Excuses for Missing Work (20+ Believable Reasons)

Have ever missed work and wondered the kind of excuse you will give to satisfy your boss? This is one of the trickiest situations because the best excuse is not always the truth. You can give an excuse for missing work that is close to reality to make your employer satisfied.

Below is a list of reasonable excuses for missing work, you can choose from depending on your situation.

Doctor or Dentist Appointment

This is number one excuse you can give your boss. Anyone who has ever experienced a serious toothache or anyone who has ever seen someone experience a serious toothache will always understand this excuse. You have to make it appear to be real that you had a serious toothache that made you to seek emergency medical attention hence missing work. Having a toothache or any other medical problem is something normal and everyone can be sick. A general doctor visit note can also be helpful in such a situation.

Sample message

I have been feeling unwell lately and I had to book a few appointments with my doctor to try and find out the cause of this. I tried to schedule the doctor’s appointment early to avoid missing work but it wasn’t possible. Attached to this message is a list of all my doctor’s appointment dates and times.

Appointments (Lawyer, Accountant, etc.)

Professional appointments are inevitable in life and your employer may be able to understand if you missed work for an unavoidable appointment with your lawyer or accountant. All you have to do is to give a genuine reason why it was more important to see your lawyer than report to work. You also have to explain in your letter why you couldn’t do it on your off days.

Sample message

I am extremely sorry for missing work. I know it is important to come to work and I know I have let down my colleagues and the rest of the company. I had an emergency call from my lawyer about a sensitive issue. I didn’t know it could take much of my time and by the time I was done, it was too late. I am taking necessary steps to ensure that I don’t miss work again.

Car troubles

Car breakdowns happen to everyone and your employer can understand if you give this as an excuse for missing work. With some proof to show that you actually had car troubles, your boss might understand and pardon you.

Sample message

I know it was improper for me to miss work yesterday. I regret to inform you that my car broke down in the middle of the road and I had to call emergency toying services to help me out. There were too much procedures involved and I found out that my car had a knock. I know I could have called you right away to inform you but the quick turn of events didn’t give me the chance to. I dearly apologize and promise to do some of the bulk work available from home.

Traffic Jam

Sometimes we get stuck in traffic for a couple of hours. Before you give your boss an excuse of traffic jam make sure there was actually traffic jam on the specific route you used because your boss can actually confirm.

Sample message

I am very sorry for missing work due to heavy traffic. I left home early enough hoping to get to work early enough. There was heavy traffic due to the presence of an accident that occurred early in the morning. I am truly sorry and I hope you understand the situation.

No Conveyance

This excuse can be appropriate if your employer knows that you rely on pubic means to get to work. There are cases where there is no conveyance for example when there is a heavy demonstration. This excuse can be suitable if there is a proven act that happened which could lead to absence of buses and taxis.

Sample message

I apologize for missing work. I left home normally hoping to get a bus to work but when I reached the stage, I couldn’t find any bus to take me to work. This was because of the heavy demonstrations that happened this morning. I should have informed you but I stayed there for long hoping to spot a bus but all was in vain. I promise this will never happen again.

Root Canal

The development of root canal is gradual and when it bursts, you can’t bear with the pain. You can give this as an excuse to miss work with some evidence to back it up.

Sample message

I had an emergency that had me seek immediate medical check up. My tooth started aching early in the morning and I had to visit a dentist. After a check up, the dentist discovered that I had a root canal which needed medication. This is the reason I didn’t show up to work. I apologize and promise this will never happen again.


Everyone can become ill. Giving out illness as an excuse for missing work is common and employers are used to this. Before giving out illness as an excuse you should make sure it sounds genuine otherwise your boss will not believe you.

Sample message

I sincerely apologize for missing work yesterday. I had a serious diarrhea from midnight and even after trying out some home remedies, it continued to be worse. I couldn’t report to work in that situation and I instead decided to seek medical attention. I am sorry and I promise to work extra times to cover up for the time I missed work.

Medical procedures

Going for medical procedures is very important because you have to be healthy for you to work effectively. Make it sound very necessary before giving out this as an excuse for missing work.

