Writing a Short Sick Leave Email [Free Samples]

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When you feel too sick to go to work you need to send a sick day email either the night before or early morning of the day to inform your supervisor.

There are protocols for composing sick day emails, so before you start it’s good to check your company’s employee handbook to make sure you follow all the rules for requesting sick leave.

Some Companies Require A Doctor’s Note

For example, you may be required to inform of your absence two hours before your shift starts or call in sick instead of sending an email. Some companies require a doctor’s note even for one-day sick leave.

Your sick day email aims to inform your boss why you are not at work, whether you will be available by phone or email to help if needed and if anyone in the office will be taking care of your duties.

The email needs to be clear and concise. It should state:

  • The type of illness you have without giving details – For example, you have a fever, back pain, vomiting or stomach cramps. If a doctor’s note is required, the details will be there. You may also produce a prescription for medication or a medical certificate that proves your need for sick leave. Otherwise, it’s not necessary to speculate on why you have fever or stomach cramps. If the illness is a cold or flu, you can say that you don’t want to take a chance you could give it to others.
  • If you will work from home and answer emails or phone calls – Some companies want you to continue your duties from home if possible and some prefer you take rest and get well without worrying about work. If you are too sick to work from home, don’t mention anything about it. If your boss wants you to work from home, you can mention at that time that your doctor said to take complete rest.
  • If you have an important deadline – Tell your boss how you have arranged for the work to go forward. For example, if you have an important meeting, you can mention that you have postponed it until the next day or asked a suitable person, give the name, to take the meeting. At this point, you can give the name of a colleague who will cover your other duties while you are out.
  • If the sick leave is paid or unpaid – If you don’t have any paid sick leave, you must take unpaid leave. This should be stated in the email so that there is no question about it if your supervisor looks up your record.
  • How long you will be away from work – You may only need one day to recover from a backache, but you may need two or three days for the contagious stage of the flu to pass. If your doctor has told you how long to rest or if you know how long it will take to become normal, you should mention it.

Some tips for writing a sick day email:

  • Keep it simple especially about the nature of your illness
  • If the reason you want sick leave is emotional such as depression or anxiety, it’s all right to use paid sick leave because it affects your health
  • It’s a good idea to find out the protocol at work for taking sick leave before you need it
  • If you are sick, it is not a good idea to go to work. Research shows that 50 percent of American work while sick. This is bad for your health and the health of others

Below are sample sick day emails to a boss or supervisor. There is no one-size-fits-all format, but it must contain all of the above information.

It may be a good idea to send an email to your co-workers also, so they know why you aren’t at work. 

It can be basically the same as the one to the supervisor, but without mentioning the doctor’s note or whether or not it is paid leave.

sample 1 - Short Sick Leave Email For Fever

To: Proper email address of boss, supervisor or manager
Subject: Sick Day for [Name of Employee]

Hi, Name of Supervisor:

This email is to inform you that I will take paid sick leave today/tomorrow, DATE, because of fever. [Name of Co-worker] will handle my duties.

I can work from home and answer any emails or phone calls to help if needed. I hope the fever will be gone Sunday, and plan to return to work on Monday.

I saw the doctor yesterday evening and have a note that confirms my illness. I will bring the note on Monday.

Thank you for your understanding,

[Name of Employee]

sample 2 - Short Sick Leave Email For Back Pain

To: Proper email address of principal
cc: Proper email address of superintendent

Subject: Sick Leave for [Name of Employee]

Dear Name of Principal:

This email is accompanying my sick leave form to inform you that I am requesting sick leave for three days from DATE to DATE.

I will resume work on DATE. I have injured my back in an automobile accident and have been requested by my doctor to stay in bed for three days. Attached is a copy of her instructions.

I understand that you will employ a substitute teacher to take my sixth grade class for the three days, and I have prepared the lessons plans that cover the classwork and extracurricular activities.

I have also included a short description of each student to help the substitute get to know the children.

I have completed the sick leave form required by the school, and according to my contract, I am allowed to take emergency medical leave.

You or the substitute can reach me at 555-123-4567 or a Name@email.com if there are any questions of if they require any help I can give.

Thank you for your kind consideration of my request.


Name of Teacher

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