Career Planning

Requesting A Leave Of Absence: 5 Steps And Sample Examples

Writing a Leave of Absence Request Letter 10 Best Examples

Requesting a Leave of Absence: 5 Steps and Sample <a href="">Examples</a>

Whether it’s for personal reasons, health issues, or a planned vacation, there may come a time when you need to take a leave of absence from work or school. Requesting a leave of absence can be a daunting task, but with proper preparation and communication, it can be done smoothly. In this article, we will guide you through the process of requesting a leave of absence, providing you with five steps to follow and sample examples to help you craft a compelling request.

Step 1: Review the Policies and Procedures

Before submitting your request, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures of your institution or organization regarding leaves of absence. These policies will outline the eligibility criteria, required documentation, and any specific procedures you need to follow. Take the time to read through these guidelines carefully to ensure you understand the process and requirements.


For example, if you are a student, review your school’s student handbook or website to find the information related to leaves of absence. If you are an employee, refer to your company’s employee handbook or speak with your HR department to obtain the necessary information.

Step 2: Determine the Duration and Reason for Your Leave

Next, you need to determine the duration of your leave and the reason behind it. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of how long you will be absent and the specific reason for your request. This information will help you communicate effectively with the relevant parties and provide the necessary documentation.


For instance, if you are requesting a leave of absence from work due to a medical procedure, determine the estimated recovery time and obtain any medical documentation or certificates required by your employer. If you are a student planning to take a semester off for personal reasons, decide on the length of your absence and consider any academic implications or requirements.

Step 3: Prepare a Formal Request

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to prepare a formal request for your leave of absence. Your request should be professional, concise, and include all relevant details. It’s important to clearly state the dates of your absence, the reason for your leave, and any supporting documentation you are providing.


Dear [Supervisor/Principal/Dean],

I am writing to formally request a leave of absence from [start date] to [end date]. The reason for my leave is [provide a brief explanation]. I have attached the necessary medical documentation/certificates to support my request.

Please let me know if there are any additional forms or procedures I need to complete. I understand the impact my absence may have on [work/school], and I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition during my absence.

Thank you for your understanding and support.


[Your Name]

Step 4: Submit Your Request and Follow Up

Once you have prepared your request, it’s time to submit it to the appropriate person or department. Follow the designated submission process outlined in the policies and procedures you reviewed in step 1. Be sure to keep a copy of your request for your records.

After submitting your request, it’s important to follow up with the relevant parties to ensure it has been received and is being processed. This will help you stay informed and address any additional requirements or concerns promptly.


If you are an employee, submit your request to your supervisor or HR department. If you are a student, submit your request to the appropriate academic advisor or administrative office. Follow up with an email or in-person conversation to confirm receipt and inquire about the status of your request.

Step 5: Plan for Your Absence

As you await a response to your leave of absence request, it’s essential to plan for your absence. Consider any tasks or responsibilities that need to be delegated or completed before your departure. Communicate with your colleagues, supervisors, or professors to ensure a smooth transition and minimize any disruptions.


Before your leave, create a detailed handover document outlining your ongoing projects, deadlines, and any relevant contact information. Train or brief any colleagues who will be covering your responsibilities during your absence. Set up an out-of-office message on your email and voicemail to inform others of your absence and provide alternative contacts if necessary.


Requesting a leave of absence can be a straightforward process if you follow the necessary steps and communicate effectively. By reviewing the policies, determining the duration and reason for your leave, preparing a formal request, submitting it correctly, and planning for your absence, you can ensure a smooth transition and minimize any disruptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I request a leave of absence for personal reasons?

    Yes, many institutions and organizations allow leaves of absence for personal reasons. However, it’s important to review the specific policies and procedures of your institution or organization to ensure eligibility and understand any documentation requirements.

  2. How far in advance should I submit my request?

    The timing for submitting a leave of absence request may vary depending on the policies of your institution or organization. It’s advisable to submit your request as soon as possible to allow for proper planning and consideration by the relevant parties. Check the guidelines or consult with the appropriate department for any specific deadlines or recommended timelines.

  3. What should I do if my request is denied?

    If your request for a leave of absence is denied, it’s important to have a conversation with the relevant parties to understand the reason behind the decision. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to provide additional information or documentation to support your request. If necessary, you can explore alternative options such as adjusting your schedule or seeking temporary accommodations.

  4. Can I take a leave of absence without pay?

    Some institutions or organizations may allow leaves of absence without pay, while others may have specific policies regarding unpaid leaves. Review the policies and procedures of your institution or organization to determine if this is an option and understand the implications of taking a leave without pay, such as the impact on benefits or seniority.

  5. Do I need to provide documentation for my leave of absence?

    Most institutions and organizations require some form of documentation when requesting a leave of absence. This documentation may vary depending on the reason for your leave, such as medical certificates, travel itineraries, or legal documents. Review the specific requirements outlined in the policies and procedures to ensure you provide the necessary documentation.

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