How To Ask For Time Off: An Email Template

Posted November 21, 2016, by Vivien Luu

It’s never easy to send this sort of email to your boss – particularly if you’re grieving or in shock. Whether it’s a death in the family or you’ve just gotten some bad news from your doctor, you don’t need to go into a tonne of detail in order to keep your workplace in the loop.

If you have a great relationship with your manager, fantastic – you can probably have this conversation in person. But if you don’t – or you just don’t want to have such a personal conversation face-to-face, these templates will help you out. 


There’s been a family emergency

Subject line: Request for personal leave

Hi Will,

I’d like to put in an application for XX days of personal leave between [insert period]. Sadly, [include brief summary e.g. there has been a death in the family/ a sickness in the family/my husband and I are in the process of a separation].

As I am sure you can appreciate, this is a difficult time for us and I need to take time off to [support my family/ care for my family member/ work things out with my husband].

I understand that it’s an extremely busy time in the office with [insert specific project], so should my leave be approved, I will be sure to brief [insert colleague you work most closely with] on the most urgent matters to ensure that things run smoothly in my absence.

Best regards,

[Your name] 


You’re seriously injured or ill 

Subject line: Request for personal leave

Hi Jane,

I’d like to put in my application for personal leave for [insert dates]. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but unfortunately I was diagnosed with [brief summary e.g. cancer or just say a serious health issue] earlier this week.

As I am sure you can appreciate, this came as quite a shock to me and I will need to take some time off to digest the news and organise treatment. At this stage, the doctors don’t know how long the treatment/my recovery will take, however should I require more leave, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, I’ve organised to get [most relevant colleague] across the most pressing matters of my [specific projects] to make sure that things run smoothly in my absence.

I’m also happy to make myself available over the phone should any urgent matters arise.

As always, your support is greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

[Your name]


Agonising over how to write a tough work email? Here are 10 pre-written email templates to make your work life infinitely easier!

Vivien Luu
Vivien Luu

Viv is a writer who enjoys researching and writing about creativity, how the human mind works, and neuro processes. She values creativity above all else and admires people who pursue their career dreams, no matter the sacrifice. In her spare time, she binges on HBO shows and epic fantasy novels.

Academy Xi
AD1 College
AIM Business School
APM College of Business & Communications at Torrens University
Australasian College of Health and Wellness
Australasian College of Natural Therapies
Australian Catholic University
Australian College of Physical Education
Australian HR Institute
Australian Institute of Business
Australian Institute of Personal Trainers
BCA National Training Group
Builders Academy Australia
Charles Sturt University
Chifley Business School at Torrens University
College Australia
Deakin University
Dūcere
Edith Cowan University
Ella Bache College
Foundation Education
General Assembly
Global Training Institute
Griffith University
Hammond Institute
HTMi Australia
James Cook University Online
Jansen Newman Institute
Kaplan Professional
La Trobe University
MCI Institute
Melbourne City Institute of Education
Mentor Education
Monarch Institute
Monash University
New Horizons Australia Institute of Technology
Open Colleges
Patricks Career Academy
Real Madrid Graduate School at Torrens University
Rose Training Australia
Sarina Russo Institute
Southern School of Natural Therapies
St Mark's National Theological Centre
Swinburne Online
The Hotel School
The National Finance Institute
Torrens University Australia
UniSA Online
Upskilled
William Blue College of Hospitality Management at Torrens University
University of Canberra
Integrated Care & Management Training (ICMT)
Open Colleges School of Health