How To Get a Leave of Absence from Work?
Now that you know what leave of absence is and its types, you need to know how to get a leave of absence from work? Well, it needs to be done delicately. Jeff Weiss, President of Lesly University, says, “asking for a leave of absence is a complex negotiation; in some cases, it is more complex than negotiating a salary. You need to be very thoughtful and creative as sometimes your request may fall outside the company’s stated leave policies and benefits. But because your reason is uncommon, it doesn’t mean you can’t get approval for a leave of absence.” Further, Denise M. Rousseau, professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, says, “people negotiate unpaid leaves a lot, and they do get them.”
Here is some advice for successfully asking for a leave of absence:
Check your company policies and know your risks.
Before requesting a leave of absence, make sure to check the company’s policies. This information can be obtained by contacting the HR department. Make sure you understand the value you bring to the organization before making the request. Therefore, keep it simple and make sure to reflect on both the positive and negative effects of your absence.
Plan and speak with your supervisor.
Sometimes you may need a leave of absence suddenly for unexpected emergencies. If you are planning for a sabbatical or for any other reasons, plan and speak with your supervisor. You may need to discuss in detail how your absence might be coped up. Define your objectives. This will help your supervisor and coworkers understand your absence and will support your goals.
Put it in writing.
It is always better to put it in writing and submit your formal leave of absence request through letter or email. Your request should be proper and mention all the essential details – reasons for leave of absence, time of absence, and date of return. Disclose all the basic information in the letter for immediate approval. Also, look for precedents. Investigate how your coworkers have asked for a leave of absence in the past. Reach out to them to understand the specifics and articulate them in your writing.
Be ready to face rejections.
Not every negotiation will go as you expect, and it is not always that your supervisor will approve your leave request. Therefore, your reasons need to be “yes-able” in a possible way. “Yes”, from your supervisor would be great, but when the response is “no, ” be prepared to sit down with them and explain why you need it.
Choose the right time.
Be flexible and choose the right time to ask for leave. Time the conversation as much as possible when your supervisor is feeling optimistic. Possibly, limit your absence as much as possible such that your absence doesn’t affect the company’s performance in a big way. Also, be flexible when the supervisor explains why they cannot approve your leave of absence at a specific time and be responsive. Be willing to listen and understand. At the same time, if your leave of absence cannot be postponed and you are in utmost need, talk with the supervisor. Grease the skids and make a window that your absence will not be burdensome to clients and coworkers.
|Remember that just because your coworker’s leave of absence got approved doesn’t mean yours would.
||Don’t go unprepared when you meet your supervisor for negotiation, and be ready to face rejections.
|Clearly state the objectives and reasons as to why you need the leave of absence.
||Don’t force your supervisor to approve it and taint your relationship with them.
|Plan your absence to a minimum such that it won’t hurt your teammates and clients.
||Assuming there is only one solution. Don’t fail to be flexible and responsive.
Leave of Absence Letter
When you are asking for a leave of absence through formal writing or email, the following format and samples will help you articulate:
- Provide your complete employee contact information – Name, phone, email, and Address.
- Leave of absence request submission date.
- Supervisor/manager’s Name.
- Supervisor/manager’s Title.
- Company’s Name and Address.
- Add salutation
- A clear explanation as to why your leave of absence is important and write it in the first person. Be polite and succinct.
- Add a good closure.
- Highlight the dates.
- Sign it.
If you are submitting through email, ensure that you put a clear subject line and explain your reason for absence. Following are sample leave of absence letter formats that you can use:
Sample#1 Personal leave of absence letter
Dear [Supervisor/manager’s name],
After our meeting on [meeting date], I am submitting my formal request for a leave of absence from my position as [your position]. My time away from work will be from [start date] to [end date].
Upon my request for approval, I am willing to help prepare for planning the actions to take care of my responsibilities during my absence. If needed, I will be available at [phone number] and email [email id] for any assistance.
Let me know if you need any additional information. Thank you for your time in discussing my leave of absence with me and for considering my request.
Sample#2 Medical leave of absence letter
Subject: Medical leave of absence
Dear [Supervisor/manager’s name],
The purpose of this letter is to request approval for a medical leave of absence from my position from [start date] through [end date]. The reason for this request is [briefly explain why you need this medical leave and ensure that it is consistent with the company’s leave policy requirements.]
I will ensure that you and any of my teammates whom my leave of absence may impact are aware of my medical conditions and that any pending work will be completed in advance. Additionally, during my absence, I can always be reached at [phone number] and [email id] if there are any emergencies at my work.
I fully intend to recover within the requested time and do not expect to request additional time offs for this matter beyond the dates mentioned in this letter. Please let me know if there is additional information required. I am requesting your approval no later than [date]. I appreciate your understanding.
Yours sincerely,[Your Name],[Your Title and department]
Sample#3 Approved leave of absence letter from the employer
[Name of the employee]
Subject: Approval of leave application
Dear [employee’s name],
We received a request for your exemption from office from [start date] to [end date].
This letter is to notify you that your leave application has been approved, and this letter serves as a confirmation. Please know that your absence will be missed, but we wish you the best for your time off.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please feel free to contact me directly on [phone number] or email me at [email address].
We will look forward to seeing you again soon when you return.
Sample#4 Email leave of absence request
Subject: Medical leave of absence
Dear [Manager/Supervisor name],
As you know, I have been ill lately, and my doctor has suggested that I take some time off from work in order to recover completely. I am contacting you to request a medical leave of absence from [start date] – [end date], which is for two weeks.
Kindly let me know at the earliest if there are additional steps to be taken to make this official with the HR department.
I ensure that in the meanwhile, my absence will be duly covered by [colleague’s Name]. Thank you for understanding.
Designation, and department