Approaching your employer with a request for leave can seem complicated. Many employees feel that making a leave request places them in a position of asking for favors, even when their job may entitle them to time off.You do not want your request to sound entitled, but an overly apologetic tone can also detract from your letter. You may also worry about coming across as an insufficiently dedicated employee.Using our general leave letter templates can help you hit the right note and convey your request in an appropriate, professional manner. We also include some writing tips to help you understand some important techniques that can help you get what you need.
General Leave Letter Template
The following letter offers an example of a request for leave. Janet Lynn wants to ask for leave in order to deal with a difficult family situation. She explains her reasons for the leave while reassuring her employer that she will do what she can to mitigate the effects of her unexpected absence.
I am writing to request a period of general leave starting November 15, 2017, and ending November 20, 2017. Due to a difficult personal situation that has arisen in my immediate family, I would like this time off. During my leave, I will provide emotional and practical support to a close relative who unfortunately finds herself in extreme hardship and needs my assistance at this time.
In the time leading up to this leave period, I will ensure the smooth running of all projects and ensure that no deadlines or critical periods fall out during my absence. I will also work with my team to ensure they have the complete information they need to handle any unexpected developments if any should come up.
While I am away, I will continue to make myself available via phone, text, and e-mail. I will check in routinely. As I anticipate having computer and internet access, I will have the capacity to take care of most issues remotely.
Please let me know if you would like me to take additional action to make things run smoothly during this leave period. My department’s success remains, as always, a high priority for me.
I deeply appreciate your understanding in this matter.
How To Write a General Leave Letter
This type of letter aims to request a period of leave while reassuring the employer that you will take steps to ensure everything goes well during your absence. You need to state your own requirements while making sure the employer knows you continue to keep the company’s needs in mind as well.
Start your letter by clearly stating your request, including the specific time period you want for your leave. As a courtesy, you may also provide a brief explanation for your request without including too much detail. In our general leave letter template, the writer correctly avoids an involved explanation of her relative’s difficulties. The supervisor receiving this letter does not need this information to evaluate the leave request.
Next, provide a detailed plan of how you intend to ensure the company does not suffer due to your absence. Appropriate action will depend on the specific nature of your position. Some employees can do part of their work remotely, while others may need to ask another team member to cover shifts. Consider which aspects of your job serve essential functions and will need someone to attend to them during your absence, and which you can safely postpone or do in advance.
Except in cases of emergency leave, be sure to provide appropriate notice well in advance of the date on which you want to take leave. Remember to consult your workplace’s policies. In the absence of explicit guidelines, do try to give notice as early as possible. The more time you and your colleagues have to prepare for your leave, the better chance you have that your leave will not negatively affect your company.
What To Avoid in Your General Leave Letter
The top mistake people make when requesting leave consists of making their letter all about themselves and their situation. While a request for a specific type of leave may merit an explanation of the underlying reasons, a general leave letter should quickly mention the reason without delving into unnecessary detail.
Talking too much about your need to take time off and not enough about your plans to cover work obligations can make supervisors think you did not consider how your absence would affect the company. Dedicating the bulk of your letter to a thought-out plan for ensuring things go smoothly while you are away demonstrates your dedication and foresight to employers.
Unrealistic coverage plans present another pitfall to avoid. In trying to impress your employer by covering all the bases, do not forget to realistically consider your position. For example, an employee in a supervisory position may properly plan to delegate tasks, but this might seem inappropriate for an employee without such authority.
How To Follow Up After Sending Your General Leave Letter
Often, your boss may not immediately respond to a general leave letter, especially if you provide plenty of advance notice. If you do not hear back, you should follow up within a few days.
You need confirmation of your request’s approval so that you can make your personal plans and prepare for work coverage. You may also want to meet with your boss and discuss the best ways to handle your job functions during your absence. Although you outline your plans in your letter, you likely still need your supervisor’s approval to take specific steps.
You should also tell your colleagues who will deal with some of your workload or otherwise need to know about your absence. If you need to switch shifts or coordinate leave requests, you may need to speak to the relevant co-workers before sending your letter.
Top 5 General Leave Letter Writing Takeaways
1. Avoid sounding entitled or demanding
Even if the law or your employment contract requires your employer to allow certain types of leave, coming across as demanding might damage your relationship with your boss despite the approval of your request. On the other hand, employers appreciate when you show understanding and concern over the fact that your absence can affect the company.
2. Include necessary information
This means the type of leave you want to take, the grounds for it, and the proposed duration. If your request contains unusual elements such as an uncertain duration or very short notice, do explain why your circumstances make these elements necessary.
3. Set out a plan for your absence
The most important component of a leave request to employers is how you plan to ensure your work functions do not fall behind. Use common sense and your knowledge of your position to propose specific actions.
4. Use professional language
No matter the level of formality or informality you maintain in your day-to-day interactions with your boss, your request letter should err on the side of formality and professionalism. Avoid slang, jokes, or irrelevant digressions.
5. Express your appreciation
Without sounding over-the-top, let your boss know you appreciate his or her consideration. Even if your boss must legally agree to your request, writing courteously helps you maintain a better relationship with your company.