Request a Leave of Absence From Work

Understanding how to request a leave of absence from work can help you obtain the time off you need and minimize career implications. Many people find themselves needing to take a leave of absence from their jobs for family, medical, or other reasons. When you are in this situation, understanding how to approach your supervisor about your leave will work to your benefit. Most large companies require you to write a formal leave of absence request letter as well.

In this article, you will learn about leave of absence criteria, approaching your supervisor, and writing a formal leave request letter. We have also provided a sample letter to demonstrate the template’s practical use in requesting an extended period away from work.

Requesting a leave of absence takes some planning. Consider the following before you discuss your request with your supervisor.

Reason for Taking a Leave

Do your research on covered reasons to request leave before you approach your immediate supervisor. Find out if your employer is legally required to accept your leave request. Also, check your employee handbook for policy regarding extended time off. Depending on your employer’s size, you may be eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The following are some general guidelines for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave in 12 months with continued benefit coverage:

  • Birth or care of a newborn within 12 months of the birth;
  • Placement of a child for adoption or foster care within 12 months of placement;
  • Care of spouse, child, or parent with serious illness;
  • Employee health condition that prevents the employee from completing job duties;
  • Emergency arising from a family member on active military duty.

Other reasons for taking leave may be personal, such as traveling and visiting family. Relief from excessive job stress can be a reason to request a leave of absence.

Time Your Request Appropriately

Most companies are more willing to accept a furlough request when an employee can offer advance notice. If you have plans that require you to request leave, discuss your need with your supervisor as soon as possible. However, avoid asking for extended time off when your office is high-stress. Attempt to bring up the subject when your workplace is calm.

Approach Your Supervisor

Avoid discussing your plan to request a leave until you have had a conversation with your immediate supervisor, if possible. A helpful way to handle this discussion is to send your boss an email or letter requesting leave and asking for the opportunity to discuss it with them.

Include enough detail in your message for them to consider your petition before meeting with you. Your supervisor is more likely to accept and approve your request if you inform them of your reason for needing time away from work. You don’t need to include every detail in your email, but a general idea of the issue can help with their decision.

Write Your Formal Request Letter for a Leave of Absence

You can write your formal request for leave after you have discussed it with your supervisor and obtained their approval. Address the letter to your supervisor. Include the following in your formal request letter.

  • Your request for a leave of absence;
  • A reference to your discussion;
  • The dates you expect to be away from work;
  • The date you plan to return to work;
  • An offer to help plan coverage for your workload if feasible;
  • An offer to communicate during your leave if possible;
  • Your contact information;
  • Thanks for their consideration of your request.

Your supervisor can likely help you work with human resources to gain approval for your leave of absence. You may be required to fill out additional forms or provide documentation before your time away is approved.

Request a Leave of Absence from Work Format

Note: The second paragraph is optional. Include this paragraph only if you are able to help plan for coverage of your job and be available for assistance during leave.

{your name}

{your address}

{date}

{supervisor’s name}

{position title}

{company name}

{company address}

Dear {supervisor’s name},

I am writing to formally request a leave of absence, as we discussed on {date}. The anticipated dates of my leave are from {date} to {date}. I plan to return to work on {date}.

As I stated, if my leave is approved, I am happy to help plan and prepare for coverage of my workload during my absence. I will be available to assist while I am away on leave. I can be reached at {your preferred contact information}.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need further information. Thank you for your time and consideration of my request.

Sincerely,

{your signature}

{your name}

Sample Request a Leave of Absence from Work

Bryan Haroldson

4846 East Meridian

Jacksonville, OH 23557

February 2, 2032

Arlen Mason

Manager, Sales

Industrial Supply, Inc.

5936 West 93 Street

Jacksonville, OH 23558

Dear Mr. Mason,

I am writing to formally request a leave of absence, as we discussed on January 29. The anticipated dates of my leave are from March 1, 2032 to May 1, 2032. I plan to return to work on May 2, 2032.

As I stated, if my leave is approved, I am happy to help plan and prepare for coverage of my workload during my absence. I will be available to assist while I am away on leave. I can be reached at haroldsonbryan@email.com.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need further information. Thank you for your time and consideration of my request.

Sincerely,

Bryan Haroldson

Bryan Haroldson

Request a Leave of Absence from Work

Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Conclusion

Requesting a leave of absence can be stressful. Understanding how to request a leave can help you obtain the time off that you need while keeping your stress level to a minimum. Speak with your immediate supervisor about requesting a leave before you write your formal request letter. Be sure to incorporate all the information required for your company to evaluate and approve your request in your letter.