Sample Leave Requests Letters

An employee is entitled to 12 weeks of family, medical and parental unpaid leave. The more pressing your need, the more likely you are to be granted a leave of absence (e.g. maternity leave just a couple of days before the baby is due).

However, employees may have to satisfy some requirements to become eligible for a leave of absence.

If you work for an employer of 50 or more people, for example, you may be required to have worked for at least 1,250 hours in the year ending on the work day before the leave of absence is set to come into effect. That said, the requirement may differ in your state.

Many HR departments utilize a leave application form employees fill out and submit for review and approval. Some require employees to submit a leave letter. Some others require both. Applying for a leave of absence is fairly straightforward in most organizations.

The leave letter is not a thesis. Get straight to the point. Let them know why and how long you plan to be away. Also mention the number of days of unpaid leave you are entitled to at the time of writing.

If you can be available over the phone or for an hour or two late afternoons, mention it in the leave letter. That way, you will at least come across as a professional in the eyes of your employer . . . even if you don't get paid.


[Company name]

Sub: Parental leave

Dear [Ms./Mr. Last name],

I am writing to request a parental leave of five days starting next Tuesday.

Last week, my five-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer of the kidneys (a.k.a. Wilms' tumor and nephroblastoma) and will undergo surgery next Wednesday.

Luckily, [Name] has been identified as a Stage I patient. Following surgery and about 18 weeks of chemotherapy, he is likely to survive well beyond four years, which is the cutoff period that determines whether or not the cancer will return and the patient will survive into adulthood.

As I am a single parent ([Name]'s mother is no more), it is imperative that I am near my son. As the parent and legal guardian, I will also be required to be available to consult with his doctors and sign papers through his return home.

I have consulted with the HR department and they tell me that I am entitled to 10 more days of family, medical and parental unpaid leave.

I would like to consecutively utilize five of the 10 days available to me with effect from next Tuesday.

Although I wish I could have been available by phone or for at least a couple of hours, I regret my emotional state will interfere with my ability to be of any help to the company during the duration of my absence.

I look forward to the granting of the leave and to getting back to work.

Thank you for your time.


[Contact details]