.

Explain how you plan to catch up

In this section, you must communicate your plan of returning in a phased manner or if you will be returning on set dates. This can include getting back to the office at a specific time, having meetings with colleagues, making an effort to attend meetings, or undertaking courses to get new skills. Such plans help the company plan when and how they will incorporate you into the team.

Close with a thank you

Close your letter with an expression of thank you for being understanding, patient, and flexible during your absence. This helps the employer know your appreciation. In addition, it is a common professional courtesy to thank someone for their time and effort and any help extended during their absence.

Return to Work Letter Template

Dear Sir/Madam [Name of supervisor or HR representative],

Thank you for authorizing my leave of absence. I have been following my doctor’s instructions during my absence, and I am glad to say that I’m ready to resume work on [date].

During my absence, I have kept myself updated with [projects, clients, or responsibilities] by [keeping in touch with colleagues, studying/training]. Therefore, I’m adequately informed and ready to get back to work. Thank you and the company for your understanding and patience during my absence.

I anticipate resuming my role as soon as possible, and thank you for your understanding and patience.




Return to Work Letter Sample

To Whom It May Concern,

Subject: Return to Work Notification

I am writing to formally notify you of my return to work on January 2, 20XX. As you are aware, I have been on medical leave since October 10, 20XX, due to knee surgery. I am pleased to inform you that my recovery has progressed well, and I have received medical clearance from my doctor to resume work.

During my absence, I have stayed in touch with my team and am aware of the key projects and developments. I am eager to rejoin and contribute to our ongoing projects, especially the upcoming product launch campaign.

I would like to request a brief meeting with my supervisor, Ms. Emma Thompson, upon my return, to discuss my current work plan and any necessary adjustments to ease back into the full scope of my responsibilities.

I appreciate the support and understanding shown by the company during my absence. Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in facilitating a smooth transition back to work.

Please let me know if there are any forms or procedures I need to complete as part of my return to work.

I look forward to rejoining the team and contributing to our success.


Alex Martinez  

Marketing Coordinator  

Contact Email: alex.martinez@company.com  

Contact Phone: (123) 456-7890  

Key takeaways

The “Return to Work” notification letter is a well-crafted example for several reasons, including the following elements:

  1. The tone of the letter is professional and respectful, which is appropriate for workplace communication and a subject line indicating the purpose of the letter sets a formal tone.
  1. The employee provides specific details about the duration of the leave and the reason. This clarity helps the employer understand the context of the absence.
  1. Mentioning medical clearance to resume work is crucial, as it assures the employer that the employee is returning with proper medical advice, reducing liability concerns for the company.
  1. The employee’s eagerness to rejoin and contribute to projects, along with staying in touch with the team during the absence, demonstrates a proactive and responsible approach.
  1. Requesting a meeting with the supervisor upon return to discuss the work plan and any adjustments is a thoughtful way to ensure a smooth transition back to work. It shows the employee’s willingness to communicate and coordinate effectively.
  1. Expressing gratitude for the company’s support and understanding during the absence fosters goodwill and acknowledges the employer’s role in facilitating the leave.
  1. Inquiring about any forms or procedures needed for the return to work is practical and shows the employee’s attention to administrative details.
  1. Concluding with a statement about looking forward to rejoining the team and contributing to the company’s success leaves a positive and motivated impression.
  1. Including contact information at the end of the letter is useful and practical, as it allows for easy communication if there are follow-up queries or arrangements to be made.

Overall, this letter serves as a great example for anyone needing to write a return to work notice after an extended absence. 

Return to Work from Employee

Given below are free templates of this letter from the employee:

return to work release form covid-19
Free Editable Pneumonia Return to Work Letter Sample 01 as Word Format
Free Customizable Maternity Leave Return to Work Letter Sample 01 for Word Document
covid return to work letter from doctor
Free Customizable Maternity Leave Return to Work Letter Template 01 for Word Document
Free Customizable Maternity Leave Return to Work Letter Template 02 for Word Document
Free Printable Health Care Return to Work Letter Template 03 for Word Document
Free Editable Pneumonia Return to Work Letter Sample 02 as Word Format
Free Customizable Maternity Leave Return to Work Letter Sample 02 for Word Document
Free Customizable Maternity Leave Return to Work Letter Template 03 for Word Document

    If You are an Employer

    Employers should send it to employees as they return to official duties after an absence from work. It can be challenging when employees cannot find their way back into their previous positions or gain new positions in new departments. Therefore, showing support can go a long way in ensuring they are back to being productive.


