Sick Leave Letter to Manager: How to Write it Right!

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the importance of a clear and concise sick leave letter.
  • Learn the step-by-step process of drafting an effective letter.
  • Get a template to simplify the process.
  • Recognize the balance between providing necessary details and maintaining privacy.
  • Know when to include a doctor’s note.
  • Understand the best practices for communication during your absence.

As someone who has written numerous sick leave letters to managers over my career, I’ve come to understand the nuances that make these letters effective, respectful, and professional. 



In this article, I’ll share my insights and provide a step-by-step guide, along with a template, to help you write an effective sick leave letter.

Step 1: Start with the Subject Line

Your email’s subject line should be clear and straightforward. For instance, “Sick Leave Request – [Your Name]”. This immediately informs your manager about the nature of the email, ensuring it gets the attention it needs.

Step 2: Address Your Manager Properly

Begin your letter with a formal salutation. If you have a close relationship with your manager, you might use their first name. Otherwise, use their title and last name, such as “Dear Mr. Smith”.

Step 3: State the Purpose of Your Email

In the first sentence of your letter, state that you are writing to request sick leave. Be direct and to the point. For example, “I am writing to inform you that due to a medical condition, I will need to take sick leave starting from [date].”

Step 4: Provide Details (But Not Too Many)


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Give enough information about your illness to justify your absence, but avoid oversharing personal details. Mention the expected duration of your leave and, if possible, a tentative return date.

Step 5: Mention Work Continuity Plans

If you have ongoing projects or responsibilities, briefly outline how you plan to manage them during your absence. This might include delegating tasks to colleagues or suggesting temporary cover.

Step 6: Offer to Provide a Doctor’s Note

If your company policy requires it or if you will be absent for an extended period, mention that you will provide a doctor’s note.

Step 7: Close the Letter Politely

End your letter with a polite closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards”, followed by your name.

Template for Sick Leave Letter

Subject: Sick Leave Request – [Your Name]

Dear [Manager’s Name],

I am writing to inform you that due to [a brief description of your medical condition], I need to take sick leave starting from [start date]. I anticipate that I will be able to return to work on [return date].

[If applicable, briefly mention any plans for managing your work in your absence.]

I understand the inconvenience my absence may cause and will do my best to ensure a smooth transition of my responsibilities. [If applicable, state that you will provide a doctor’s note.]

Thank you for your understanding. I will keep you updated on my condition and return date.

Sincerely, 

[Your Name]


Best Practices:

  • Clarity: Ensure your letter is clear and concise.
  • Timeliness: Send the letter as soon as you realize you need to take leave.
  • Professional Tone: Maintain a professional tone throughout the letter.
  • Privacy: Share enough to justify your leave but respect your privacy.
  • Preparedness: Include plans for your absence.

In Conclusion:

Writing a sick leave letter is about communicating effectively and respectfully with your manager. By following these steps and using the provided template, you can ensure that your letter is professional and covers all necessary details.

I’d love to hear your experiences and tips on writing sick leave letters. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How Do I Inform My Manager About My Sickness?

Answer: I usually start by expressing my regret for the inconvenience. Then, I clearly state the nature of my illness and the expected duration of my absence. I assure them of my intention to keep in touch and provide updates if necessary.

Q: Should I Offer Details About My Illness?

Answer: I believe in maintaining a balance. I provide enough information to justify my absence, but I avoid overly personal or graphic details. It’s more about conveying the impact on my ability to work rather than the illness itself.

Q: How Can I Reassure My Manager About Work During My Absence?

Answer: I mention any ongoing projects and how I plan to manage them. This might include delegating tasks to a colleague or suggesting a temporary replacement. I emphasize my commitment to ensuring minimal disruption to the team’s workflow.

Q: Is It Necessary to Provide a Doctor’s Note?

Answer: In my experience, it depends on the company policy and the length of the absence. For short illnesses, a simple email or call might suffice. However, for extended periods, I provide a doctor’s note to formalize my leave and clarify any accommodations needed upon return.

Q: How Do I Handle Urgent Tasks While on Sick Leave?

Answer: I try to plan ahead by informing colleagues about urgent tasks and how to handle them. If something unexpected comes up, I assess if I can address it remotely. However, I prioritize my health and communicate any limitations to my manager.

Q: What Is the Best Way to Communicate My Sick Leave?

Answer: I usually send an email as it provides a written record of the notice. If possible, I also call my manager to explain the situation more personally. This helps in conveying sincerity and professionalism.

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