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How to Make a Letter of Intent to Return to Work

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If you've been on a leave of absence from work, you may be required by your employer to submit a letter of intent to return to work before restarting your employment. The letter should remind your direct supervisor of the reason for your absence, the anticipated date of your return and ancillary details that may be relevant to resuming your work responsibilities.

Address the letter to your supervisor or the human resources individual responsible for coordinating the elements of your leave. Open the letter with a thank you. For example, “Thank you for authorizing my work leave from February 1 through April 1, 2017. As previously agreed upon, I will be returning to my position as regional sales representative on April 1.”

Attach or enclose copies of pertinent documentation that was filled out at the time you took your leave of absence. This is especially important if your leave was taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If your leave was for a birth or adoption, you may be asked to provide copies of adoption papers or a birth certificate.

Attach or enclose a release letter from your doctor stating that you are able to return to work. The letter should specify any work-related restrictions related to your medical condition, if the reason for your leave was health-related. For example, “As you will see in my attached correspondence from my physician, I will be limited to part time work for the next six weeks until I am fully recovered from my surgery.”

Outline specifics of how you intend to get back up to speed in your position. For example, “My assistant has kept me apprised of changes to our client list and provided me with detailed overviews of new products and services that have been introduced during my absence. I'm confident I’ll be able to hit the ground running upon my return.”

Close with another thank you to your employer. For example, “Again, thank you for your patience and understanding during my recent surgery and recovery. I'm fortunate to be employed by a company such as ours and I look forward to getting back to work.”


Your employer may have a specific return to work intent form for you to fill out. You might also be required to submit your letter within a specific time period before returning to work. Contact your supervisor or human resources manager for details.


Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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