    Develop a plan. Employers ought to have a plan to help employees transition back into their previous roles and compensate for the loss of work. If the employee is on long-term leave, employers can expect that they will need time to complete an initial return to work plan. The return to work plan should consider schedule, accommodations, workload, and possible gaps in skills and how this may impact the employee’s ability to succeed in their role. Scheduling covers whether the employee will be back on full-time or part-time or an adjusted schedule. Accommodations cover any adjustments that have to be made in the workplace to accommodate the employee, such as access channels, installation of new equipment, etc. Workload covers the duties and functions of the employee’s role and whether they need to be adjusted. 

    What Should I Include?  

    The letter welcoming employees to leave should be comprehensive and cover any critical information relayed to the employee. Employers should include the following information:

    Employee details

    The letter should be a formal note to the employee. The details include their name, department, and title. This section can also contain the employee’s ID, reference number for furlough or leave notice, and job classification, whether full-time or contractual.


    In the introductory paragraph, explain why you are writing the letter and communicate your welcome to the employee. It is very important for you as an employer to support your employee’s recovery and willingness to reintegrate into their job role after prolonged leaves such as maternity or paternity leave. This can include your sincere appreciation for their cooperation with company procedures and its benefits, such as job performance and employee morale.

    Expected date and time of joining

    This section lets the employee know the expected date and time of joining work. This helps them mentally prepare to go back and be productive and inform HR so they can update their files regarding the employee’s return.

    Next, share some updates about the team, projects, or events. This will help your employees catch up on things that have occurred while away. This includes updates on changes in company policies, work schedules, relocations, work modes like working from home, etc.

    Revised roles and responsibilities

    The letter should also highlight the roles and responsibilities of the employee in the department. This helps them understand whether they will resume their previous responsibilities and if they are required to take on new roles. The letter should also update whether there have been any changes or promotions in their job roles and responsibilities. This can include if the employee has been given a different task, promoted to a higher position, or has an additional role, such as a team leader, supervisor, or manager, added to their job descriptions.

    Also, include an update on their workload, the number of hours, overtime commitments, and the employee’s preferred mode of correspondence, such as email or instant messaging. Finally, this section should consider doctor-recommended work restrictions. This helps the employee refresh their knowledge and prepare for their roles.

    Salary updates

    This should list any changes to the salary of a returning employee as a result of their absence due to a furlough or long-term leave. Whether an employee was on sabbatical, sick or maternity leave, or on break in service, they may not have been paid by the company while away from work. This section should state how much will be deducted due to any loans taken during their absence.

    How you will facilitate their return

    In this section of the letter, you can state how you will help the employee get back on track and get their duties done. You can mention anything from the rescheduling of meetings to providing additional support such as access to work-related data from home, retraining, or setting up a schedule for frequent follow-ups to help them get caught up with their work.

    Expectations from employee

    Lastly, include instructions on what needs to be done before returning to work, i.e., sign forms, medical documentation, additional training required, contact HR, etc.

    Return to Work Letter Template

    Re: Return to work timeline for [Employee name], [Employee ID], [Department name] (optional)

    [Dear employee’s name]

    This letter officially acknowledges receipt of your updated return to work timeline for your role in [department name] under the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). We are glad to understand that you have listed an expected start date for this role, and we welcome you back to this team.

    Let me inform you that we have been closely following the progress of your recovery from your recent leave. I hope it was successful and that such a long absence hasn’t affected your performance on the job.

    We are incredibly pleased to have you back as a valuable member of our team. The responsibilities and compensation of your role as [title] have not undergone any changes, and we are glad to inform you that your current departmental roles will continue to remain the same. We are excited to welcome an employee like you into our family again.

    Before restarting your job, you will need to attend the training sessions planned by [HR department name], so please contact [employee name] in HR for the training dates. They will be your point person as you transition back into the company.

    Kindly submit a [document such as a doctor’s note, work release form, etc.] to HR before reporting to work.

    We hope you will be able to start on the proposed date, and we wish you a successful and happy return.

    Yours sincerely,

    HR Manager, Team Leader, or Supervisor name

    Return to Work Letter Sample

    Dear Michael Robinson,

    Subject: Welcome Back to Work

    On behalf of Green Innovations Inc., I am delighted to welcome you back to your role as IT Project Manager. We are pleased to hear that your medical leave, which started on October 10, 20XX, has been successful and that you are ready to return on January 2, 20XX.

    Your skills and leadership have been greatly missed in the IT department, and the team is excited about your return. We understand the importance of a smooth transition back into the workplace and are here to support you in any way we can.

    To facilitate your reintegration, a meeting with your direct supervisor, Mr. Liam Johnson, has been scheduled for your first day back. This meeting will help outline your current projects and discuss any necessary adjustments to accommodate your return.

