Leave Letter for Work: How to Write, Template & UK Samples

At best, you’re expecting. At worst, you’re dealing with health issues or a family emergency. Whatever the reason, you need time off work and you need to either inform your employer or make a request in writing. Only problem is, you don’t know how to write a leave letter. You’re in the right place.

 

In this article, you’ll find a leave letter template you can adapt and use, no matter the reason for your upcoming absence. With plenty of expert, UK-specific examples and a step-by-step writing guide, you’ll be able to get back to focusing on what really matters.

 

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Sample leave letter 

 

Abigail Hodgson

3 Great North Road

Manchester

M1 1FB

078 2714 1284

abigail.hodgson@lcmail.co.uk

 

8th February 2022

 

Muhammad Coles

Production Manager

Williams Manufacturing

73 Cambridge Road

Leeds

LS1 2BA

 

Dear Muhammad,

 

I am writing to let you know that I am pregnant and plan on taking maternity leave. Given that my due date is 12th August 2022, I would like to start working from home from 22nd July 2022. I plan on taking 26 weeks of maternity leave.

 

I have approached Jude Connolly about stepping in as acting production coordinator and, at this early stage, she has expressed her willingness to do so. The Jupiter production run should be complete by the end of July, so it ought not be affected by my absence. I intend to fully assist you in handing over my workload closer to my due date.

 

Should you need anything from me during my maternity leave, you can contact me by phone (078 2714 1284) or email (abigail.hodgson@lcmail.co.uk).

 

Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions or if there is anything I can do to help make this process easier. Thank you for your time.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Abigail Hodgson

 

The maternity leave letter above is something you can refer to when writing your leave letter, even if the reasons for your absence are completely different. Just follow the steps outlined below:

 

1. Begin your leave letter with a proper header and appropriate salutation

 

Even if you have an easy-going relationship with your superior, your leave letter is a formal document. So start with a proper header: align to the right your name, postal address, email, and phone number. Leave a line and add the date of writing, followed by another empty another line.

 

Then, align to the left your manager’s name, their job title, the company name, and the company’s inside address. Type out the postal addresses just as though you were addressing an envelope. Do all of this even if you’re attaching your application for leave to an email, it might be printed and archived.

 

Continuing on with the business letter format, you’ll need an appropriate salutation. Use ‘Dear + Mr/Ms + Surname’ or ‘Dear + First Name’. Go with your better judgement as to which, and default to the more formal ‘Dear Ms Jones’ if you’re not sure. 

 

Not sure who to address your leave letter to? Ask around among your colleagues, someone will know. Do you work for a big corporation? Drop by or call the human resources department. If all else fails, address it to your immediate superior: they’ll be able to direct your leave notice letter to where it needs to go.

 

Leave letter examples: header and salutation

 

Abigail Hodgson

3 Great North Road

Manchester

M1 1FB

078 2714 1284

abigail.hodgson@lcmail.co.uk

 

8th February 2022

 

Muhammad Coles

Production Manager

Williams Manufacturing

73 Cambridge Road

Leeds

LS1 2BA

 

Dear Muhammad,

 

2. Get straight to the point of your leave letter and lay out the key facts

Immediately state that you’re writing to apply for or inform your reader of your need or desire to take a leave of absence. Name the reason without going into any details. Need to take time off for medical reasons? Simply state this, identifying the specific reason only if you feel comfortable doing so.

 

Let the recipient of your leave letter know when you intend to go on leave and when you expect to be back at work. That’s all this opening paragraph should do. If your situation is such that you need to provide extra details or a backstory, do so in a separate paragraph. Seek legal advice in very complex cases.

 

Leave letter example: opening paragraph

 

I am writing to let you know that I am pregnant and plan on taking maternity leave. Given that my due date is 12th August 2022, I would like to start working from home from 22nd July 2022. I plan on taking 26 weeks of maternity leave.

 

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3. Indicate what will happen to your duties while you're away

 

If at all possible, take a paragraph to help your superiors delegate your workload to other workers. Mention any urgent duties or deadlines that might fall by the wayside in your absence. Suggest a temporary replacement, if appropriate. Let your recipient know what needs doing and who might be able to help.

 

Your ability to do this will be limited if you’re writing a sick leave letter, emergency leave letter, or bereavement leave letter. Just do what you can in the time you have. Put more thought into putting your affairs in order if you’re applying for maternity or paternity leave or writing a sabbatical leave letter.

 

Manage your recipient’s expectations when it comes to your availability during your leave of absence. Set clear boundaries, this will save both you and your employer some stress and frustration. Include your contact details if you do intend to make yourself available.

 

Leave letter example: planning ahead and declaring availability

 

I have approached Jude Connolly about stepping in as acting production coordinator and, at this early stage, she has expressed her willingness to do so. The Jupiter production run should be complete by the end of July, so it ought not be affected by my absence. I intend to fully assist you in handing over my workload closer to my due date.

 

Should you need anything from me during my maternity leave, you can contact me by phone (078 2714 1284) or email (abigail.hodgson@lcmail.co.uk).

 

4. End your leave letter for work by expressing gratitude and signing off the right way

 

If possible, make yourself available to answer any follow-up questions from your employer. Offer to submit any necessary supporting documentation if appropriate, like a medical certificate. Thank your reader for their time or consideration. An expression of gratitude like this can go a long way.

 

Sign off with ‘Yours Sincerely’. Leave a few lines blank and type out your name in full. Sign above your name if you’re printing out your leave letter. Consider pasting in a digital copy of your signature if emailing your notice of leave letter. An emailed leave letter will be good without a signature.

 

Leave letter examples: closing and signing off

 

Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions or if there is anything I can do to help make this process easier. Thank you for your time.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Abigail Hodgson

 

5. Pay attention to these leave letter format best practices

 

Your leave of absence letter should closely follow the standard business letter format. It does so already if you’ve followed the advice in this article. Proofread your leave letter for spelling and grammar—this is the bare minimum in professional contexts and will increase your chances of approval.

 

Set out your leave letter for maximum readability

 

Set the line spacing in your leave letter to 1.15 and use double spaces between paragraphs. Leave all four margins at the default one inch. Try to keep your letter to a single page, but don’t bunch up your text to make this happen. Aim to make your leave letter as easy to read as possible.

 

Choose a professional-looking font

 

Choose an understated, easy-to-read font for your leave letter—the default Arial or Calibri will do just fine. Leave the font size at 11–12 points. Don’t go any lower than 11 points: your leave letter might be printed out and archived in hard copy, so it needs to be readable even when there’s no option to zoom in. 

 

Send your leave letter in PDF

 

Emailing your leave letter? Save it in PDF before you send it off. PDF will preserve your formatting and layout better than something like a *.docx file. It’s also more stable on a wider variety of devices and screen sizes as well as printing more predictably.

 

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Do you feel confident that you now know how to write a notice letter to leave work? Is there anything you need clarification on? Got any experiences of your own to share? Drop us a line down below—we’ll be sure to get back to you.

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