Unpaid Leave of Absence Letter Sample: Free & Effective

This article provides a detailed guide on writing an unpaid leave of absence letter, complete with personal tips and a template to simplify the process

Key Takeaways

  • Understand Your Company’s Leave Policy: Before drafting your letter, familiarize yourself with your employer’s leave policy to align your request accordingly.
  • Be Clear and Concise: Communicate your need for leave straightforwardly, mentioning the leave dates clearly.
  • Provide a Reason, But Keep It Professional: While it’s important to provide a reason for your leave, maintain professionalism and avoid oversharing.
  • Offer a Plan for Your Absence: Show initiative by proposing how your responsibilities can be managed in your absence.
  • Be Polite and Express Gratitude: Always express your gratitude for the consideration of your request.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Unpaid Leave of Absence Letter

Step 1: Start with the Basics

Begin your letter by addressing it to the appropriate person, usually your direct supervisor or the HR department. Use a formal salutation such as “Dear [Name],” and ensure you start on a professional note.

Step 2: State the Purpose of Your Letter

In the opening paragraph, clearly state that you are requesting an unpaid leave of absence. It’s crucial to be straightforward to set the right expectations from the outset.

Step 3: Specify the Dates

Clearly mention the start and end dates of your intended leave. Providing exact dates helps in planning and shows that you’ve thought through your request.

Step 4: Explain Your Reason

Briefly explain the reason for your leave. Remember, the goal is to be honest yet professional. You don’t need to go into excessive detail, but providing context can help in the approval process.

Step 5: Discuss Your Plan for Coverage

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Offer suggestions on how your duties can be managed in your absence. Whether it’s delegating tasks to colleagues or completing certain tasks in advance, showing that you’ve considered the impact of your absence demonstrates responsibility.

Step 6: Express Your Willingness to Assist

If possible, mention your willingness to provide support during your leave, whether it’s answering emails or being available for urgent queries. This shows commitment to your role and team.

Step 7: Close with Gratitude

Conclude your letter by thanking your employer for considering your request. A polite and grateful tone can go a long way.

Step 8: Sign Off

End with a formal closing, such as “Sincerely,” followed by your name and contact information.

Unpaid Leave of Absence Letter Template

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip]
[Email Address]
[Today’s Date]

[Supervisor’s Name]
[Company Name]
[Company Address]
[City, State, Zip]

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I am writing to formally request an unpaid leave of absence from [start date] to [end date], due to [brief explanation of the reason for leave]. I understand the importance of planning and am therefore notifying you well in advance to ensure a smooth transition during my absence.

During this period, I suggest [brief description of your plan for coverage, e.g., “handing over my responsibilities to X, or completing Y tasks ahead of schedule”]. I am also willing to provide assistance or answer any queries remotely if necessary.

I appreciate your consideration of my request and am grateful for the opportunity to address my [personal situation/health concerns/educational pursuits]. Thank you for understanding my situation and for your support during this time.


[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]

Personal Tips from Experience

  • Timing is Everything: Submit your request as early as possible. This not only shows respect for your employer’s time but also increases the chances of your leave being accommodated.
  • Keep It Professional: Even if your reason for leave is personal, maintain a professional tone throughout the letter.
  • Follow Up: After submitting your letter, schedule a time to discuss your request in person. This demonstrates your commitment to transparency and smooth operations.


Writing an unpaid leave of absence letter requires a balance of honesty, professionalism, and strategic planning. 

By following the steps outlined above and using the template provided, you can craft a letter that effectively communicates your needs while showing respect for your employer’s operations. 

Remember, each leave request is unique, and it’s important to tailor your letter to reflect your individual circumstances.

I would love to hear your experiences or any tips you might have on this topic. Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A visually appealing, professional scene depicting a young person sitting at a desk in a well-lit, organized office space, writing a cover letter

Q: What is an unpaid leave letter? 

Answer: An unpaid leave letter is a formal written request submitted by an employee to their employer or HR department, seeking permission to take time off from work without receiving regular salary or wages. 

The letter outlines the reasons for the requested leave and specifies the dates of the intended absence.

Q: How do I start writing an unpaid leave letter? 

Answer: To start writing an unpaid leave letter, format the letter with your contact information, the date, and the recipient’s details. 

Address the recipient with a professional salutation, introducing the purpose of the letter – which is to request unpaid leave using the phrase “unpaid leave letter.”

Q: What should I include in the reason for taking unpaid leave in my letter? 

Answer: In the reason for taking unpaid leave, provide a clear and concise explanation for why you need the time off. Use the phrase “unpaid leave letter” to indicate the purpose. 

Whether it’s a personal emergency, medical issue, or family event, be transparent and honest while maintaining professionalism.

Q: How do I specify the duration of my unpaid leave in the letter? 

Answer: To specify the duration of your unpaid leave, mention the exact start and end dates using the phrase “unpaid leave letter.” Clearly state the number of days you intend to be absent from work to help your employer or HR department plan accordingly.

Q: Can I mention my plan for managing work during my unpaid leave? 

Answer: Yes, you can mention your plan for managing work during your unpaid leave in the letter. Discuss how you will ensure a smooth transition, delegate tasks if necessary, or provide guidance to colleagues who might cover for you. This demonstrates your commitment to maintaining productivity even during your absence.

Q: Is it important to express gratitude in the unpaid leave letter? 

Answer: Absolutely. Expressing gratitude in your unpaid leave letter is a courteous gesture. Use the phrase “unpaid leave letter” to convey your appreciation for your employer’s consideration and support in granting you the leave, despite it being unpaid.

Q: How should I close my unpaid leave letter? 

Answer: Close your unpaid leave letter with a professional closing such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your full name. This maintains the formal tone of the letter and marks its conclusion.

Q: Can I provide my contact information in the unpaid leave letter? 

Answer: Yes, providing your contact information is important. Reiterate your phone number and email address in the letter, using the phrase “unpaid leave letter.” This allows your employer to reach out to you if they have any questions or need further details.

Q: Should I proofread my unpaid leave letter before sending it? 

Answer: Absolutely. Proofreading your unpaid leave letter is essential to ensure that it’s error-free and professionally written. Look for grammatical errors, typos, and formatting issues to maintain a polished impression.

Q: How should I deliver my unpaid leave letter? 

Answer: Deliver your unpaid leave letter through the appropriate channels, such as email or physical mail, to your employer or HR department. If sending it digitally, consider converting it to a PDF format to preserve formatting. 

Use the phrase “unpaid leave letter” in the subject line or the addressing line to clearly indicate its purpose.

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