As an employee, there may come a point when you may need to take extra time off from work. Whether it is because of a personal or health reason, you need to ensure that your request is done in writing. The letter for such a purpose is known as a leave of absence letter from work.
In addition, ensure that you document your plea to make it easier for your employer or manager to understand its purpose. With this letter, you will be able to seek permission to be absent from work and inform your employer of the reasons behind making this request. This will ensure that you maintain your working relationship with your employer.
A leave of absence letter is a professional letter. That means that you need to observe the proper format, including the required content, and learn the tips to write an effective letter. With this article, you will have the proper guidance to create a professional leave of absence letter.
What is a Leave of Absence Request?
A leave of absence letter is an official letter that you should write as an employee to request your employer to permit you leave from work or LOA. The letter should have a brief explanation of why you need the leave and the time you need off.
A leave of absence is an extended time off from work taken by employees when you have to deal with certain serious matters. In the case of a leave of absence, also known as long-term absence (LOA), this period is usually unpaid unless your employer decides to pay you. This form of absence differs from paid time off (PTO) because it is brief and you typically get paid. PTO usually comprises of sick days or vacations.
Reasons for Requesting a LOA from work
There are different reasons why you, as an employee, can request a leave of absence. Prior to submitting your letter of request for a leave of absence from work, make sure you ascertain whether the cause is one that is legally protected or covered by the employer’s regulations.
Some of the reasons include the following:
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
This act allows you to take leave from work for health reasons such as taking care of an ill family member, surgery, ongoing medical issues, trauma caused by an accident, birth or adoption of a child, mental health issues such as depression, etc. an injury or illness.
Personal leave may involve taking some time off to deal with personal emergencies like death in the family or personal stress. Most companies will permit you a few days off of work to deal with any such personal issues.
When it comes to the military leave of absence, your employer is required by law to permit you this type of leave. As an employee, you can request this leave if you have a military duty to attend to if you are in the armed forces.
In case you have jury duty, your employer must permit you a leave of absence from work. For this case, the company’s policies will regulate your prolonged absence. For instance, the company may decide to use your remaining vacation and personal days to pay you as you take this time off for jury duty.
In most companies, the set policies will guide such requests for leave. Your employer may or may not permit you an extended vacation from your job. They are not required by the law to give you this type of voluntary leave. To get this extended vacation, ensure that you are on good terms with your employer by handling and completing all your work correctly.
Short or long-term disability
This form of leave is legally protected, and your employer is required to give you paid time off.
Whether you are recovering from surgery or have a broken finger, such a short-term disability guarantees you leave work. You will receive your full salary for the first 14 weeks of your leave which will reduce to 60 percent of your salary for the next 15 to 26 weeks of leave.
For a long-term disability, your employer must permit you leave from work, which counts from the day your disability started. You will receive 66 percent of your salary up to $15,000 monthly.
Maternity or paternity leave
As an employee, you can request an extended time off work when it comes to the birth of a child. This is known as either maternity or paternity leave and is usually covered by the company’s policy and FMLA. Usually, your employer may permit you a few weeks off of work and pay you during this leave period.
You can request your employer for extended periods off of work if you need to pursue your education or get advanced training relating to your work. As an employee, you need to indicate details about your education leave in your leave of absence letter.
Usually between two months to two years, a sabbatical leave involves taking time off work to focus on resting, traveling, learning new skills, or even taking a religious journey. In most cases, you will receive payment for only six months if you choose to take an extended sabbatical leave.
Format of the Leave of Absence
When it comes to a leave of absence letter, there is a particular format that you need to observe when writing it.
Here is the proper format for writing this type of letter:
- Ensure that you provide your complete details as the employee. This will include your contact information, name, address, and phone number.
- The date you will submit the leave of absence letter should also be included.
- Ensure you also include your supervisor’s name or manager’s name along with their title.
- Include the name and location of the company. Ensure that you provide proper and correct company details.
- You will need to include the following detail: the salutation or a greeting, which is usually Dear, followed by the recipient’s last name.
- After the greeting, start the body by including a brief but detailed request and the reason for your request. Ensure that you write this section in the first person and a polite tone.
- Finally, add the closing section, which can either be sincerely or thank you.
- For the final part of the letter, you should include your full name and signature.
Ground Work Before Writing
You should be aware of the following pre-considerations and keep them in mind when preparing a leave of absence letter.
Some of these pre-considerations include:
Speak to your boss first
Ensure that you first verbally inform your boss or manager about your need to take a leave of absence from work. A face-to-face conversation will make it easier for your employer to understand why you need this extended time off from work.
You are not obligated to provide every detail during your conversation but ensure you help your manager understand your request. This will improve your chances of having your leave of absence from work approved.
Give as much time as possible
If at all possible, make sure to give your employer adequate notice of your request for a leave of absence. Your employer will need to find somebody to take over your role and responsibilities, which might take time. That is why; it is vital to give your employer as much time as possible before it is time for you to go on your leave.
Know your rights (company’s absence policy)
When it comes to requesting a leave of absence, you need to know your rights before preparing the letter. In addition, you need to understand the company’s policies and the federal laws that govern employees’ leaves This way, you know how to prepare your letter and whether or not your chances of getting your leave are high or low.
Put it in writing
After you have informed your supervisor about your request, you need to write it for record-keeping and reference purposes, especially for mandated leaves like those involving FMLA. The best way to do this is by writing a leave of absence letter to your employer. You can also send an email in cases when you need a leave of absence for personal reasons. Ensure you send a copy to all the required parties, including your supervisor, HR, co-workers in a project, and colleagues in your department.
