Missing Work Excuse Email and Letter Examples

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When you're required to formally notify your employer in writing when you have either missed work or won't be able to come to work, it's important to write a professional email message or letter with the basic details of why you were absent.

Companies may require that employees provide a written letter of excuse or send an email message when they miss time from work for doctor’s appointments or for other reasons. In addition, you may need to request a formal leave of absence in writing.

If you're sending an email to say you won't be in the office today, a brief message should be sufficient to provide your boss with appropriate notice. If you're requesting a leave of absence or other extended time off, however, you will need to provide more detailed information in your request. 

Send your message as soon as you know that you will need time away from work. The more advance notice you can provide, the easier it will be for the company to arrange to cover your workload and the more amenable they will be to granting your request. 

These sample letters and email messages with excuses for missing work can and should be edited to fit your own personal circumstances – you shouldn’t simply copy-and-paste them. Also see below for tips on what - and what not - to include in your request for a leave of absence letter.

Email Excuse Message Examples for Missing Work

Sample Written Letters With Excuses for Missing Work

Sample Letters Requesting a Leave of Absence from Work

What to Include in a Request for a Leave of Absence Letter

If you find that you need a leave of absence, your employer will expect you to explain why this is so necessary for you. Your absence will both inconvenience them and will perhaps cost them time or money as well if they are forced to find a temporary replacement for you. Your letter should thus include an adequate reason for your request, supported by the following logistical details: 

  • The date(s) you won't be available to work.
  • The date you will return to work, if you know it.
  • An offer to help while you're out of the office, if that's feasible.
  • An offer to complete all outstanding projects / client work before your leave begins, if time allows.
  • An offer to provide documentation if you are requesting a medical or a military leave of absence.
  • The email and / or phone number where your employer can contact you if they have a question.
  • Any other additional information required by the company if they have a formal policy to request sick time or leave from your job.

    What Not to Include in an Excuse or Leave of Absence Letter

    Think carefully about how much personal information you want to share with your employer regarding your excuse or request for a leave of absence. You don’t want for them to think that you are prevaricating or that your absence may be paving the way for a permanent departure. Either suspicion might lead to their firing you, especially if you work in a position where job security is not guaranteed and where there are others who would readily fill your shoes. 

    • Don't include too much information. You don't need to provide all of the details of a medical problem or a personal crisis. Keep your letter short and simple.
    • Don't make something up or include any information that can't be verified. Stick to the facts because your employer may ask for a note from your doctor to substantiate your request.
    • Do keep it simple. For example:

    Excuse Letter (Text Version)

    Subject: Absence From Work - Your Name

    Dear Mr./Mrs. Lastname,

    I’m writing to inform you that I was absent from work on February 4th, 20XX due to illness. I was unable to report to work that day because I had to go to the urgent care clinic. I was treated and told to go home and rest for the remainder of the day.

    Please let me know if you need more information and thank you for understanding.


    Your Name