A leave of absence (also known as LOA) is basically a period of time taken off from your work. Depending on the rules of your company or organization, taking an LOA would be as easy as asking time off. Either that or you’d have to fill up a leave of absence form to be able to get a leave of absence from work. Usually, you’d have to go through a more formal process to get your leave approved. This is especially true when you’re taking a medical leave of absence.

There are many types of leaves, which we will be discussing in the next section. Leaves can either be paid or unpaid. This would be depending on your reason, the type of leave and the different policies in your organization. Generally, employees who have spent an ample amount of time in the organization are entitled to paid leaves. However, it is important to note that employers are not really required to give paid leaves for personal reasons.

Before asking for a leave, regardless of the reason, it’s very important for you to make a request properly. This is so that you will create minimal or no backlash and you will maintain a very good standing at your workplace.

Leave of Absence Letters

It’s a bonus if you are working in a very casual and relaxed work environment. Asking for and acquiring an LOA can be as simple as talking to your boss and verbally asking for the time off. However, if you are working in a more formal work environment, you have to make a formal request for a time off from work, following your company policy. Generally, companies and organizations have their own guidelines regarding who is eligible for taking paid leaves. Organizations also have guidelines as to when and how often an employee can take an LOA.

Before you submit your request, make sure you are familiar with your own company’s leave policies. Also, have your explanation on hand and make sure it is reasonable and well-practiced. Your explanation may be verbal or may be in the form of a leave of absence letter. It’s not only important to think about your reason but also how you would approach your superior or boss about taking time off from work.


Types of Leave of Absence

There are different types of LOA aside from a medical leave of absence, which is usually more serious. These types of leaves depend on the reason you are taking time off. Typically different employees would be qualified for different types of leaves, depending on the time employed in the company and other relevant reasons. Also, not all organizations offer the same types to their employees.

Some companies only choose to give their employees the most basic while others provide more. Either way, here are the different types for you to be informed: 

Sick Leave

This kind of leave is given to an employee at the beginning of the annual work cycle. Again, depending on the company policies, employees are entitled to a certain number of days sick leave in a whole year. Permanent employees or those who have worked in a company for 6 months or more are qualified for sick leaves.

Usually, when an employee just takes 1 day off from work, it’s totally excusable. The employee would just have to fill in the leave of absence form on the day he/she reports back to work. But if an employee has to take 2 days or more as sick leave, then a medical certificate has to be given as verification of the illness.

There are also cases in some companies when sick leaves are converted to their monetary equivalent when the allotted days in a year aren’t used up by the employee. 

Vacation Leave

One of the more common types, a number of days is typically given to employees who have worked in a company for a certain amount of time. In a year, an employee is allowed to take time off, as long as he/she makes a request beforehand. Then the supervisor or the employer would approve of the leave, as long as the employee has vacation leaves left.

Just like sick leaves, vacation leaves are counted each year. However, unlike sick leaves, the vacation leaves aren’t usually converted to cash at the end of the year. 

Forced / Mandatory Leave

There are some companies which give their employees a certain number of forced/mandatory leaves. These are paid days off awarded to an employee to take time off from work. As the name suggests, employees are required to take these days off and if not used, they can be forfeited by the end of the year. 

Maternity Leave

This kind of leave is for employees who are pregnant and is due at the time she is employed in the organization. The number of months for maternity leave would depend on the company policies. That and whether the leave would be paid or unpaid.

The rules depend not only on the organization’s policies but on the government laws of the state or the country as well. Usually, maternity leaves are used by new mothers to rest, recuperate and bond with their newborn after giving birth. 

Paternity Leave

While all companies are required to provide maternity leaves to mothers, some companies may choose not to give the paternity leave. This leave is given to father’s whose wives have given birth. It’s usually just a number of days or weeks, never as long as the maternity leave. It would also depend on the company whether this type of leave would be paid or unpaid. 

Parental Leave (for Single Parents)

Some companies may give parental leaves for solo parents. This is usually a few days in a year allotted for different events, activities, and emergencies related to the child of the employee who is unmarried.