Consider any other alternatives
Before requesting a leave of absence from work, you can consider other alternatives and negotiate with your employer. For example, depending on your reasons for the leave, you can arrange with your boss to venture into temporary part-time work, flexible hours, work from home, or even telecommuting. This will help you handle your work and still manage your issues.
What Should be Included in LOA Request?
With the format of writing a leave of absence letter in mind, you also need to know what to include in the letter. As an employee, you need to ensure that your letter is effective by including the following details.
Here is what to include in a leave of absence letter:
Request for a leave of absence
The first piece of information you need to include in your letter is requesting a leave of absence. You need to inform your supervisor that you need some extended time off work in the beginning of your letter.
Reason for taking leave
Ensure that you follow the request by including your reason for taking the leave. As much as you need to make your manager understand your reason, ensure that your explanation is brief. You can also include information about where you will be during the leave period.
The dates you expect to be away from work
You also need to include the dates you expect to be away from work. This will include the number of days or the time you will not be available. Ensure you also state when the leave of absence is set to begin and end. This will help them plan how to deal with your absence at work.
The date you plan to return to work
Ensure that you also clearly inform your manager of the date when you plan to return to work. This will help to give them enough time to strategize on how best to help you get back into work. In addition, you will need to catch up on the work and projects done in your absence. Providing this date is important for your manager, co-workers, and even colleagues.
An offer to provide assistance
You can also offer to assist your supervisor and colleagues, if possible. If you are willing to offer them your help, ensure you provide proper contact details for them to reach you during your leave period. In other cases, you can offer to help your employer during the transition period before you leave work. This can include training, cross-training, or even organizing documents and records.
Finally, be courteous and respectful by thanking your manager or employer of your letter for their time and for considering your request for a leave of absence from work.
Consequences of Not Using a LOA
It is a professional suicide to fail to use a leave of absence letter harmful to your employment. to make a formal request to your manager. In addition, even if your supervisor granted you verbal consent to take your leave, there will be no proper record for communication to your co-workers and company executives without this letter.
You may risk termination or even face legal issues if you did not prepare a leave of absence letter and exceeded your paid time off and vacation days. In addition, your company may penalize you since there will be no record to prove that you requested a leave of absence. This falls under the “no call/no show” rules. A penalty, in this case, may include losing your vacation days, losing sick days, and even losing your job position by getting demoted.
Leave of Absence Letter for Work Template
[Your full address]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
Dear Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. [Last Name],
I would like to [make your request about needing a leave of absence]. But unfortunately, I will not be available for work from [state the start date] to [state the end date]. So I have to [mention the reason for your leave of absence request].
I will resume work on [mention the date you plan to return to work]. In addition, if you need help with [mention how you can offer your employer or co-worker assistance], I am available and ready to help.
Thank you for [show gratitude for the recipient’s time and consideration].
Sample Leave of Absence Letters
[Your full address]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
Dear Mrs. Peters,
Based on the conversation we had yesterday, I would like to request a six month leave of absence from work formally. I need to finish my studies so that I can advance my education and knowledge of my current role as an accountant in this organization. This will take me six months to complete, so I am kindly requesting a leave of absence from work.
I will not be available from work from Monday 25th April 2022 to 20th October 2022. I will resume work at the company on Monday, 31st October 2022. Within the remaining two weeks before my departure, I am willing to help organize any pending works and help in training my temporary replacement. However, I will not be available during the six months due to my leave.
Thank you for your time and consideration regarding my education leave that will help me better and improve my work as the company’s accountant.
[Your full address]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
Dear Ms. Smiles,
This letter is regarding my request earlier about a one month leave of absence from work due to personal reasons. As a result, I will not be available at work from 15th April 2022 to 17th May 2022. However, I will be back to work on 22nd May 2022, ready to resume my tasks and responsibilities.
I will be staying with friends and family over at River Road Ranch during the leave period. Please feel free to contact me by email or phone if my assistance is required.
Thank you very much for your time and considering my request to take a personal leave from work for one month.
Seven Best Practices
You should observe the following tips when writing a leave of absence letter for work
- Ensure you observe a professional tone and language as you write your letter. This will show your employer that you are willing to cooperate before and even during your time off.
- Also, ensure that your request for a leave of absence is shared in writing to provide a reference point for both you as the employee and your employer. For instance, you may both need to confirm the agreed-upon dates for the leave, and this letter will facilitate that.
- Before requesting your leave, ensure that you find out your company’s leave of absence policies. You will be able to determine the length of the leave period and whether it is paid or unpaid according to them.
- It is also essential to ask your human resource department or check your company’s employee handbook to understand what is required in your letter and the proper guidelines to follow when requesting a leave of absence.
- Although it is vital to have this request in writing, it is essential and professional etiquette to first verbally inform or request your manager for the leave.
- For employees who work in a union, you can ask your union representative about the benefits you can receive during a leave of absence, depending on your reasons for the extended time off work.
- Ensure that your letter is formal and brief but contains all the details required to improve your chances of getting your leave of absence request approved.
Needing extra time, apart from the assigned sick days and vacation days, to deal with specific issues is a common occurrence among employees. Therefore, you need to know and understand the proper channel to follow to get this time off work without risking your employment.
Ensure that you write a proper and effective leave of absence letter for work to your employer, supervisor, or boss to request them for the leave. You will also need to inform your employer of why you are requesting a leave of absence from work. Be professional, polite, and brief when writing this type of letter. Also, ensure that you deliver it on time and to the required parties based on the federal laws of your state or your company policies.