Sample Leave of Absence Letters | How to Write (Examples)

As an employee, there may come a point when you may need to take extra time off from work. Whether it is for 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.

It 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 letter.

What is a Leave of Absence Request?

An absence letter is an official letter that you should write as an employee to request that your employer permit you to leave 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 they have to deal with certain serious matters. In the case of absence, also known as long-term absence (LOA), this period is usually unpaid unless your employer decides to pay you. This form differs from paid time off (PTO) because it is brief and you typically get paid.  PTO usually consists of sick days or vacations.

Free Templates

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    Reasons for Requesting a LOA from Work

    There are different reasons why you, as an employee, can request a leave of absence. Before submitting your letter of request for a leave of absence from work, make sure you ascertain whether the cause is legally protected or covered by the employer’s regulations.

     Some of the reasons include the following:

    Family and medical leave act (FMLA)

    This type of leave is protected by federal laws, including the ADA and FMLA. The law requires the company to permit you an extended period of leave, usually up to 12 work weeks.

    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., or an injury or illness.

    Personal leave

    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.

    Military leave

    When it comes to military leave, 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.

    Jury duty

    If you have jury duty, your employer must permit you a leave from work. In 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.

    Extended vacation

    In most companies, the set policies will guide such requests for leave. Your employer may or may not permit you to take an extended vacation from your job. They are not required by 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 to leave 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 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 the letter.


    Usually between two months and 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 Letter

    When it comes to a leave 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 an employee. This will include your contact information, name, address, and phone number.
    • The date on which you will submit it should also be included.
    • Ensure you also include your supervisor’s 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 details: 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 in a polite tone.
    • Finally, add the closing section, which can either be sincere or thank you.
    • For the final part of the letter, you should include your full name and signature.

    Groundwork Before Writing

    You should be aware of the following pre-considerations and keep them in mind when preparing the 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 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 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. 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, 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 letter to your employer. You can also send an email in cases when you need a leave 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 it, 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 a LOA Request?

    With the format of writing the 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 letter:

    Request for a leave of absence

    The first piece of information you need to include in your letter is a leave request. You need to inform your supervisor that you need some extended time off work at 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 absence is set to begin and end. This will help them plan how to deal with it 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 give them enough time to strategize on how best to help you get back to work. In addition, you will need to catch up on the work and projects done. 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.

    Thank you

    Finally, be courteous and respectful by thanking your manager or employer for their time and for considering your request from work.

    Letter Template

    [Your Full Name]

    [Your Position]

    [Your Department/Team]


    [Recipient’s Name]

    [Recipient’s Position]

    [Company Name]

    [Company Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    Dear [Recipient’s Name],

    I am writing to formally request a leave of absence from my position as [Your Position] with [Company Name], starting from [Start Date] and ending on [End Date]. This leave is requested due to [briefly state the reason, e.g., personal health issues, family obligations, educational pursuits, etc.], which necessitates my full attention during this period.

    Details of the Leave Request:

    • Type of Leave: [Specify the type of leave you are requesting, such as medical leave, personal leave, or educational leave.]
    • Duration: The total duration of the leave is [mention the duration, e.g., two weeks, one month, etc.], starting from [Start Date] and planning to return on [End Date].
    • Current Projects and Responsibilities: I have taken steps to ensure a smooth transition during my absence. This includes [briefly outline your plan to manage your work before leave, such as handing over responsibilities, completing tasks, or any other arrangements you’ve made].

    Plan for Continuity:

    I have discussed my upcoming absence with [Name of the colleague or supervisor taking over], who has agreed to oversee my responsibilities during my leave. We have worked together to ensure that all ongoing projects will continue without interruption, and I am confident that my duties will be in capable hands.

    Additionally, I am willing to provide any necessary training or support to my colleagues before my leave to ensure a seamless transition.

    Contact Information:

    While I intend to fully focus on the reasons necessitating my leave, I will be reachable by [email/phone] for any urgent issues or to assist with a smooth transition. Please feel free to contact me should the need arise.

    I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience my absence may cause and greatly appreciate the company’s understanding and support in this matter. I am committed to resuming my duties on [End Date] and continuing to contribute to the success of [Company Name].

    Thank you for considering my request. I am hopeful for a favorable response and am available to discuss this further or provide any additional information required.

    Warm regards,

    [Your Full Name]

    [Your Job Title]

    [Your Contact Information]

    Sample Letters for Leave of Absence

    Sample 01

    Dear Mr. Freeman,

    I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to inform you of a personal health matter that requires immediate and significant medical attention. After recent consultations, my doctors have recommended a course of treatment that necessitates my taking a leave of absence from work. It is with a heavy heart that I must request this leave, understanding the challenges it may present to our team and ongoing projects.

    Duration and Details:

    • Start Date: April 1, 20XX
    • Expected Return Date: May 15, 20XX
    • Duration: Approximately 6 weeks

    During my absence, I propose the following plan to ensure continuity in the Creative Solutions Department:

    • Project Handover: I have prepared detailed project briefs and status reports for all my current assignments. These documents are designed to provide a seamless transition to any team member who takes over my duties.
    • Point of Contact: I have spoken with Emily Torres, who has kindly agreed to be the primary contact for my projects. Emily and I will spend the next week ensuring she is fully briefed on all aspects of these projects.
    • Availability for Urgent Matters: While my primary focus must be on my health and recovery, I will make myself available via email for any urgent issues that may arise during my absence.

