Leave of Absence Letter

By Lisa BowlinJanuary 15, 2022

What Is a Leave of Absence Letter?

Employees write their supervisor, manager or employer a leave of absence letter to request a leave of absence from work. This differs from the worker using personal or sick days. The former letter goes into the employee's personnel file, so a company has an official record of the worker's notice.

In the letter, the employee notes why she or he wants a leave of absence. The individual may also note in-person the reason for wanting to take time off work, but the company may also require written notice. The letter may better explain the request to HR than verbal communication. Some companies forward leave of absence letters to executives, rather than leave the task for a supervisor or manager. If the reason for the leave of absence qualifies for a federal law, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the document officially records the individual's request.

Why and Who Should Use a Leave of Absence Letter?

Some circumstances don't allow an employee to use sick or personal days to take time off work, making a formal letter another way to take a leave of absence without consequence. Before submitting the request or writing the letter, workers should check to determine if federal or state regulations or the employee handbook honors the request. Another reason to use a leave of absence letter is to create a record of the request, which could protect an employee's position if a manager does not note the request in the employee's record or notify the right personnel.

Top-performing employees whose situations don't qualify for a leave of absence under federal law or whose companies don't offer a leave of absence may want to submit a letter, anyway. If the entity values the individual and her or his professional skills and company contributions, the employer may honor the request without compromising the person's position.

Advantages of Using a Leave of Absence Letter Template?

Workers have options other than legal service providers if they need to assemble a leave of absence letter. They may prefer to use a template, which could help them save time if they want to take time off work sooner rather than later. Relying on template forms offers several other advantages:

  • Workers may discover they save money using a template rather than paying legal service provider fees.
  • Some users prefer the control that comes with using a template, as opposed to turning their choices over to an attorney.
  • Even after completing a template, employees may have a legal professional look over the form to ensure it meets the latest requirements and laws and offers legal protection.
  • Users can enforce leave of absence letters created with templates the same as they could a document created by a legal service provider.
  • Some may consider templates less stressful than working with a legal professional.

When To Use a Leave of Absence Letter?

A person may use a leave of absence letter after the birth of a child. Company policy could allow for paternity or maternity leave, and employees may also invoke the FMLA for the request. Employees who experience a death in the family may need to submit a leave of absence letter for extended time off. Health reasons that qualify for requesting a leave of absence include mental health issues, medical procedures, ongoing health problems and trauma triggered by an accident.

Members of the armed forces or their families may need a military leave of absence. Employees could also need to construct and submit a leave of absence note to pursue higher education opportunities. If a relative falls ill or suffers an injury and needs help, a worker may need to take a leave of absence to act as a caretaker.

No matter a person's reason for requesting time away from work, she or he must think about the dates of the proposed absence before writing the letter. This detail must go on the document.

Related Resources

U.S. News & World Report: While users know how to write a leave of absence letter, they may not know how to ask for a leave of absence verbally before submitting the letter. U.S. News & World Report offers tips for framing requests to take time off work in a way that minimizes conflict and increases the chances of receiving approval. The page notes good and bad reasons for requesting a leave of absence and dives into more detail on the FMLA.

Forbes: Workers on a leave of absence for maternity leave may worry about finances while away from work. Forbes offers seven tips for safeguarding financial security while spending time with a newborn. Suggestions include saving sooner rather than later, understanding company policy and using short-term disability insurance.

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