Writing a Simple Resignation Letter for Family Reasons

If you are required to resign from your job because you are needed at home to take care of a family member who is ill or other family issues, it is important to tell your employer the reason.

This removes any doubt that you are resigning because of any issues at work or with a supervisor. This may also leave the door open in case you are able to rejoin the company. Even if you never go back, leaving a positive message is always good especially if you require a reference later.

However, just because you have an issue at home that needs your full attention doesn’t mean you need to tell all the details in your resignation letter. Stating family reasons or personal reasons should make it clear why you are leaving.

It is wise to check your unused vacation time, sick leave and any other benefits that are owed to you once you are ready to tell your manager you plan to resign.

There are many possible reasons a person needs to devote time to his or her family even if it means quitting his or her job. 

Some of the most common reasons are:

• The birth or adoption of a child
• A family member needs round-the-clock care because of a severe illness
• A family member has died and there is no one to fulfil their responsibilities
• A family member in a different part of the country needs regular care
• A partner is pregnant and requires constant bed-rest
• Issues that arise because of a family member’s active military duty

If you would rather not resign, but need to care for a child or other family member, you may ask your employer if you can take advantage or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This was enacted in 1993 and allows you to take unpaid leave for certain family emergencies.

Your employer may not need to adhere to FMLA and you may not be eligible, but it is worth finding out before you send your resignation letter. To qualify, the company must have 50 or more employees and you must have worked for them at least 1,250 hours in a one-year period.

If these conditions are met, you may get 12 unpaid workweeks and other benefits for the same reasons stated above. FMLA applies to fathers, mothers and same-sex spouses.

It is good business practice to tell your direct supervisor or manager personally that you plan to resign for family reasons. 

Along with the reasons for resigning, it is important to convey the following information:

• An expression of appreciation of working at the company
• Appreciation for the experiences you had and how much you have learned
• Appreciation for the help and support from colleagues and management
• The date of your last day of work – Most companies require two weeks’ notice before leaving work. You should find out what your contract says, but you can give notice further in advance if it will help with the transition. Don’t underestimate the importance of giving your company time to look for a replacement for you and possibly have you still there to train him or her.
• Contact information in case you can be of help to your replacement employee
• If is it appropriate, you may request a transfer within the company to a different state or department to make your family obligations easier to handle
• You may ask that you be considered to return to your job or an equivalent one when the family emergency is resolved.
• Once you give your resignation letter, you should be ready to leave immediately if requested to do so.

Here is a sample resignation letter for family reasons. This is a hard copy letter that can be sent through regular post or delivered by hand to the HR department or proper supervisor. If it is sent by post, it should be sent registered with a return received request.

resignation letter for family reasons

Sender’s Name
Sender’s Address
City, State, Zip Code
Email address

DATE

HR or Management Personnel’s Name
Position in the Company
Company’s Name
Company’s Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Name of Concerned Person:

This letter is a formal notification that I will be resigning from POSITION OR JOB DESCRIPTION in Name of Company on DATE. My reason for resigning at this time is to take care of serious family issues that only I can resolve. I will not be able to work during that time.

Since I am giving one month’s notice, I will be able to assist in finding and training a replacement. I will faithfully fulfil my responsibilities until DATE.

I have had great job satisfaction working at Name of Company and appreciate your understanding at this trying time. If there is anything I can do even after I leave to further any projects, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I can be reached at PHONE NUMBER or EMAIL ADDRESS.

Sincerely,

Signature of Sender
Printed Name of Sender

NOTE: If the letter is being sent via Email the subject line should have your full name followed by Resignation. The body may be shorter than a hard copy with just the facts, including the final date of work, the reason for the resignation and the offer of help if there is anything you can do to make the transition easier. End the email with Best regards, your first and last name and your phone number.