Sample message

I didn’t come to work because I had an emergency. I had nausea and vomiting and I had to undergo through medical procedures immediately to find out the cause of the condition. I am not yet done with the procedures although I have rescheduled the next appointment on the weekend. I will update you on the findings about the condition. I dearly apologize and promise not to miss work again.

Medical tests

Medical tests are part of life. This should not mean that you need to go for medical tests during work days. Before you give it as an excuse, make sure to give a reasonable reason why you chose to go for medical tests during work days.

Sample message

I am very sorry for missing work. The misfortune was due to unavoidable medical tests. I had no Idea about the date for the medical tests but my doctor called me and told me that he has to know my progress with the drugs I am currently using. I intent to give more extra time and compensate for the time I wasted.


Migraine can cause significant pain for hours or even days. Giving out this as an excuse can really save you. Make sure you state in your excuse letter that the migraine was severe and couldn’t allow you to work.

Sample message

I regret to inform you that I missed work because I had severe migraine. I took some painkillers hoping the problem would subside for me to report for work but all was in vain. It went on for the whole day and I had to see a doctor. I apologize for this and promise to work extra times to recover the time I wasted.


When you state babysitting as an excuse, make it clear that you had no other option. State that you have the problem fixed and that you will not miss work again because of the problem.

Sample message

I apologize for not showing up to work. My nanny took an emergency off and I had no other option. I had to babysit and this made me miss work. I have the problem fixed because I hired a temporary nanny until my nanny comes back. I promise this will not happen again.

Child’s doctor appointment

Only give this as an excuse if your employer knows that you have a child under your roof. This will sound genuine and he will definitely understand.

Sample message

I promise I will not miss work again. The reason why I didn’t come to work was because my child had an appointment on that particular day. My nanny usually takes my child for doctor’s appointments but this time, the doctor insisted that the real parent must be there. In future, I will tell my doctor to schedule such appointments on weekends to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

School visit

When you give this as an excuse for missing work, you should make your employer understand that you had limited time to ask for permission and that next time, you will ask for permission on time.

Sample message

I was summoned to my daughter’s school. I got informed about this too late and I had no time to ask for permission. I had to attend the school visit because it was about my daughter’s performance. In future, I will notify you about such visits in advance.

Personal emergency

You can give this as an excuse for not going to work by explaining that you had no other option. Personal emergencies involve many things such as accidents, illness, family issues and so on.

Sample message

I had a personal emergency and that is why I didn’t come for work. My brother was caught by the police and I had to go and bail him out. I will work on my off days to recover the time wasted. This will never happen again.

Preparation of Exam

This is a very genuine excuse to give your employer because it is important to attend exams.

Sample message

I couldn’t manage to come to work because I was preparing for masters exams. I am sorry I didn’t inform you early but now that I am back, I will try to recover the time I was off by working extra hours. I promise this will never happen again.

Family emergency

You can give a family emergency as an excuse for not going to work. This can be family gathering, get together, family prayers and so on.

Sample message

I would like to apologize for missing work due to a family emergency. We had a family get together and it was a must for me to attend because I missed the previous one. I promise not to repeat this again.

Delivery of a family member

A considerate employer will understand if you miss work when your close family member delivers. Make sure that you state in your excuse letter that the family member is close to you and the delivery affects you directly.

Sample message

I apologize for missing work. My sister delivered and because I am the only person close to her who could give her the care she needs, I had to miss work. I understand that my behavior drags the company back but since I value our company, I will work on weekends to recover the time I was off.

Family member illness

Inform your employer that your services to the ill family member were critical.

Sample message

My brother was very ill and I had to take him to the hospital. I could not avoid this but I apologize and promise not to miss work again.

Family member’s accident

When your family member has an accident, it is reasonable not to go to work and attend to him. It is also reasonable to give this as an excuse to your employer for missing work.

Sample message

I regret to inform you that my mother fell and broke her leg. I had to take care of her and this is why I didn’t come to work. I promise that I won’t miss work again.

Difference between a good and a bad excuse

Some excuses typically don’t work. Bad excuses are too farfetched, too elaborate or not good enough to miss work. Make sure before you give an excuse that you have gauged it. Good reasons are those reasons where you had no other option and the repercussions could have been great if you went to work instead.

