How to write a day off work request email? 

It is a usual thing to take a break and have a rest. But many people find it strange and embarrassing to write the employer and ask him for a rest, and, as a result, they don't do it. But not informing the administration can cause severe professional problems.  A working party, nevertheless, is a necessary part of our life. No one can avoid a sick day or a vacation day. Sometimes the absence from work cannot be avoided even with a good reason.

A day off request email is an official notice that you send to your employer in advance asking him for permission to take off this or that day. To avoid conflict situations it's better to issue this notice at least 2 or 3 days before the date you want to be absent.

The company is not obliged to authorize your absence, but showing respect for your employer is necessary. That's why you need an accessible and polite form of request. The main secret of its success lies in writing a day off work email with a powerful but polite request.

A letter must be short, concise, and with no phrases that you could regret later. It is better to send a text message or a phone call that will not be stored in a database of the company and can't be referred to.

Email is becoming more popular every year, so try to use it as much as possible. You will make an impression of responsibility and self-respect.

Remember, using free templates is not the best idea because they are full of mistakes. It's better to buy a ready-made letter from reputable companies.

So, in our post, we will speak about taking a break – how to write an asking-for-a-break letter and why it's essential. Besides, we'll share a few great recommendations on making such a request and give some examples.  

First of all, we need to understand – for what reasons we need to write this letter. This request provides several pros important for your employer, colleagues, and you as a worker.

These pros are the following: 

  • It increases the chance to have a break: The later you ask for a rest, the worse is the chance to get it. If you don't ask for it in advance, the employer will not manage to find the worker who can temporally replace you. Besides, any employer will value that he has asked for a break in a short time. So, if you want to succeed in asking for a rest, you need to do it in a personal and friendly manner in advance.
  • It decreases the risk of work overload: In case you ask for a break, the employer has time to find a new worker who can replace you. In this way, your request both increases your chances to have a rest and decreases the possibility of overloading your colleague at the special moment. If your boss is aware that you want to have a rest, he will do his best to avoid this circumstance.
  • Less workload on your colleagues: Your absence does not signify that no one has to do the job for you. If you warn about the break beforehand, the employer will manage to spread the workload. But in case of asking for a rest too late, it means that one or two employees have to do more work. And it can negatively influence your relations with coworkers.
  • Documenting the break approval can save from the possible problems: Sometimes, something wrong can happen, and you cannot prove some things. That is why it's essential to document the employer's approval to take a break. This way, you will save yourself from any possible problem.
  • It brings excellent advantages for your future professional career: The effective asking-for-a-break request greatly influences establishing your professional reputation. If you genuinely respect the boss and team, it will play its role in your promotion or salary increase in the future. Not warning your employer about the break can cause serious problems – from reprimands and disciplinary measures to even firing. 

Now, it is time to know how to make a written asking-for-a-break request.

Several tips that will help you write the effective request for a rest:

  • Make a short and direct letter subject: All work emails have one rule – when seeing a new email, the receiver should clearly understand its subject. So, in the line, you need to write a clear and short subject that the receiver can concisely understand. Besides, include the dates when you want to take a break here. If you work for a big organization, you should also mention your name in the subject line, so the recipient can quickly know whose letter he will read. 
  • Explain why you are writing this letter: Once you greet, you need to explain why you're writing this letter and say that you want to have a rest. If you have already asked permission from your employer, you need also include it in your letter.
  • Name the dates when you want to have a rest: In the requested email, you also need to name the dates when you want to take a break. It is recommended to do it in the first letter's line or the paragraph's beginning. Before sending an email, you need to ensure that these dates correspond to those that you have mentioned in the subject line. If your organization has a leave balance accumulation policy, we advise you to include these days when you want to take a break. This way, you will demonstrate your respect for the organization's policy. 
  • Explain why you want to rest: This point is not necessary if you're going to relax from the job or simply have a personal day off. But if you have some reasons (like health issues or family problems), you need to include them in your request letter. You can also indicate that you have already talked about your reasons with the boss. This will show that you have not decided on this matter quickly and made an impulsive rest request.
  • Don't start praising yourself: Some employees put some extra information in their asking-for-a-break request like "I really need a break" or "I'm a valuable employee for this company". It's clear that you're not going to tell the employer he doesn't care about you. So, don't mention his attitude towards your professional role in the letter.
  • Write that you will be able to return from a break: In case if something goes wrong and you won't manage to return from a break, you need to inform the employer about this. Be brief and don't mention any possible reasons – if necessary, they will be established later by investigation. Write only that you cannot return from your rest days or plan an alternative date of returning.
  • Tell how you get ready for your absence: Besides the mentioned above points, you also need to tell your employer the things you do to decrease the workload on the organization during your absence. This way, you'll show your professionalism and increase your chance to get this rest. 
  • Show your openness and readiness to questions: Telling the employer that you are open to any questions and talks about your break is a professional courtesy that your boss will appreciate. And you will get a positive reaction in return.
  • Make sure that your letter is correct: We advise you to check the letter structure and content before sending it to your employer. Keep in mind that if he gets an incorrectly written email,  you'll have problems with these mistakes when asking for a break again.

The theory is great, but the practice is much better. Now, we will give you some examples of the asking-for-a-break letter.

The break request letter example

Subject: Break request, May 10-24 Amy Williams

Dear Kate,

I'm writing you to ask for an eleven-day break from Tuesday, May 10, till Tuesday, May 24. I'll be back to work on Wednesday, May 25. 

As I have told you before, I am doing all possible and impossible to finish all the tasks before the vacation. 

If you have any questions, I'm ready to answer them. You can text me or write a letter to my email.

Best wishes,

Amy Williams

The example of the reminder letter 

Subject: Break request, May 10-24 Amy Williams

Dear Kate,

I'm writing to you to remind you that as we have agreed before, I'll be absent during eleven days- from Tuesday, May 11 till Tuesday, May 24. I'll be back to work on Wednesday, May 25. 

I've examined the schedule of our project, and I can assure you that I've completed all the tasks I was supposed to. So you can be sure that we do not run behind the project's schedule.

If you have any questions or want to discuss something, I'll always be in touch. You can text me or write to my email.

Thank you for approving my request.

Best wishes,

Amy Williams.


Do not forget that writing an email to ask for a break is your right. All you need to do is use a professional tone and keep this letter simple, brief and clear. If you follow these tips, it will be easy for you to send the sought break request letter. And if your manager approves your request, you'll have some days off, which is especially necessary if you face some problems or want to relax.

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