Leave of Absence Request Letter Sample

In this article, I will share a step-by-step guide to help you write a compelling leave of absence request letter, complete with a downloadable template to get you started.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the purpose: Know why you need the leave and explain it succinctly.
  • Follow company protocol: Align your letter with company policy on leaves.
  • Be professional and concise: Keep your language clear and respectful.
  • Provide necessary details: Include the duration and reason for your leave.
  • Offer solutions: Suggest how your responsibilities can be managed in your absence.
  • Use a template: Adapt the provided template to suit your specific situation.

Step 1: Understand Your Company’s Leave Policy





Before you even begin writing, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with your company’s leave policies. Most companies have specific procedures and forms that need to be filled out in addition to the letter. 

Knowing these requirements will ensure that your request aligns with company policies and increases the likelihood of approval.

Real-life example: In my first job, I failed to check the leave policy, assuming a casual email would suffice. The request was not only delayed but required a formal resubmission, pushing my plans further.

Step 2: Start with the Basics

Begin your letter with the standard format of any formal letter. Include your name, position, department, and the date at the top left corner of the page, followed by your HR department or supervisor’s name, position, and company address.

Letter Format:

  • Your Contact Information: Name, Position, Department, Date
  • Recipient’s Information: HR or Supervisor’s Name, Position, Company Address
  • Salutation: Dear [HR’s Name/Supervisor’s Name],

Step 3: Clearly State the Purpose of the Letter


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The opening paragraph should immediately inform the recipient of the letter’s purpose. Clearly state that you are requesting a leave of absence and specify the type of leave you are requesting (personal, medical, etc.).

Example Sentence: “I am writing to formally request a [type of leave] leave of absence from my position, commencing from [start date] and tentatively resuming on [end date].”

Step 4: Explain Your Reason

The body of the letter should briefly explain the reason for your leave. This part should be handled with tact, especially if the reasons are personal or sensitive. You do not need to divulge all the details, but providing enough context to support your request is crucial.

Tip: Maintain privacy but provide enough information to justify the necessity of the leave.

Step 5: Propose a Plan for Your Absence

It’s helpful to suggest how your duties will be handled in your absence. This shows foresight and responsibility, making it easier for your supervisor to approve your leave.

Possible Solutions:

  • Temporary Coverage: Suggest a capable colleague who could cover your responsibilities.
  • Prioritizing Tasks: Identify tasks that need immediate attention and those that can wait.
  • Remote Support: If possible, offer to be available remotely for urgent queries.

Step 6: Conclude with a Respectful Tone

End your letter by thanking your employer for considering your request and express your willingness to assist in the transition process before your leave begins.

Example Conclusion: “Thank you for considering my request for a leave of absence. I am willing to help facilitate a smooth transition and ensure that all my responsibilities are covered adequately before my departure.”

Step 7: Proofread and Submit

Review your letter for any errors and ensure it aligns with your company’s standards. Once satisfied, submit your letter according to your company’s procedures—this could be via email or as a hard copy.

Real-life tip: Always keep a copy of the letter for your records.

Template for Leave of Absence Request Letter

[Your Name]
[Your Position]
[Department]
[Date]

[HR/Supervisor’s Name]
[Their Position]
[Company Address]

Dear [HR/Supervisor’s Name],

I am writing to request a formal leave of absence from my position at [Company Name], starting from [start date] and ending on [end date]. I am requesting this leave due to [briefly state reason] and have attached any necessary documentation to support my request.

I have discussed this matter with [Name of the colleague], who has agreed to cover my responsibilities during my absence. I will ensure all major projects are up-to-date before my leave starts.

Thank you for considering my request. Please let me know if you need any further information or if I can assist in the transition process. I look forward to your positive response and appreciate your support during this time.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How far in advance should I submit a leave of absence request letter?

Answer: In my experience, it’s best to submit a leave of absence request as soon as possible. Typically, I aim for at least 30 days in advance if the leave is planned, as this allows ample time for management to arrange coverage.

Q: What is the most important information to include in a leave of absence request letter?

Answer: From my many letters, the crucial pieces of information are the start and end dates of your leave, a clear reason for your absence (as much as you are comfortable sharing), and how you plan to manage your duties in your absence.

Q: Should I discuss my leave of absence request in person before sending a formal letter?

Answer: Absolutely, I always recommend discussing your leave with your supervisor in person first if possible. This approach helps to ensure the request is handled smoothly and shows respect for the professional relationship.

Q: How do I handle a leave request when it’s for a sensitive or personal reason?

Answer: In cases where I’ve needed leave for sensitive reasons, I found it best to keep the explanation brief and to the point in the letter, ensuring it is enough to convey the necessity without oversharing details.

Q: What if my leave of absence request is denied?

Answer: In my experience, if a leave request is denied, it’s important to request a meeting to discuss alternative solutions or understand the reasons behind the decision. It’s always helpful to approach this with an open mind and a willingness to adapt.

Q: Can I ask for a leave of absence for mental health reasons, and how do I phrase it in the letter?

Answer: Yes, you can request a leave of absence for mental health reasons. When I’ve done this, I phrased it as personal health leave necessary for medical reasons, keeping specific details private but providing necessary documentation from a health professional.

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