How to write a leave of absence letter.

Learn what to include in a formal leave of absence letter for work and the easy steps you can take to collect necessary signatures.

At some point in your career, you may need to request a leave of absence. Some common reasons include family or medical commitments, military leave, short- or long-term disability, or simply an extended vacation or sabbatical. Whatever the reason, it’s important to submit a formal request in writing. Let’s dive into how that request should look.

What to include in your letter.

In most cases, it’s best practice to speak to your supervisor first before submitting the written leave of absence request. After the conversation, provide the written details in a letter to help your supervisor better understand your request and how to manage your absence. Here’s where to start:

  1. Begin with the stated request, i.e., “This letter is a formal request for a leave of absence.”
  2. Include your departure and return dates.
  3. Offer any assistance — such as training other team members — if applicable.
  4. Close the letter with a line of thanks or consideration.
  5. Finish with your signature.

When writing, keep in mind that most leave of absence request letters will require multiple signatures, including you as the requester, the supervisor, and in some cases, the HR department. For this reason, avoid writing your request in the body of an email. Instead, create a sharable document that the involved parties can sign digitally to keep your document moving.

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