Family Responsibility Leave / Special Privilege Leave

Some companies may provide their employees with this type of LOA, aside from the government mandated leaves. These types of leaves are reserved for special circumstances which involve the employee’s family:

  • When the employee’s child is born (usually for fathers)
  • When the employee’s child is sick
  • When the employee experiences a death in the immediate family
  • Family events such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Important school events of the employee’s child or children such as PTA meetings, school play, etc.
  • Domestic emergencies or emergencies which involve any member of the employee’s immediate family

Depending on the situation, the employee may take a whole day or a half day off. Also depending on the situation or reason, the employer would decide whether the time off is paid or not. 

Leave of Absence Forms

Rehabilitation Leave

This kind of leave is given to employees who have sustained an injury or disability while in the workplace or in the line of duty. The number of days granted to the employee would depend on the severity of the injury and the rehabilitation period given to the employee by the medical professional.

These days are not deducted from other leaves which are regularly given to employees in the year. 

Special Leaves for Women

These types of leaves are given to women who have been a victim of violence and are not able to take care of themselves. However, this type of leave is only granted to women employees in the company.

This type of leave is also granted to women who would have to undergo a medical procedure for disorders which only affect women. Procedures such as surgeries would have to require a medical leave of absence for a number of days, depending on how serious the surgery or the procedure is.

Study Leave

In some working environments, employees can ask for study leaves for a certain period of time. This is usually available in schools or other academic institutions. The study leave is used for the purpose of getting ahead and learning new things which can be applied to the work in the long run.

Religious Holiday Leave

Some people may ask for LOA to be able to perform religious obligations during their holidays. Different religions call for different practices and some would require the employee to be physically present at the time of work, so they would choose to take a religious holiday leave.

Half Pay Leave

In cases when an employee needs to take care of something personal for few hours, he/she can take a half pay leave. With a half pay leave, the employee comes to work in the morning and leaves at the half day mark. Either that or the employee takes the morning off and comes to work midday and continues until the end of the work day. 

Commuted Leave

Commuted leaves are two half pay leaves which are combined. Some companies allow their employees to have these kinds of leaves however it’s not very common. Also, the 2 half pay leaves need to be close to each other, chronologically for them to be counted as a commuted leave. 

Unpaid Leave

There are different reasons for taking an unpaid leave. Usually, this is given to an employee when all his/her vacation and sick leaves for the year have been exhausted. Either that or the reason for the leave isn’t valid but the employee insists on taking the leave. The employer may allow the employee to take time off; however, all the days will be unpaid. 

Terminal Leave

This refers to the cash equivalent of the total accumulated leave credits of an employee, which is awarded to the employee when he/she retires or leaves voluntarily. 

Special Emergency Leave

This type of leave is granted to employees who work in countries or states which are prone to natural disasters. The employees are allowed to take some time off when they are directly affected by natural calamities or natural disasters.

As you can see, there are many different types of leaves granted for different reasons. As previously stated, some companies give them and some don’t. However, there are types of leaves which are required by the government. Now that you know more about the different types, let’s move on to how you would request for a leave of absence.

Leave of Absence Templates

Requesting a Leave of Absence 

To be able to successfully request for some time off from work, you should know how to actually make the request. Aside from the reason for taking an LOA, your request approach is also very important. Therefore, learning some tips will definitely help you out so read on:

