How to Write a Leave Application (With an Example and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

While working in a company, employees take different types of leave for different purposes. Every company has specific requirements to apply for leave that typically include submitting a leave application. Understanding how to write a standard leave application can be helpful for you when the need arises. In this article, we explore what a leave application is in an office setting, list the occasions where leave applications are suitable and describe how to write a leave application.

What is a leave application?

A leave application is a formal request to take a certain length of time off from work. Some companies require employees to send physical letters to apply for a leave, while others require emails. Different companies and employers may have different requirements or criteria for leave applications.

The duration of leave that employees can take may vary. Factors that can affect the duration of leave might include the type of leave that an employee is applying for and the company policies. An employee can apply for a leave of absence for a few days up to a couple of months.

How to write a leave application

The details of how to write a leave application may vary depending on your workplace. Every company can have different requirements for leave applications. Paying attention to these requirements is essential to ensure the eligibility of your application. Here are a few common steps that you may take when writing a leave application:

1. Check your company's policies

Before writing your leave application letter, review the required information in your application. You may check these requirements by reviewing your employee handbook or consulting with the human resources (HR) department. Fulfilling these requirements is essential to the approval of your leave application.

A common piece of information to collect before starting your leave application letter is the types of leave available for you to take. Besides that, pay attention to the documents and paperwork you need when applying for a certain type of leave. An example of paperwork that most companies require is a doctor's note for medical leave.

Related: How to Write Leave Application Email (With Example)

2. Address the letter to the recipient

Start your leave application letter by addressing the recipient. Review company policies to understand who you're addressing in these letters. Common recipients of leave application letters typically include HR team members, managers and supervisors.

Address these recipients formally at the beginning of your leave application letter. Similar to other formal letters, avoid using informal salutations such as 'Hello [recipient's name]' or addressing recipients by their first names. Instead, use professional salutations such as 'Dear Mr/ Mrs/ Ms [recipient's name]'.

Related: 63 Email Sign-Offs to Use for Professional Emails

3. Write a brief introduction

The first paragraph of a leave application letter typically includes a brief introduction of yourself. Inform recipients of your name, your department and the position you're holding. Afterwards, explain the main purpose of your letter. This includes information about the leave you're applying for and the reasons, if required.

4. Insert the dates of your leave

After explaining the reason behind your leave, begin the next paragraph by including the dates of your leave. Provide specific information about when you plan to start your leave and when the leave ends. If you're unsure regarding the end date of your leave, inform recipients regarding future updates.

5. Explain how you plan to prepare for your leave

Before going on leave, create a plan regarding fulfilling your future deadlines. Employees who take leave typically have their colleagues take over tasks and assignments. Other than identifying which tasks to delegate, identify the assignments you're going to complete before you leave to help your team adjust to your absence. Some responsibilities you may want to fulfil before your leave include:

  • completing current tasks and deadlines

  • delegating future responsibilities to colleagues

  • equipping colleagues with information to complete future tasks

  • updating clients regarding who to contact during your leave

If possible, ensure recipients of your letter that you're going to be available for emergencies during your leave. Include ways that your colleagues can contact you when you're away on your leave. Some employees let their colleagues or supervisors contact them via email throughout their leave.

6. Attach documents

Companies usually require employees to attach certain documents for different types of leave. Common documents can include a doctor's note, obituary documents or proof of personal events. Even if a company doesn't require the attachment of documents, providing documents is a sign of professionalism and dependability.

7. Finish your leave application letter

Like other formal letters, most employees finish a leave application letter by thanking the recipients for their time and understanding. Ending your letter by thanking the recipients can show that you respect their time. You may also want to attach your personal contact information, such as your phone number or email.

Related: How to Write a Professional Formal Letter

When do you write a leave application?

Employees may submit a leave application for various reasons. Here are a few types of leave that employees typically take:

Annual leave

Employees apply for annual leave when they wish to take a longer time off once a year. Every employee typically receives a certain amount of annual leave days every year they can take off while still receiving pay. Most companies grant a minimum of 14 days of annual leave each year to their employees.

Maternity or paternity leave

Expecting mothers or fathers may take maternity or paternity leave. Employees typically utilise this leave to prepare for and adjust after the birth of their baby. A maternity or paternity leave lasts for approximately 16 weeks. While some companies offer pay throughout maternity or paternity leave, others may not provide this.

Sick leave

Employees can apply for sick leave if they're ill or experience an injury that prevents them from working. The number of sick leave days available to employees may range from a few days to a couple of months. As of 2022, government regulations require companies to pay their employees on sick leave if they have Employer Act coverage and previously worked in a company for three months.

Bereavement leave

Employees take bereavement leave, also known as compassionate leave, when they lose a direct relative or close friend. Employees who take this leave usually need time to prepare and attend a funeral or assist their relatives after the loss. Some companies don't provide bereavement leave for their employees and require them to take annual leave instead.

Related: What Is Bereavement Leave? And How to Ask for It

Marriage leave

Some companies offer marriage leave for their employees. Employees may utilise this type of leave to celebrate their marriage and have time off afterwards. Most marriage leave typically last from two to three days.

Holiday leave

Holiday leave is a type of leave that employees take when they plan to take a holiday. Because most companies don't offer exclusive holiday leave, most employees usually allocate several days out of their annual leave to travel.

Personal leave

Some companies allocate personal leave days for their employees. Employees use this type of leave when they have personal matters to attend to. Common reasons for personal leave include attending emergencies and exams.

Sabbatical leave

Certain companies give their employees time for sabbatical leave. This type of leave may last for several months. Employees can utilise sabbatical leave for various purposes, such as personal matters, travel, volunteering or spending time with their families.

Leave application sample

Here's an example of a leave application letter that can guide you in writing your own:

Subject: Application for Maternity Leave

Dear Mrs Chang,

I'm Remy Tan from the marketing department, and I'm writing to inform you regarding my intention to take maternity leave in the upcoming month. I wish to start my maternity leave on Friday, 10th of June and return to the office by Thursday, on the 7th of September. If my plans change because of any unforeseen issues, I'm going to let you know as soon as possible.

Before I go on leave, I plan to split my four clients between my teammates. I'm arranging a calendar and preparing the documents they may require to assist these clients. In addition, I am available to answer any questions that may arise during my leave.

Below is a doctor's note regarding the details of my upcoming delivery. Please let me know if there's any other information or documentation I can provide. Here is my personal contact information in case you are looking to contact me during my leave:

+65 9251 4023

Thank you for your time and understanding.

Best regards,

Remy Tan

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The letter model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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