Leave of Absence Letter for Personal Reasons Example

Discussing a leave of absence
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There are many reasons you may need to take a leave of absence from your job. You may have personal or family-related reasons for requiring extended time away from work. A discussion with your supervisor should be followed by a leave of absence letter citing your personal reasons. Here’s some information on types of work leave, how to request a leave of absence for personal reasons, and a sample letter to give you an idea of how to write your own request.

Legally Required Leaves of Absence

There are certain circumstances under which your employer, by law, has to grant you the time off you request. The company may not be legally required to pay you, either fully or in part, while you are away from your job, but there are legal protections to guarantee that you can return to your job when your leave is finished.

Some of the reasons for mandatory leave approval are the birth or adoption of a child, certain medical conditions, or to honor a military commitment.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) states the legal guidelines businesses have to follow regarding mandatory leave. There also may be other federal and state laws providing paid or unpaid leaves of absence from work, depending on the reason you are requesting the leave.

Voluntary Leaves of Absence

Reasons you may take a voluntary leave would be more personal, like continuing your education, dealing with personal stress, or battling illness. Your employer is not required by law to grant voluntary, or personal, leave. When you start your job, get to know what your rights are when it comes requesting and taking a leave of absence. Guidelines can be very different between companies, so don’t assume they are all alike.

Extended leave is often unpaid, but you may be able to use accrued vacation time if you can plan ahead. In many circumstances, employers are happy to honor your request for the leave of absence, especially if you are open and honest with your boss about what you are going through and request the time off with plenty of notice.

Unfortunately, you will sometimes find yourself seeking leave unexpectedly and may not be able to give much warning ahead of time. Whatever your circumstances are, be sure to ask for an extended period of leave professionally and courteously.

Ask Verbally and in Writing

Plan to request your time off both verbally and in writing. It is always advisable to have a face-to-face conversation with your supervisor about your need to take a leave of absence. You do not have to give them every detail about what you are dealing with, but the more aware they are of what you are going through, the more understanding they are likely to be.

You should follow up your in-person meeting with a written document clearly requesting the terms of your leave.

You can send your letter via email or post or give it to your supervisor by hand. Also, if you have a team of coworkers, you should notify them after your leave is approved.

You can send an email to your colleagues as a group or individually, depending on the size of your company/department and how close you are to the people with whom you work. The key is to be open and honest with those you work for and with, but remember, you only need to share as much detail as you are comfortable with regarding your leave.

What to Include in Your Letter

When you write your letter, there is some essential information you should include.

  • Begin by stating how much time you are planning on taking off and when you would like the leave of absence to begin and end.
  • Include a brief explanation of why you are taking the leave and perhapsinclude where you will be while you are away.
  • If it is possible, offer your assistance and provide the best way to contact you during your time off.
  • Be sure to thank your employer for considering your request

Letter Example Requesting a Leave of Absence for Personal Reasons

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number


City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname:

I would like to formally request a two month leave of absence for personal reasons. If possible, I would like the leave from work to begin on August 1, with a return date of October 1, 2019.

If approved, I will be staying with family in Anycity during this time period and I would be glad to assist with any questions via email or phone whenever possible.

Thank you very much for your consideration.


Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Typed Name

Sending an Email

If you are sending your letter by email, you don’t need to include the contact information at the top of the letter. Your subject line should state something clear and concise, like: “Leave of Absence Request - Firstname Lastname.” Begin your letter with a salutation, and include your contact information with your signature.

The Best Way to Ask for a Leave

Check Your Eligibility: Before you ask for a leave, check with your manager or human resources department on what time-off you may be eligible to take.

Be Specific: If you know how much leave you need, specify the dates you will leave and return in your request. It will be easier for the company to say "yes" if they have the details.

Put the Request in Writing: Request leave from work in writing, so you have documentation of your request.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice. State and federal laws change frequently, and the information in this article may not reflect your own state’s laws or the most recent changes to the law.