How to Write a Formal Letter to an Employer Requesting Leave of Absence

There may come a time in your life when you have to request a leave of absence from your employer in order to attend to some personal business. Many companies require that you write a formal letter to request this leave. Prior to drafting a leave of absence letter, check with your human resources department to determine if you are eligible to be paid during your leave, and make sure the reason for your leave is urgent.

Use business letter-block format and left-justify the letter so that every paragraph aligns on the left side of the page. Single space lines in a paragraph and double space between paragraphs.

Write your name and address, the name of the person to whom you are sending the letter, the company address and the recipient's work title. Write the date and the salutation, which is usually the word "Dear" followed by the person's name. In the event that there is not specific person to whom you can address the letter, it is acceptable to use "To whom it may concern."

Write that you are requesting a leave of absence and include the specific dates that you will be absent from work. Explain the exact reason that you need the leave of absence. If you're having surgery, for example, write "I am scheduled to have a surgical procedure," without being too detailed about the operation.

Detail the projects that you are handling, their current status, and write the name of the person or group to whom you have delegated specific tasks while you are absent.

Close the letter by providing your contact information in the event that your supervisor or colleague needs to get in touch with you. List your mobile phone number, e-mail and, if applicable, the number of a person with whom you will be staying or who will know how to get in contact with you. Thank the recipient of your letter for his consideration. Skip four lines and write your name. Sign your name between the closing and your written name.


If the reason for your requested leave is personal in nature, express that fact in your letter without revealing the exact issue.

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About the Author

Sampson Quain is a screenwriter and filmmaker who began writing in 1996. He has sold feature and television scripts to a variety of studios and networks including Columbia, HBO, NBC, Paramount and Lionsgate. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

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