    I deeply regret any inconvenience my absence may cause and sincerely appreciate your understanding and support during this challenging time. I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure a smooth transition and to returning to my role with renewed health and vigor.

    Thank you for considering my request for a leave of absence. I am happy to discuss this matter further and provide any additional information or documentation required.

    Warmest regards,

    Maria Gonzalez

    Graphic Designer

    Creative Solutions Dept.

    (123) 456-7890

    Sample 02

    Dear Dr. Hsu,

    I hope this message finds you well. I’m reaching out today with some news that marks a significant milestone in my professional development journey. I’ve been granted a unique opportunity to attend a specialized coding bootcamp focused on the cutting-edge realms of AI and machine learning. This intensive program runs for three months, starting April 15, 20XX, and is hosted in the heart of Silicon Valley.

    The prospect of attending this bootcamp is not just a personal achievement but an opportunity I believe will directly benefit our team at TechGenius Software, Inc. The advanced skills and insights gained from this program are directly applicable to our ongoing and future projects, particularly those centered around AI development.

    Given the nature of this opportunity, I am submitting a request for a leave of absence, detailed as follows:

    • Leave Period: April 15, 20XX, to July 15, 20XX
    • Objective: Participation in an advanced coding bootcamp

    To mitigate the impact of my absence, I propose the following measures:

    • Project Management: I’ve already started preparing comprehensive documentation for my current assignments. This includes progress reports, critical contacts, and next steps, ensuring a smooth handover to designated team members.
    • Weekly Engagement: Despite my full immersion in the bootcamp, I commit to remaining accessible for weekly virtual meetings. This will allow me to stay connected with ongoing projects and provide any necessary support or clarification.
    • Enhanced Contribution Post-Bootcamp: The knowledge and skills I aim to acquire from this bootcamp will significantly enhance my contributions to our team. I’m particularly excited about applying new AI and machine learning techniques to our projects, driving innovation and efficiency.

    I fully understand the challenges my temporary departure may pose to our team’s workflow. However, I am dedicated to facilitating a seamless transition and ensuring that my absence does not hinder our progress.

    I am keen to discuss this request further and explore the best way forward. Your support in this endeavor means a great deal to me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to enhance my skills in a way that will ultimately benefit our team and projects at TechGenius Software, Inc.

    Thank you for considering my leave of absence request. I look forward to your feedback and any additional steps I need to take to formalize this process.

    Warm regards,

    Ethan Clark

    Software Engineer, Tech Innovations Team

    (321) 654-0987


    These sample letters effectively communicate requests for leaves of absence due to personal and professional reasons. They maintain a clear and concise communication style, stating the reason for the leave, start date, expected duration, and proposed plans for continuity. Each letter acknowledges the potential impact on their teams and projects and proposes solutions to mitigate this impact, demonstrating professionalism and responsibility. The writers maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout, expressing gratitude for understanding and support while also showing commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities despite the temporary absence. Additionally, they propose practical measures such as project handovers and designated points of contact to address challenges posed by their leave. Furthermore, each writer expresses openness to further discussion, indicating a willingness to collaborate with supervisors and address any concerns. Overall, these letters effectively convey the writers’ requests for leave while demonstrating professionalism, consideration of others, and commitment to their roles and responsibilities.

    Consequences of Not Using a LOA

    It is professional suicide to fail to use the letter that is harmful to your employment. to make a formal request to your manager. In addition, even if your supervisor grants you verbal consent to take your leave, there will be no proper record of communication with your co-workers and company executives without this letter.

    You may risk termination or even face legal issues if you did not prepare an 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. This falls under the “no call/no show” rule. A penalty, in this case, may include losing your vacation days, losing sick days, and even losing your job position by getting demoted.

    Seven Best Practices

    You should observe the following tips when writing it:

    1. 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.
    2. Also, ensure that your request 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.
    3. Before requesting your leave, ensure that you find out your company’s absence policies. You will be able to determine the length of the leave period and whether it is paid or unpaid, according to them.
    4. It is also essential to ask your human resources 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.
    5. 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.
    6. For employees who work in a union, you can ask your union representative about the benefits you can receive during the absence, depending on your reasons for the extended time off work.
    7. Ensure that your letter is formal and brief but contains all the details required to improve your chances of getting your leave request approved.

    Final Remarks

    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 letter to your employer, supervisor, or boss requesting leave. You will also need to inform your employer of why you are requesting a leave 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.

    About This Article

    William Lehr
    Authored by:
    Human Resources Specialist, MS Office Expert
    William Lehr combines a profound understanding of human resources with a certified expertise in Microsoft Office, making him a dual asset in any professional setting. With a keen insight into the intricacies of HR, William adeptly manages talent acquisition, employee relations, and organizational development. His Microsoft Office proficiency further amplifies his effectiveness, allowing him to design and implement seamless workflows, reports, and analytical tools. Whether it's optimizing HR processes or crafting efficient MS Office solutions, William's comprehensive skill set ensures that organizational objectives are met with precision and excellence.

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