How To Write a Leave Application Email (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 September 2022

Published 2 August 2021

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.

Every workplace has its own formal requirements for requesting leave. One requirement may be submitting a leave application or letter to request leave that explains why you are about to take leave, how long you may be on leave and what you're doing to prepare the organisation for your absence. Knowing how to write a standard leave application notice can better prepare you for when you're about to draft one yourself. In this article, we discuss how to write a leave application email, what are the common types of leave and what are the tips for writing your request.

Related: Learn How to Ask For a Leave of Absence from Work in 10 Steps

How to write a leave application email

Follow these steps to prepare a leave application email to send at work:

1. Review your organisation's leave policies

Consult with your employee handbook or a human resource professional to learn more about the types of leave your employer offers. Determine if there are specific guidelines for requesting leave, such as how much notice to give, if you plan to use all paid time off before requesting unpaid time off, if you're eligible to take unpaid time off and the types of leave available. This may also help you find out the information you are expected to provide in your request, including submitting any paperwork.

2. Address the letter to the appropriate person

When reviewing the leave policies, find out who is responsible for approving your leave application. For example, you may submit the request to your HR manager, your direct manager or both. Address your letter appropriately.

3. Use a professional salutation

Use a professional greeting rather than an informal greeting because this is a formal request. Use a greeting like "Dear [recipient's name]" rather than "Hello [recipient's name]." If you know the person well, you may use their first name, but it's often better to use a title like Mr., Mrs. or Ms. followed by their surname.

Read more: 6 Ways To Start Your Email Right

4. Introduce why you're writing

Open your letter with the specific reason you're writing. Mention that you're requesting leave, and provide your reason for doing so. This helps the recipient clearly understand your intention and better assess the additional information you provide in your letter.

5. Provide the dates of your leave

Add the start and end dates of your leave. If you're unsure of the exact end date of your leave or if you think you may extend it, indicate this in your letter. For example, you may mention you anticipate returning after two weeks, but that you may extend for an additional week. Establish provisions for when and how you may update them if you change your dates.

6. Discuss how you may prepare for your leave

Outline how you may prepare your team to handle your absence. This helps ensure there's someone to act as a point of contact for clients and handle your responsibilities while you're gone, and it may help your manager identify if the deadlines can be adjusted before your leave. Provide some examples of how you may specifically prepare your colleagues, and include that you are willing to help with the adjustment in any other way necessary. Some steps you may discuss include:

  • Completing tasks before upcoming deadlines

  • Delegating time-sensitive and routine responsibilities

  • Training coworkers on your tasks

  • Updating clients about your absence and their new point of contact

Related: 15 Out of Office Messages for Professionals

7. Offer to provide documentation

Offer to provide official documentation to support your request for leave. While some organisations may not require you to provide documents, a willingness to provide proof demonstrates professionalism and dependability. The documentation required would vary based on the type of leave, but some examples of documents you may provide include:

  • A doctor's note

  • An obituary

  • Court documents

8. Thank them for considering your request

End your letter by thanking the recipient for reading your letter and considering your request. This shows your respect for their time and your commitment to the organisation and your team. Consider encouraging them to contact you if they have any questions about your request.

9. Add your contact information

Sign your email with a professional farewell statement, and type your first and last name. Provide your personal contact information for them to use if they need to contact you during your leave. This may include your home phone number, your mobile phone number or your personal email address.

Read more: 63 Email Sign-Offs To Use for Professional Emails

23 types of leave

The Employment Act provides some government-mandated and paid leaves, and organisations may provide various types of leave. Requirements for each leave may vary. However, some examples of types of leave include:

  • Annual leave: this leave refers to taking a long period of time off using paid time off accrued throughout the year, which is typically a minimum of seven days but a maximum of 14 days of leave per year.

  • Adoption leave: adoptive mothers may receive 12 weeks of paid leave after adopting a child who is less than 12 months old at the time of formal intent to adopt.

  • Bereavement leave: many organisations provide two or three days of bereavement or compassionate leave for employees to mourn and attend or prepare for funerals of immediate family members.

  • Birthday leave: some organisations provide employees with one day of paid leave on or around their birthdays.

  • Childcare leave: parents with children younger than seven years old may receive six paid days of childcare leave per year for a maximum of 42 days.

  • Family care leave: an organisation may provide employees with a few days of leave to care for immediate family members as needed.

  • Extended childcare leave: parents who don't use their maximum of 42 days of childcare leave may use up to two days per year when their children are between ages seven to 12.

  • Half-day leave: an employee may request a half-day of leave if they need a few hours off during the workday.

  • Holiday leave: employees may request periods of time off using provided paid time off.

  • Hospitalisation sick leave: an employee may take up to 60 days of paid leave for hospitalisation per year.

  • Marriage leave: some organisations provide employees with two or three days of paid marriage leave to prepare for and celebrate their nuptials.

  • Maternity leave: an expectant mother may take up to 16 weeks of absence to prepare for or adjust after the birth of a baby.

  • National Service leave: employees may receive a paid leave of absence if they're called to perform National Service duties.

  • One-day leave: an employee may request a specific day off in advance.

  • Outpatient sick leave: an employee may take up to 14 paid days of outpatient sick leave per year.

  • Public holidays and off-in-lieu: employees receive 11 paid public holidays per year, and if your employer requires you to work on a public holiday, you may request the time off in lieu.

  • Paternity leave: an expectant father may take two weeks of absence to prepare for or adjust after the birth of a baby.

  • Personal event leave: employees may request additional time off for personal events in their lives.

  • Sabbatical: some organisations provide long-serving employees with an extended period of leave that's often between two months to one year long.

  • Shared parental leave: a new father may use up to four weeks of his wife's 16 weeks of maternity leave, requiring agreement from the wife and mutual agreement from the organisations.

  • Study leave: organisations may provide part-time students with a few days or weeks of study or exam leave.

  • Unpaid infant care leave: a working parent may take up to six days per year of unpaid infant care for children younger than two years old.

  • Unpaid leave: employees may request unpaid leave from their employer, often when they've used all paid leave options.

Related: A Guide on How to Take a Break From Work (Plus Benefits)

Tips for writing a leave request email

Consider these tips as you write your email to request leave from work:

  • Be mindful of potentially busy times, when possible.

  • Create a plan for finishing all of your work before your leave.

  • Proofread your email before sending it.

  • Review government and organisational requirements for leave.

  • Send your request as soon as possible to provide enough time for approval.

  • Use language to ask for time off rather than saying you need time off.

Leave application email example

Review this example email application for leave to help you write your own request:

Dear Ms. Tan,

I'm writing to you today to inform you that my wife and I are expecting a baby later this year. My wife's expected due date is 11 October, so I expect my leave will begin 11 October and end 22 October. I anticipate returning to work 25 October, but I will keep you updated based on my wife's progress and can provide doctor's notes as necessary.

Before I take my leave, I plan to divide my clients evenly among the other account managers and brief them about each client's needs. I will send each client a notice about their temporary account manager and my expected return date. In addition, I have an up-to-date calendar with all upcoming deadlines to prevent issues. I'm happy to assist in any way during this transition.

If you need to contact me during my leave, please use my personal email address, which is mchan@email.com.sg, or call my personal mobile phone at +65 9555 5555.

Thank you for your time and for considering my request. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Best,
Marcus Chan

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

This article is based on information available at the time of writing, which may change at any time. Indeed does not guarantee that this information is always up-to-date. Please seek out local resources for the latest on this topic.

Explore more articles