Writing a Hardship Letter for Work Schedule [with Sample]

For employees seeking work schedule change due to a hardship, there are certain procedures that need to be performed to maintain a professional relationship with an employer.

While many employers have a human resource department for in person dealings, it is a good idea to maintain a formal etiquette when dealing with changes to job functionality. 

This means creating a proper paper trail. It’s not only formal but also keeps documentation for dates and times of all transactions.

Employment Situations

Everyday life can have an effect on employment situations. Life changes outside of work and possible growth opportunities in the office can require a shift change from a current working schedule.

As an employee, maintaining an appropriate, respectful relationship with an employer is key to continuing a long prosperous career with them. 

This means, crafting an appropriate written request is the proper etiquette in these situations.

The request should be written to the Human Resource manager or Personnel director of the employer. 

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It is important to include as much relevant information as possible in the letter in order to convey the importance of the shift change to the employee’s future with the company.

Good Idea

It’s a good idea to make certain the move to a new time is a viable option before proceeding. 

Checking to make sure an open position exists in the requested time slot, making sure the criteria to fill that position are met and if the new position is going to be a temporary one, are all topics that need to be researched ahead of a request.

It’s also a good idea to be prepared to be open to other options if available. Sometimes an initial choice is not available, and additional options may need to be taken into account.

When writing a hardship letter for change in work schedule, short and simple is appropriate. The beginning of the letter should state the request, reason and the effective date which you wish to begin. 

Additional Information

Any additional information that an employer may need should be included in an additional one to two paragraphs. This would include any current tasks or projects assigned to, with detail as to how the work will be completed in the future.

Never criticize or single out other employees in this letter. Any issues that dealt with day to day operations should have been addressed with immediate supervisors prior to the request. 

A shift change request is not a place for complaining and criticizing, it works against the requester. Being respectful and professional is the most important aspect to remember for furthering a career.

Depending on the position and the company an employee works, other factors may have an effect on the outcome. 

Researching policies of the company and unions involved can determine if a change is possible before submitting a request. If everything is done properly the entire process can be swift and efficient.

Here is a sample hardship letter for work schedule. Remember to make copies of all original documents to be sent, these will not be returned.

Sample Hardship Letter For Work Schedule

Your Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Employer’s Name,

My name is employee’s name. I am currently a game designer on second shift at the Columbia branch office. 

I am writing to request a change in my current shift. I currently work first shift from 7am-3pm.

I would like to request a shift change to second shift from 1pm-9pm. I have two children who currently attend elementary school.

Since my father passed last week, I no longer have anyone to take them to school in the mornings. It would be of great assistance to me if I were able to do this.

Since it is mid-year we currently have no new projects on the table. This would make now an opportune time for a switch in shifts.

I have discussed my situation with the head of the department and have been instructed by them to follow through with this request.

You will find a copy of their recommendation included with this letter. I have been with the company for three years, and have an exemplary record as you will find in my included progress review.

This change will not affect my productivity in anyway, and I will continue to be an asset to this company.

I am available to meet to discuss this request or you may contact me at your earliest convenience. You can reach by phone at 555-123-5555 or email at name@business.com.

Thank you for taking the time to review my request.


Your Signature
Printed Name

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