How to make a request letter for a leave of absence

Updated March 23, 2017

A leave of absence is a temporary hiatus from one's position of employment or educational program. There are many reasons why a person may need to request a leave of absence. Some legitimate reasons include: personal or family health issues, pregnancy/maternity obligations, educational pursuits and military duty.

Check with your supervisor or educational adviser to determine if your company or university has specific criteria and/or a specific process for requesting a leave of absence. This is always a good practice because it gives your employer or university an opportunity to fully understand the circumstances regarding your request and ask any questions they may have. Additionally, your discussion will help ensure that you leave on good terms.

Obtain a computer with a word processor and a printer. You should always create formal business documents using a word processor, or at the very least, a typewriter. Hand-written documents convey a lack of professionalism.

Open a new, blank document in your word processing program. If you are using Microsoft Word (the most common word processing program), click on the "Microsoft Word" icon on your desktop or application list. This will open the program. Click on the "File" option located on the task bar at the top of your screen. Choose "New Blank Document" from the drop- down menu. This will open a blank document for you to begin typing your letter in.

Create a header for your letter along the left margin of the page. Your header should include your name and address, the date the letter was written, and your employer's (or school's) name and address. This will be followed by two or three spaces and then your opening salutation such as "Dear Mr. Smith." For example, your header should look like this:

Sarah Jones (Your name) 123 Homestead Street (Your Address) Anytown, IL 60102

January 1, 2010 (today's date)

Mr. Robert Smith (Your Manager) X Corporation (Company You Work For) 456 Wall Street (Company's Address) Anytown, IL 60102

Dear Mr. Smith:

Type the body of your letter. If you have previously spoken with your supervisor or adviser you should remind him in the letter that he has previously spoken with you regarding this request and that this letter is to memorialise your conversation. Restate your reasons for the request and the dates that you are requesting leave for.

Conclude you letter with a complimentary closing, such as "Sincerely," followed by three spaces and then your full name. It should look like the following:


Sarah Jones (Your Name)

Print out your completed letter and sign above your typed name at the bottom of your letter. Place the letter in an envelope and address the envelope to your supervisor or educational adviser. Place the letter in the mail or hand deliver it to the recipient.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Microsoft Word
  • Printer
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About the Author

Krystal Wascher has been writing online content since 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Thiel College and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2009.