Excuse to Miss Work at Last Minute

Our jobs are the source of our livelihood and should never be taken lightly. The rate of unemployment should be an indicator that your job is as important as your survival. For this reason, missing work should be the last thing that should happen. However, there are moments that missing work is inevitable.

When these moments happen, it’s advisable to always report truthfully the reason for missing work at the last minute. Nevertheless, there are moments that you cannot just tell the truth. In such a case, give an excuse that is near to reality.

Here is a list of the best excuses from which you can choose from to call off work at the last minute.

Car troubles

It is unpredictable when you will experience car troubles. This might happen on your way to work or even before you leave the house.

Sample message

I’ll be out of work today due to some unpredicted problems I have encountered on my way to work. My car developed mechanical troubles which needed to be taken care of urgently. I will make up for the lost time.

Traffic Jam

Nothing is as annoying as being caught up in traffic jam. In such a situation, you have no alternative than to play by the tune.

Sample message

Due to unavoidable circumstances, I’ll not be available for work today. I was caught up in traffic on my way to work. I’ll put more hours to my assignments when I resume tomorrow.

No Conveyance (missed bus etc.…)

If you don’t own any car, getting to your workplace can be very challenging especially when you miss a bus or a train.

Sample message

I had some family emergency in the morning and as a result of this I missed my morning ride to work. I’ll put more hours to my work to compensate for the lost time.


Your nanny or baby sitter can be held up in an emergency and getting another one soon is almost impossible.

Sample message

I will be out of office today due to some emergency at home. My nanny, who is my baby sitter, was held up in an emergency and I couldn’t get another one soon. I was forced to step in and babysit my child.
Thank you for your understanding.

Child’s Doctor Appointment

Avoid using your child as an excuse to miss work unless there is a real appointment.

Sample message

Today I will miss work as I am required to take my child to the doctor. The doctor’s appointment was scheduled today at 9AM and there happens to be no one else to accompany him. I will work extra hours to cover for the lost day.

Food Poisoning

This is unpredictable, and it can happen overnight. It would take several days to recover from the food poisoning.

Sample message

I experienced food poisoning last night and was rushed to the hospital at around 10PM. I was given three days bed rest to recover from the poisoning. I will therefore be out of office for three days.

Personal Emergency

This can range from anything including family emergency, accident, serious illness of a family member etc. This excuse doesn’t welcome many questions.

Sample message

Due to some family emergency that happened this morning, I’ll not make it to work today.
Thank you for your understanding.

Pet Emergency

When there is no one who is trustworthy to take care of your seriously sick pet.

Sample message

My pet developed some complications last night and got seriously sick. I live alone and there is nobody who can take care of it. I will miss work today as I have to take it to the vet for treatment.
Your understanding is highly appreciated.

Family emergency

This is a personal matter and it would not welcome further questions.

Sample message

I am sorry to inform you that I will not make it to work today due to some family emergencies that came up this morning. I prefer not to discuss further on this issue, but I’ll make up for the lost time.

Delivery of a family member

This can be an emergency especially when the family member is a sister, or a cousin and you are the only one who can take care of her.

Sample message

My sister experienced labor pains at dawn break and I had to rush her to the hospital for delivery. I will therefore not be available today at the work place as I will be taking care of her after delivery.
Thank you.

Family member’s accident

This is also a sensitive issue and therefore, be cautious when giving the excuse.Use it when there is a real accident of a family member (sister, child, spouse etc.)

Sample message

My spouse/child/sister had an accident while in the bathroom taking a shower this morning. The incident was serious and I had to take him/her to the hospital. For this reason, I write to inform you that I will not be available for work today.
Thank you for your support.

Furnace Repair Emergency

a breakdown of machinery cannot be predictable. It can happen any time of the day. This excuse favors winter season.

Sample message

My furnace developed some mechanical problem this morning and I don’t have a backup plan of warming the house this winter season. I am sorry I will not make to work today as I will be taking care of the repairs.
Thank you.

Leaky Pipes

This excuse is very common among most employees, but it certainly works. No matter what, leaky pipes must be taken care of.

Sample message

I will not be available at the work place today as I will be taking care of some leaky pipes in the house. The have been leaking for some time now and it got worse this morning.
Thank you for understanding.

Death of a family member

Proceed with utmost caution when giving this excuse. You don’t want to kill living family members.

Sample message

Due to the sudden demise of my sister that occurred this morning, I will not make it to work today.
Thank you.

Important purchase

This excuse can work when you are indeed purchasing an asset such as a house or an apartment.

Sample message

I will not show up in the office today as I will be meeting a real estate agent to see me through in the purchase of an apartment.
Thank you.

Sample Excuse Letters

Sample excuse email for missing work

Sample excuse letter after missing work

Sample excuse letter before missing work

    Difference between a Good and Bad Excuse

    A good excuse is one that convinces the boss that you are genuinely going to miss work. The reasons are usually very real that your employer is able to identify with it.

    Examples include

    • Leaky pipes
    • Doctor’s appointment
    • Family emergency etc.

    A bad excuse is one that doesn’t work. Some of the reasons are usually so obvious and elaborate and not convincing enough.

    Examples include

    • Dog shut off alarm
    • Got arrested
    • Hungover
    • Office is too cold etc.

    How to write a perfect excuse email/note or letter

    A majority of employers require employees to communicate in writing anytime they’re absent from work. An employee can be away from work because of an emergency or sickness.

    Consider the following when writing an excuse for been absent from work.

    Avoid long stories

    • Your excuse letter or note must be specific and brief.
    • Only indicate why you were absent, or you will be absent.
    • Avoid getting into details. If you’re sick, state clearly you are sick.
    • Details of your sickness aren’t important to your employer.

    Send email/note immediately

    The moment you establish you won’t make it to work, relay the information to your boss or colleagues depending on company rules.

    The will enable them to make appropriate arrangements on who will take up your roles.

    Indicate your availability

    Though you’re absent from work, depending on your position in the company, indicate your availability.

    Give an assurance you’ll be checking and responding to emails regularly if need be.

    You can also indicate if you’ll be available for calls during your absence in case anyone wants to relay relevant information via phone.

    Indicate when you’ll be back to work

    In cases where you’re sure how long you’ll be absent from work. Relay this information to your employer.

    If a doctor recommends three days sick leave, let your boss know you’ll be away for three days.

    Embrace professionalism

    Your letter/email must stick to the formal business format. In addition, use formal language when writing.

    Avoid rude words and tone in your letter/email.


    Employers pay special attention to absentees. No matter the reason for missing work, it’s essential to note you can lose your job if your employer realizes you’ve lied to them.

    Your employer might pass by your residence to check on you so be careful the excuse you give for your absence.

    Alternatively, if you claimed to be sick, know your boss can call or visit the hospital to check if you were genuinely ill. It may be their way of empathizing with their employees.

    Things to keep in mind when missing work

    • Avoid social media. Having your boss think that you are lying to him/her is the last thing that you want. Being active on social medial will sell you out. Avoid social media on your day off.
    • Answer phone calls. Always put your phone close to you just in case your employer calls you and want to drop by. Calls that go unanswered usually lead to suspicion.
    • If possible take work home. Taking work home proves to your employer that you are responsible enough to compensate for the time you will be out of the office. Always consider carrying some work home.