The Dos and Don’ts of Family Emergency Leave Requests

In the unpredictable rollercoaster of life, unforeseen family emergencies are inevitable. They necessitate taking time off work, often at short notice, to attend to pressing familial matters. 

Navigating through the labyrinth of family emergency leave requests requires a delicate balancing act – adhering to professional boundaries while managing personal crises. In this illuminative guide, we’ll explore the meticulous strategies for handling family emergency leave requests with finesse and sensitivity.

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Do: Notify Your Employer Promptly

Time is of the essence in emergencies. Communicate your situation to your employer as promptly as possible. Quick notification not only allows your employer to make necessary adjustments but also displays your responsibility and professionalism.

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  • Example: If a family member is suddenly hospitalized, inform your employer immediately, giving them time to redistribute your tasks.

Table 1: Methods of Immediate Communication

Phone CallDirect, immediate responseMight not have a record of the call
EmailProvides a written recordMight not get an immediate response
Text MessageQuick, informalLacks formality and a detailed record

Don’t: Be Vague About the Emergency

While there’s no need to disclose every minute detail, providing a clear picture of the emergency helps your employer understand and empathize with your situation.

  • Example: Instead of vaguely mentioning a ‘family emergency’, specify it as a ‘serious health issue concerning a close family member’.

Do: Be Clear About the Time Off Needed

Estimate and communicate the time you’d need off as accurately as possible. This assists in managing workloads and expectations in your absence.

List of Information to Provide:

  • Estimated leave duration
  • Your availability during the leave
  • Any pending or important tasks

Don’t: Leave Tasks Unattended

Before leaving, ensure that your responsibilities are covered. Delegate tasks, provide necessary instructions, or notify relevant persons about where things stand.

  • Example: If you’re in the middle of a project, ensure a colleague is briefed and prepared to take over in your absence.

Do: Follow Official Leave Procedures

Abide by your company’s stipulated procedures for emergency leaves. This might involve formal documentation or using specific platforms for leave requests.

Table 2: Common Leave Request Procedures

Filling an Online FormSome companies have online systems for leave applications.
Sending an Official EmailAn email to HR and/or your supervisor.
Direct Supervisor NoticeDirectly informing your supervisor about the leave.

Don’t: Forget About Professional Boundaries

Remember to maintain a professional tone in your communication, respecting workplace boundaries and protocols.

Do: Express Your Gratitude

Express your appreciation for the understanding and support provided by your employer and colleagues. A simple thank you can go a long way.

List of Appreciation Expressions:

  • A thank you note/email
  • Verbal thanks during a team meeting
  • A small gesture upon return, like bringing snacks


Family emergency leaves are fraught with stress and uncertainty. Managing them with tact and professionalism is pivotal. By adhering to these dos and don’ts, you can navigate through these challenging times with grace, ensuring minimal disruption in your professional realm while attending to family emergencies