Writing a request for emergency leave means putting together details about a developing situation and making predictions about future developments, and that makes it a challenge. It becomes important to remember that these details help to paint a picture of the challenges you face during the emergency. When you are requesting time off to deal with a personal emergency, the temptation to hold back details can prevent your employer from understanding and supporting your need.Letting emotion take over the word choice can also cause problems, because it shifts the focus off what you need for support and onto your personal difficulties. This can lead to problems getting that support. Follow along with these emergency leave letter templates and writing tips to learn how to effectively communicate your needs during an emergency.
Emergency Leave Letter Template
Below is a letter by Clay Dillon requesting emergency leave because of a natural disaster near his home. Clay needs leave because his children are not able to attend school and local power outages and flooding have made seeking child care impossible in the short term. He must anticipate the work that goes into repairing the damage to his home and make arrangements for completion. Notice how he moves through the details of his situation in a clear but professional tone.
I write this letter today to inform you about an emergency that prevents me from attendance at the office for the short-term. I understand the short notice of this request, but emergencies create the need for short-notice changes. Let me explain the situation.
As you understand due to the office’s proximity to the shoreline, the hurricane created a number of obstacles to my family’s regular routine. Unfortunately, unlike the office, we depend on a rural power system that the storm disrupted, and flooding in this area complicates getting the power restored. It also complicates my ability to commute to town for work.
Luckily, the kids love my working from home, because there is also no school and no daycare available until the power returns. I intend to continue working with clients from home via email, and I regret my inability to get to the office and help with cleanup there. If anyone needs to speak to me directly, I can be available through Skype. However, if I could have an additional two days on everything due this week to accommodate my working while taking care of family, I should return with all projects on schedule next week some time.
Thank you for your consideration and support during this challenging time.
How To Write an Emergency Leave Letter
When asking for emergency leave, the important message to send is that the situation is out of everyone’s control, but that your efforts are going into a return to your regular duties. There are a number of ways to convey this, but they all revolve around a few principles. Let’s take a closer look at how to get that to play out.
The emergency leave letter template opens with a short statement about the nature of the emergency, in terms of the unfortunate disruption it brings to everyone. This statement helps to mitigate any reactions that may miss the nature of the request and assume that it stems from choice. It also helps to remind the employer of the wide ranging impact of the emergency.
In the main part of the body, the writer concentrates on a few very clear goals. He outlines why he cannot travel to the office, what obstacles remain in his way, and what he is doing to solve the problem and return to work in the first couple sentences after the opening. That information makes the complexity of the situation clear and allows the reader to understand what needs to change before resolution of the situation and how the change should happen.
The next part of the body deals with the writer’s arrangements for the discharge of the handling of various duties. This important section demonstrates the writer’s commitment to working through the adversity of the moment. It also informs the employer about how and when work will resume, and in what forms. The closing makes sure to express gratitude and to observe the niceties of business communication. Follow this general format as you write to make sure you include every important detail.
What To Avoid in Your Emergency Leave Letter
Writing an emergency leave letter means constructing a careful evaluation of your circumstances and making predictions about when you can return to work. Unfortunately, because emergencies tend to involve a lot of developing information and high-pressure situations, writers often make mistakes that can come back to haunt them when they get back to work.
Remember to discuss your needs clearly and to demonstrate that you possess a plan for resolving the emergency. Otherwise, your employer could conceivably mistake your letter for a resignation. This happens when the writer explains the emergency but inadvertently neglects a return plan. Most likely, resolution is still possible, but it represents the kind of extra hiccup you do not need in an emergency.
You also want to avoid getting overly emotional in the letter. Avoid evaluating your state beyond what is necessary to describe the situation to your employer, and concentrate instead on reporting the concrete information that can help your coworkers understand your challenges.
How To Follow Up After Sending Your Emergency Leave Letter
You want to make sure your employer acknowledges your letter and accepts your plan of action, so plan to write a follow-up to your original letter after you receive a response. It is likely that the response will acknowledge your communication and provide you with more information about what the company can do to help. It may include requests for modified deliveries of your work, or it could contain an attempt to negotiate your return.
Prioritize responding to these requests promptly and with a full explanation of your circumstances and the reasons behind your response. That allows you to stay on top of your employer’s needs, making it easier for you to plan your transition back.
Top 5 Emergency Leave Letter Takeaways
1. Make sure you deliver clear messages about the challenges you face
Your employer relies on your words to be able to understand the challenges you must overcome before you can return to work. If you explain the steps you must take before work becomes possible, realistic assessments become easier.
2. Outline your alternate work delivery for outstanding projects
If your job is one that requires you to deliver work that you perform autonomously like account executives, designers, and engineers do, then you need to make sure any deliverables get where they need to go. If this involves changing timelines, make sure your employer realizes it.
3. Remind your employer of the impact of the event
For natural disasters, a simple check-in about the status of the workplace will do. For personal emergencies, a reminder of everything involved when situations like yours arise should do.
4. Make sure the letter adheres to standard letter-writing practices
Structure your information so that you deliver an opening that establishes the topic of communication. Move on to describing the issue in detail, and close after you deliver a plan forward. That way, your communication guides the reader to your call to action just like any other letter.
5. Refrain from emotional check-ins even when you are close with coworkers
There are plenty of communication channels for personal check-ins and you should use them. When you officially request leave, though, you need to focus.