How to Write a Leave Request Email (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Taking time off work might benefit some people who experience unpreventable circumstances. Examples of these situations might include the birth of a child, unexpected health problems, emergency care for a family member or other personal reasons that require immediate attention. Knowing how to approach the employer with a legitimate reason for your time off can help you write a professional leave request. In this article, we discuss how to write and submit a leave request email, explain the types of leave you can take and provide a template and example you can use to structure your formal request.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Personal Leave and Annual Leave

How to write a leave request email

Creating a professional leave request email can help you maintain the relationship between you and your employer. This formal document may inform the company of your extended departure and how long you might be away from the office. Communicating your reasons with the employer can help them understand your absence and acknowledge your professionalism in the workplace. Here is a simple guide you can follow when writing a request to leave:

1. Plan your email

Planning what you might say to the employer can benefit the structure of your request. It might be worth mentioning the type of leave, your reasons, leaving date, returning date, last shift before your departure, who might cover your position and emergency contact details if the company wants to discuss the absence with you again. Including this information may provide the employer with enough confidence to approve your extended departure. You may format your plan using bullet points to ensure you include all the relevant information.

Related: How to Create a Strong Out of Office Message

2. Write down your request

The opening paragraph usually includes the reason for the email and why you're requesting time off. It can be a good idea to mention your leave and return dates, as this can show the employer how long you may depart for. Writing this information first can benefit the rest of your formal document, as the employer may feel more inclined to approve the request. Keeping this introduction short can allow you to express your point quickly.

3. Explain your reasons

When writing the second paragraph, it might help to include your reasons and how they interfere with your work schedule. Employers usually prefer to know the reason for your absence, as they can arrange for someone to replace your daily duties for a set period. Providing an explanation can also develop your professionalism when approaching the company's regulations. If the reason is too personal, you can briefly explain your request.

4. Reassure the employer

Crafting a reassuring statement near the end of the email can help the employer plan work schedules around your absence. You can mention who might replace your position and how they can accomplish certain tasks for the day. It can be a good idea to state how you can help in the workplace before your leave date. For example, you may complete upcoming projects before the deadline, as this can benefit the company's schedule and how they plan future work for you.

5. Say thank you

Most employers appreciate gratitude from team members, as it can show professionalism and dedication to the company. You can thank them for their consideration in advance and express your appreciation for their time reading the email. This sentence can be short and might leave the formal document on a positive note. Expressing your thanks can develop a professional relationship between you and the employer.

Related: Thank You for Replying Examples and Steps for Professionals

Types of leave you can take

It might be worth learning about the different types of leave in the workplace, as it can benefit your profession in the future. Some of these examples can occur during your career. Below are the different absence leaves you can take:

Annual leave

Most employees can request annual paid leave days during their time in the company. People can choose how much time they have off work and when those specific dates might be. For example, long-term holidays or extra family time may benefit those who want to enjoy their time outside of work. The amount of annual leave can depend on the company and the role.

Sick leave

Sick leave can refer to someone who might have an illness and can't attend work for their duties. People may call in sick during certain shifts and attend the next day, but this type of leave usually affects those with a health condition. Some companies might request to see proof of the sickness, either from a doctor's note, medical certificate or a clinical report. It might be worth researching the company's policy beforehand and gaining an idea of their sick leave process.

Related: How to Call in Sick: A Step-by-Step Guide

Emergency leave

Emergencies can happen during someone's shift, which can encourage them to take a short notice leave. For example, a family member might need urgent care or the employee suddenly feels unwell and has to travel to the hospital. Most employers don't have enough time to approve this request and may accept their emergency leave on the spot. It can be a good idea to write a formal documentation to the employer once you have taken a short notice leave.

Maternity leave

This type of leave can benefit women who are pregnant and wish to spend time at home before labour and after the delivery of the baby. Some companies allow women to take paid maternity leave for up to 18 weeks. Employees can notify the company when they intend to leave, which is usually up to six weeks before their due date.

Unpaid leave

People request this type of leave once they have used their annual paid leave days. This can share the same qualities as emergency leave, although this time off doesn't cover the wages. Most employees use unpaid leave as a last resort for urgent circumstances and situations that may be out of their control. Following this route might enable people to avoid the approval procedure.

Bereavement leave

Also known as compassionate leave, this type of absence can allow people to spend time at home and with family members after losing a loved one. Employers usually encourage the team to take time off when they experience a personal crisis or death of a family member. This can allow people to grieve in their own time and return to work when they feel better.

Related: 10 Examples of Policies and Procedures in the Workplace

Leave request email template

Here is a template you can use when structuring your email:

Subject: [type of leave] request - [your name]

Dear [employer's name],

I would like to request [number of days or weeks] leave days that start from [date] and end on [date].

This request is due to [provide reason/s]. Let me know if you need more information about this.

I just want to reassure you I can finish my projects on time and can complete extra work before the leave date. If you need help with preparations for my departure, then I'll be happy to join you. [Name of colleague] said they will take on my responsibilities while I'm away and update me regularly with upcoming projects. I've also notified other team members of my absence.

I appreciate your time and consideration when reading this [type of leave] request. Thank you so much in advance.

Best regards,

[Your full name]

[phone number]

[personal email]

Leave request email example

Here is an example you can refer to when writing your email:

Subject: Annual leave request - Charlotte Roads

Dear Benjamin,

I would like to request 14 annual leave days that start from the 8th of September and end on the 22nd of September.

This request is due to a two-week holiday abroad. Let me know if you need more information about this.

I just want to reassure you I can finish my projects on time and can complete extra work before the leave date. If you need help with preparations for my departure, then I'll be happy to join you. Elizabeth said they will take on my responsibilities while I'm away and update me regularly with upcoming projects. I've also notified other team members of my absence.

I appreciate your time and consideration when reading this annual leave request. Thank you so much in advance.

Best regards,

Charlotte Roads

+61 3 1111 1111

charlotteroadspersonal@email.com

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