    Should you require any special arrangements or support, please do not hesitate to inform Mr. Johnson or contact our Human Resources department directly. Our goal is to ensure a comfortable and productive return to your position.

    Please also remember to complete any necessary paperwork related to your return. Our HR team is ready to assist you with this process and answer any questions you may have.

    We greatly value your contributions to Green Innovations Inc. and look forward to your continued success with us. Welcome back, Michael!

    Warm regards,

    Sarah Thompson 

    Human Resources Director  

    Green Innovations Inc.  

    Contact Email: hr@greeninnovations.com  

    Contact Phone: (456) 789-0123

    Key takeaways

    This return to work letter is a good model to follow for several reasons when writing similar letters:

    1. The letter opens with a direct and warm greeting to the employee. This is crucial in making the returning employee feel valued and at ease.
    1. By stating that the employee’s skills and leadership were missed, the letter reinforces the employee’s importance to the company, boosting their morale and sense of belonging.
    1. The mention of a scheduled meeting with the supervisor for a smooth transition demonstrates the employer’s proactive approach to reintegrating the employee into their role. It shows an understanding of the challenges that might come with returning to work after an absence.
    1. The letter encourages the employee to communicate any special needs or support they might require, highlighting the employer’s flexibility and consideration.
    1. The reminder about completing necessary paperwork and the offer of assistance from the HR team helps streamline the return process and shows organizational efficiency.
    1. The closing paragraphs express appreciation for the employee’s past contributions and eagerness for their future success, which is motivating and positive.
    1. Providing contact information for further queries and a formal sign-off by the HR Director adds a professional touch and makes it easy for the employee to reach out if needed.

    Return to Work from Employer

    Given below are free templates of such a letter from the employer:

    Free Editable Return to Work Timeline Letter Template for Word Format
    Free Editable Maternity Leave Back to Work Letter Template for Word Format
    Free Editable Parental Leave Return to Work Letter Template for Word Format
    Free Editable COVID Return to Work Letter Template for Word Format
    Free Editable Maternity Leave Return to Work Letter Sample 03 for Word Format

      Best Practices

      It should effectively communicate the required information as the employee returns to work. Some of the tips for crafting a solid letter for return to work include:

      Use a positive tone

      Write in a positive and proactive tone. The employer and employee should thank each other for their cooperation, patience, and understanding. 

      Set clear expectations

      With the employee being away for a significant time, they may have forgotten several things about their work. The letter should act as a reminder of the basics. The employer should remind the employee of any policies regarding smoking and use of company vehicles on company premises, list the tasks and responsibilities of their role, and make sure to update them on any changes in pay, new positions or roles, etc. in the letter.

      Communicate your initiatives

      It’d be best to take the initiative to accommodate the employee’s return. These initiatives can be outlined in this section. In addition, the initiatives can be presented as FAQs addressing how you’ve made plans to make it easy for the employee to return to work.

      Be empathetic

      You should be empathetic toward your returning employee. You need to be kind, open, and honest and show your understanding of their situation.

      Respect their privacy

      It’s crucial to ensure that the employee’s privacy is respected. During their absence, the employee may have experienced many personal difficulties, and the company is not obliged to know the details. So, do not ask highly personal questions. If specific details about a medical condition were not provided in the doctor’s note, more than likely, the employee does not want it to be shared.


      The information provided in this article offers a glimpse into what this letter should include. A return to work letter is a simple yet effective document to send out to an employer upon return from leave. Also, when an employee is returning from a long-term leave, such as maternity leave, the employer needs to be proactive and provide an adequate letter. It can make the transition from their absence to their return easier. Unfortunately, employers often overlook these letters, which can leave employees coming back from long-term absences feeling alienated and unimportant. It aims to keep track of their healthcare and financial welfare during their leave, help them get mentally prepared for the new role and get back to work for them.

      About This Article

      Zhaniece Hill
      Authored by:
      Human Resources Specialist | Masters of Business, MBA, BAS Operations Management and Supervision
      Zhaniece Hill, an accomplished author, and writer, possesses an extensive 9-year journey as a seasoned Human Resources professional. With a Master's degree in Business Administration, Hill's profound insights into human capital management have been shaped by a diverse background spanning public and private sectors. Expertise in talent acquisition, onboarding, employee engagement, and benefits define Hill's remarkable HR acumen. With an unyielding focus on results, Hill's legacy is characterized by innovative HR solutions that elevate employee satisfaction, retention, and overall business performance. Continuously seeking fresh challenges, Zhaniece Hill utilizes her expertise to create a lasting impact in the realm of HR.

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