Easily write an excuse letter for being absent from work due to emergency

How do you write a good excuse letter for being absent from work due to emergency?

The best way to write an absent letter for work is to keep it professional, short, include dates of absence, and a valid reason for missing work. Valid reasons may include a doctor’s appointment, emergency situations, or other personal matter requiring the use of time off or sick leave.

Absence letters should be done prior to to taking leave, meaning give your boss advance notice. Don’t skip work and then try to present a formal excuse letter apologizing.

However, if you skipped work without giving your boss notice, I’ll show you how to fix it!

Luckily, I’ll show you how to request time off with an absence excuse letter. I’ll even give you some of the most common reasons for requesting time off, which you can use in your letter.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your employee handbook will discuss the proper method for taking time off and what is considered as unexcused absences.
  • Your employer may require a leave of absence letter, while others accept email notice.
  • Good reasons to include for taking time off include personal reasons, family vacation, sick child, jury duty, family emergencies, emergencies covered under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), car accident, and child care conflicts. An unexcused absence without notifying your boss may require an excellent excuse, such as a sudden medical condition.
  • An employer has the right to ask for proof of the emergency, so coming up with a legitimate excuse is advised.
  • Keeping your letter professional is important. Personally, I avoid extra formalities, such as dear Mr. or dear Sir as I’m usually on a first name basis with my boss.

TFF22-116 - Excuse letter for being absent from work due to emergency

This article may contain affiliate links which pay a commission and support this blog. Thank you for your support!

Sample excuse letter for being absent from work due to emergency

Here’s an example letter or email that I would send to my boss if I was going to be absent from work for several reasons.

Hey [boss’s name],

I would like to ask for some time off this [insert dates] due to [insert reason]. I plan to return at the normal start time on [date you return to work].

At this time, I have no urgent projects which will require my attention during this time. However, I have briefed [name of coworker] on what I am working on. They have agreed to handle anything urgent that arises during my absence.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about my time away from work.

Thank you,

[Insert your name] 

There are many good reasons you can use for requesting time off from work, including the following:

  • Taking vacation
  • Medical appointment
  • School event for your child
  • Home repairs
  • Scheduled home appointment (e.g., appliance delivery)

You will need a different letter or email if you’ve already missed work and didn’t tell your boss ahead of time. Typically, it is not a good practice to miss work without letting your boss know. However, here is a sample letter you can use to smooth things over with your boss.

Hey [boss’s name],

I apologize for missing work on [date you missed work]. I understand I should have given you a heads-up, but I was unexpectedly unable to make it to work because [insert reason].

I will do my best to ensure missing work unexpectedly doesn’t happen in the future and will work on communicating earlier.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

[Your name]

You will need a good reason if you have missed work unexpectedly without prior notification to your boss. Good reasons for blowing off work include the following:

  • Unexpected illness or injury
  • Death in the family
  • Emergency situation
  • Being stuck in traffic or road closure
  • Unexpected car troubles

Tips for writing a formal letter for being absent from work

There are a few considerations to remember if you write your own letter or email to your boss about being absent from work. Most of it breaks down to being professional, letting your boss know your intent, and being a good employee.

Being a good employee will let you get away with 99% of anything you can do. Think about it, are you more lenient towards someone with a proven track record or someone who is constantly late for work?

The best tips for writing a formal email or letter about being absent from work include the following:

  1. Keep it professional
  2. Start with the greeting
  3. State your reason for writing
  4. Explain why you missed or will miss work
  5. Apologize if missing work
  6. Keep your message short
  7. Avoid lying
  8. Offer to make up work if it’s a possibility
  9. Check for errors before sending

Keep it professional 

The best thing you can do for your letter is to keep it as formal as possible. Avoid calling your boss dude, bro, or any other nickname you may have. Depending on the company, your formal letter may end up in HR.

It would be best if you also kept all email communication professional. As a general rule of thumb, you’d never know who is monitoring your electronic communications. The IT department is usually full of very smart and capable individuals.

Start with the greeting

Just like all Communication in written form, it is usually best to start with a greeting. You want to directly identify your boss as who you are communicating with. I like to start my emails with the following:

Hey [boss’s name]

It is simple and works.

You could always use Sir., Mr., Ms., or Mrs., but this is too formal for my tastes.

Additionally, you never know what people’s preferred pronouns are in today’s age. According to the harassment training I recently watched at work, it is a no-no to assume someone’s preferred pronouns.

State your reason for writing

All good letters get straight to the point. If you need time off from work, don’t bury it down in the depths of a wall of text. Chances are, your boss will skim your email or letter and approve your time off request without much thought.

Need a good reason for missing work or leaving work early?

State the reason you missed or will miss work

My personal opinion is that giving a reason for why you’ll miss work or missed work builds trust between you and your boss. The more details you can give of why you’re going to miss work, the more your boss will understand that you’re not coming up with a fake excuse.

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to divulge every little detail. You can simply state as much as you’re comfortable with.

For example, you don’t have to tell your boss that you have explosive diarrhea after eating at a shady food truck in some back alley. You can simply state that you needed to go see a doctor.

Don’t feel comfortable telling your boss that you had to go see a doctor? Simply state that you weren’t feeling well and that making it to work was beyond your control.

Apologize if you missed work

If you’ve missed work and didn’t give your boss advance notice, now would be a good time to apologize. No matter what your situation, there is usually enough time to text your boss that you aren’t going to make it into work.

As an example, your spouse may have been in the kitchen cutting onions when she had poor dexterity while telling you something you did wrong. I’m sure it wasn’t the heated argument you were in, but knives are sharp.

After all, there are nearly 330,000 hospital-related knife accidents annually in the kitchen.

There should have been some time to text your boss. As you get in the car, your spouse texting or even in the waiting room are all good options.

Having a good reason and apologizing for missing work unexpectedly is a good way to smooth things.

Keep it short

Your boss doesn’t want a novel or even a novella on why you can’t make it to work. All he wants to know is that you can’t make it to work, which days you can’t, and when you’ll be back. Your boss may also want to know if you have any urgent projects that are coming due.

Don’t lie

Being open and honest with your boss is always the best practice. While you could lie to your boss, it always happens that dishonesty finds its way out.

For example, you may skip work thinking you’re going to have a fun day at the mall. However, the last thing you want to do is walk out of JCPenneys and run into your boss’s boss.

The next thing you know, your boss’s boss is having a conversation with your boss about how you ran into each other at the mall. Your boss didn’t approve your time off work, so now you’re in hot water.

This is one of the main examples of why it’s best to maintain honesty. As I have found out, your industry is probably very small. Most managers are good at networking, which means they have lots of contacts and word travels quickly.

Offer to make up work

Completely optional, offer to make up work if you know you will be absent or for skipping work without notice. Offering to make up work shows dedication to the company. Typically, I will only offer to make up work if I feel like I need extra brownie points.

Check for errors before sending 

One of the most embarrassing things you can do is not check for errors before sending your emails. The last thing you want to do is to misspell your boss’s name or use the wrong words, such as their vs. there.

Final Thoughts

Writing a letter of absence isn’t the most fun, but it shouldn’t take much time to compose. Keep your letter short, sweet, and professional. As long as your honest and a good employee, there is no reason you won’t be approved for your time off.

Avoid missing work without notifying your boss. Good employees may be able to get away with it, but you may lose your job over unexcused absences.

Some of the most common excuses for being absent from work include some sort of medical reasons, personal issues, or family-related reasons. Most bosses will understand taking good care of your family or health comes before work. Just try to inform your boss that you won’t make it into work in a timely manner.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.