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How to Write a Letter for a Leave

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People write letters requesting leave for a wide variety of work-related purposes. Such a letter is often written for a leave of absence from work because of personal, health or family issues. When writing a leave letter, use simple and straightforward wording. Keep the letter short and clear, stating its purpose, the reason for the leave request and the amount of time sought. Most employees discuss this with their employers before writing the letter, which is retained in the employee's personnel file.

Address the letter. A leave letter to an employer is addressed to your supervisor or manager. Begin the letter with “Dear,” followed by the person’s name. Include the person’s title if applicable.

State the purpose of the letter. The purpose of a letter of leave is to announce that you are requesting a leave of absence from work. Be clear in the letter that this is a necessary action, and remind the manager that the leave was discussed previously.

Include the dates of the leave. After requesting the time away, include the precise dates of the leave, beginning with the first day off and the expected date of return.

Describe the reason. Include a detailed explanation of the primary reason for the leave. If the leave is to allow you to care for a sick relative, include that detail as well as the sick person’s relationship to you. Many employers are flexible in allowing leaves if the reason is valid.

Offer a recommendation for completion of your work. Suggest someone else within the organization to take over your duties. Be sure to discuss this with the person before volunteering his services to the boss. Offer to accept phone calls or to complete some work from home if this is possible.

State the date of your expected return. Include a sentence that says, “I will resume work on...” followed by the date you agreed upon.

Sign the letter. Thank the employer for agreeing to the leave and sign it “Sincerely,” followed by your name.


Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.