Things to keep in mind when missing work

Imagine when you miss work and your boss sees you on Facebook for the whole day. That will land you in hot soup. You should make sure you try and cover up for the time wasted when you missed work. This way, your employer will understand and pardon you.

What to Say to Boss/Employer After No Call or No Show

When you are given a job, one of the expectations by the employer is that you will be able to attend to work on time and in every day that you are required to. However, circumstances may arise and cause a person to miss work. In such a case, you have to figure out the best way to tell your employer. Here are some of things you can say: –
  • You have to explain that you understand that you made a mistake. All that your boss cares about is you attending to your duties, failing to do this will definitely call for an explanation.
  • Give a genuine reason on why you missed work. Make sure that the cause of your mistake is not only genuine but logic. Some of the reasons that may be understood by the boss are car wreck, if you were hospitalized, if you were held hostage or kidnapped. Do not explain with lame excuses like saying you did not feel like going to work.
  • Understand your position in the work place. This means that for you to be excused for missing work without it painting a bad image to the management about you, your track record as well as your personality must be good. For a person who just got employed, missing work without a good reason may portray lack of competency and interest in the job.
  • Missing work due to some unavoidable circumstances will be received well by your boss/employer however; a reason that is not logic may necessarily not lead to lose of job but will definitely place a bad record on you.

Bad Excuses for Missing Work

There are some reasons that should never be mentioned when explaining why you missed work. Giving these kinds of excuses may not only give you a bad reputation at work but may also lead you to losing the job. Here are some of the excuses that you should never give for missing work.

Other people’s business

Do not give an excuse that you got busy with a friend’s wedding plans and forgot about going to work. This is a lame excuse that may lead you to losing your job. However, you can ask for permission to attend to such an event prior to the day the event is to take place.

Bad weather

There is a weather condition that could lead you to miss work that can be understood, but never give an excuse of the weather causing a flat tire.

Bad hair day

Do not give this as an excuse of missing work. This is a lame excuse because you are supposed to plan yourself on when to do your hair in a way that will not affect the work schedule.

Don’t say that you ate bad food and it made you miss work. If you got sick from eating the wrong food, the best excuse to give from this is to say that you are sick without mentioning the cause of the sickness.

The pet caused you to miss work

If you have a sick pet or the pet in a way hurt you, do not give this as an excuse for missing work, instead, you can say that you have an appointment with the vet. This should not be an excuse but rather you should seek permission to do so prior to the appointment day.


Don’t give the excuse of you being afraid of a spider or the fear of a long straight road as a reason to miss work. If you experience a distraction from such, maybe there was a snake in your house, you should find a way to put it instead of saying that there was a snake and you got too afraid to go to work.

How to Write an Excuse Letter, Note or Email

There will always be some things that will cause a person to miss work. The best way to make sure that there is a smooth running at work is to write a formal excuse note, letter or Email to the respective authority. Here are some points to consider when writing an excuse letter.

Keep the note brief and professional

Be straight forward on the days you missed work, why you were absent and the measures you put in place to make sure that nothing went wrong at work. Make sure you don’t give a lot of excuses which may make your excuse look dramatic.

Indicate the day you will resume work

Mention the days you will be absent from work or if it is for some hours, mention this too. Give the date on which you intend to go back to work and also make sure you give the contacts on which you can be reached, in case you are needed.

Send your note promptly

The best way is to send this letter prior to the day of your absence. However, there are events that will call you to send the note on the same day when you intend not to go to work, in this case, it is good to write an email and follow up to find out if your email was received

Sample Excuse Letters for Missing Work

Below are a few sample excuse and apology letters. If they aren’t not enough you can always check the directory of excuse letters.

Excuse Letter to Leave Early from Work

Excuse Letter to Leave Early from Work

Letter to Leave Early from Work Due to Illness

Letter to Leave Early from Work Due to Illness

Apology Letter for Being Late to Work Due to Traffic

Apology Letter for Being Late to Work Because of Traffic

Apology Letter to Boss for Not Showing Up

Apology Letter to Boss for Not Showing up