  • Before asking for an extended leave of absence from work, it’s important for you to know all your rights. Read up on the policies of your company so that you know what you are entitled to and you know what you can request. Your leave entitlement would depend on how long you’ve worked in the company, so do your research.
  • If you know that you will be taking a leave, inform your employer advanced notice. Doing this would allow your employer to give you all the essential work you need to accomplish before your leave. Either that or your employer will be able to arrange someone to carry out your work while you’re gone.
  • Start your leave request process with your immediate supervisor, then work your way up. It won’t be very good for your immediate supervisor to hear about your leave from someone with a higher position in the company.
  • Don’t talk about your leave or your desire to take time off with other employees until you’ve gotten the approval. Remember that words and gossip spreads like wildfire in the office so your leave may reach your supervisor even before you make a request, which isn’t proper.
  • Make an outline of your leave of absence letter before speaking to your supervisor. When you do this, it would give your supervisor time to consider your request before you have a discussion about it. You can either give your letter by hand or send it through email.
  • Once you’ve given you’re letter, schedule a time to discuss the request with your immediate supervisor or with your boss. It would be a good idea to schedule your meeting at a time when you know your boss is under minimal stress. This would increase the likelihood that your request will be approved.
  • If you are taking a leave to work on your goals and to make yourself better (such as a study leave), then you can discuss this with your boss or immediate supervisor.
  • You can also ask for different considerations if you think your request will be approved. You can ask your boss if you can take some time off then if you can continue working from home. Whether your employer would approve your request or not may depend on your situation and the nature of your work.
  • When making a request, make sure to indicate the start and end date of your leave. Doing this would give your direct supervisor or your boss an idea on how to handle things in your department while you are away.
  • In cases where you know your leave would be unpaid, make sure to plan your finances. You may be taking a trip out of town for a while and you have to be sure that you will be able to make all your payments even without your salary, temporarily.
  • Talk to someone from your company’s Human Resource department regarding your leave and your benefits. Depending on your reasons for taking a leave, having a conversation with the HRD can prove to be very useful.

These are practical steps for you to follow to be able to successfully make a request for an LOA. Now let’s move on to more tips, this time for actually writing the letter for your planned leave.

Leave of Absence from Work

Tips for Writing a Leave of Absence Letter

Taking a leave of absence would mean taking a significant amount of time off from your work or school. Depending on the company policies, you’d either have to fill in a leave of absence form or make your own letter. If you need to do the latter, you’d be helped out a lot by these tips in writing such. From start to finish, these tips will serve as a good guide for you to be able to successfully request and take a leave:

  • Give your boss an early heads up of your plans, especially if you plan to take a long time off from work. This is very important in the workplace since you may have to be temporarily replaced to keep the department going. Your boss may also choose to give you some work to take care of before allowing you to take your leave.
  • Be very specific about the dates. State the start and end date of your leave, if possible, so that it’s clear and any preparations can be done before you leave and before you return.
  • Be very transparent with your employer about your reasons for taking your leave. No matter what your reasons are, tell them to your employer or write them in your letter. You don’t have to give all the details of your LOA, but make sure to give the most important parts. You wouldn’t want to get caught telling a lie, it may even cost you your job!
  • Either with your immediate supervisor or your employer, have a conversation about how the work will be handled while you are away. In cases where you are in charge of specific tasks, you may have to train someone else in the workplace to do your work for the time being.
  • Do your research on what kinds of leaves you are qualified to take. As you’ve seen in the previous section, there are a lot of different types of leaves. Your company may or may not grant all of them and you may or may not be qualified to take them.
  • When writing your letter, make sure you are qualified for the type of leave you are asking for. Doing your research would make you prepared when you discuss the details of your request. Also, knowing what you are qualified for will allow you to make a request for the right type of leave.
  • To be more helpful, include suggestions on how your work and the tasks which are assigned to you can be handled while you’re away. They don’t have to go with your suggestions but it’s still a good idea to include them. This would give the impression that you have really thought things through and you’re acting responsibly.
  • Write your letter in a respectful and professional tone. Be polite to increase the chances of your letter being received positively. Remember, you’re making a request and not a demand.
  • In some cases, you will have to fill out a form instead of writing a letter yourself. Obtain the form, go through it and make sure to fill in all the required information. Typically this is a lot easier than writing a letter so make sure you don’t leave anything blank.
  • When asking for a longer LOA, you may still have to write a letter and attach it as a supporting document. This is especially true for when you’re planning to take a longer leave. Writing the letter would allow you to list down your reasons and explanations for taking time off.
  • When formatting your letter, include your own address as the sender. It may seem unnecessary, but it would be very helpful to do so. Also, don’t forget to write the date when you have completed your letter.
  • For the salutation, make sure to write it formally. You’d most likely be addressing your boss in your letter so this is very important.
  • Make sure your letter is formatted properly and you’ve proofread it a couple of times. Finally, sign your letter over your printed name.
TemplateLab December 20th, 2019