A Detailed Guide on How to Write An Excuse Letter of Absence From Work (With Examples)

by Sulaiman Halima

A letter of absence from work is a formal letter or an email sent by an employee to notify superiors of being absent from work. 

This can be a result of exceptional events such as emergencies, home matters, ailments, or crucial personal issues that can’t be postponed.

 In many cases, employees skip work only for a succinct duration, part of the day, or mostly a day.

Workers should deliver an excuse letter as quickly as possible, ideally before missing work, to ask for approval. 

You should know that every organization possesses its principles about personal time-off and leave protocol.

 Most of them give guidelines and instruct workers on what to do in case of skipping work.

This article will guide you on how to write a letter of absence from work.

What to Include in a Letter of Absence From Work

A work absence letter or email has to include detailed input such as the date or time of absence and the motives for missing work. 

It should also define if the worker is imploring for authorization to take personal time off or missed work without notification.

It’s a strict excuse letter, so it ought to have a mannerly and competent tone. 

Ensure your letter of absence comprises the following:

– A professional and respectful introduction that contains the title and name of the boss.

– A statement defining if it’s an excuse letter for work absence or a letter of permission for skipping work in the future.

– The purpose of writing the letter.

– Details and consenting papers required by the company according to leave policy should be provided.

– The date or time of absence.

– A message explaining if the employee finalized their tasks as scheduled.

– A polite closing that includes acknowledgement and thanks.

Read also: How to write news stories: path to becoming a successful journalist in Nigeria.

Tips For Writing an Excuse Letter of Absence From Work

A good excuse email or letter must be polite, written well, and precise. 

The message has to be sincere and explicit, making evident the unforeseen motives behind the employee’s absence. 

At the same time, a professional explanation email is not an article and should be brief and understandable to read.

Avoid personal details, getting too personal, or using fancy language. 

Below are exceptional cues to get you started and assist you to provide your employees with the best format for absence letters.

  1. Examine the company’s protocol regarding time off

Be sure to examine the ccompany’s protocol and include in the letter all that’s needed (e.g., supporting documents, accepted reasons). 

Each organization approves a maximum number of absences for personal circumstances and you should keep to it. 

  1. Write like a professional

Use proficient expression both in writing and formatting.

  1. Be tactful

Use proper opening and closing that includes the administrator’s title and surname.

Read also: How to write a loan application letter in Nigeria. 

  1. Have a backup individual

If it’s a letter of permission, ensure you note who will fill in for you during your absence and how you can get through to them (e.g., emergency phone or email).

  1. Make it policy proof

 If it’s an excuse note for a sudden absence, ensure you cite a reason approved by your company’s policy.

  1. Don’t be ambiguous but don’t get too personal as well

Employees hold the right to privacy.

While some firms may ask for a medical statement to explain skipping work as a result of an ailment, the excuse letter should not be into personal details about the employee’s condition.

So you can summarize the participation in an awful family occasion (e.g., the funeral of an immediate relative) or an unforeseen professional situation (e.g., earning an award), but you shouldn’t disclose private details.

  1. Make it brief

A few honest expressions are sufficient. Review all vital points and incorporate relevant information but never make your boss waste too much time going over an excuse letter.

Brief statements like “kindly pardon my absence”, or “please pardon my absence” are nice means to go directly to the motive of the letter.

Read also: How to write a creative script for Youtube Videos. 

  1. Comply with internal protocols

The employee guide should analyze the processes to follow in the issue of unexpected absences.

For instance, some organizations award excused absences just for earlier planned occasions. 

Others demand a brief notice in case of being unpunctual or unable to appear at work (e.g., phoning the supervisor or an HR team member). 

Make sure the excuse message comes after the timeline and protocol agreed in your company.

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Samples of Professional Letter of Absence From Work

Below are various examples of excuse letters you can employ freely.

You can paste them into an email, and with small personalization, you have something that can earn you out of difficulty.

 The instances provided cupped challenges such as being missing due to home issues, illness, vital obligations, unforeseen calamities, etc.

Sample 1: Excuse letter of work absence due to family matters

Dear Mr./Ms. [Supervisor Last Name],

As a result of urgent family issues, I was not able to be present at work on [date/date + time for partial absence]. 

My 2-year-old son had a convulsion and required immediate medical attention.

 Kindly accept this formal message and affirmation that I will finish my tasks by [date] as planned.

Please kindly pardon my absence. I remain at your disposal for any supplementary information. Thanks for your consideration.


[Your Signature]

You can as well change the title of the above-cited example if the need arises.

Sample 2: Excuse email for being absent due to sickness

Subject: Missing work due to sickness

Dear Mr./Ms. [Supervisor Last Name],

My inability to attend work on [date/date + time of absence] as a result of illness. [I couldn’t come to work/I was caused to leave work early] the reason being that I urgently required medical care.

 Kindly consider this as a formal notification and promise that I will thoroughly accomplish my tasks by [date] as planned.

I remain at your full service for any additional information. Thank you for understanding.


[Your Signature]

Tip: if the circumstance is a bit more complicated than simple flu, therefore it would be more reasonable to rewrite the subject as a Letter of absence from work due to illness.

Sample 3: Letter of authorization for missing work due to a vital issue

Dear Mr./Ms. [Supervisor Last Name],

I will not be able to attend work on [date] as a result of an important matter, and I’d like it if you can grant me a personal day off. 

Would you please let me be aware if that’s convenient and if you need additional information?

Thank you so much for being so understanding.

Best regards,

[Your Signature]

Sample 4: Formal absent excuse letter due to an unforeseen circumstance 

Dear Mr./Ms. [Supervisor Last Name],

Please kindly accept this letter as proper notification of my inability to be at work on [date] as a result of an emergency. 

I was accessible via email and phone the whole time and have already performed the tasks planned for this period. 

Would you please let me be aware if I can deliver additional information?

I appreciate your understanding.

Best regards,

[Your Signature]

Sample 5: Letter of Absence from Work due to family problem

Dear Mr./Ms. [Supervisor Last Name],

I’m writing this letter to inform you that on [date/s] I was absent from work due to unexpected family problems. [Give more details: broken pipe/car troubles/ babysitter issue / etc]

This is why I would kindly request you to accept my apologies for being absent without notice.

Thank you for understanding,

[Your name/department].


So, that’s it! I’m sure you now understand how to write a letter of absence from work.

Good luck as you make good use of everything I’ve written above. Thanks for reading!

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About Author

Avatar of Sulaiman Halima
Sulaiman Halima
I am Sulaiman Halima, a Microbiology student born and raised in Ilorin, Kwara State. Writing has always been my dream since childhood; it makes me curious. Apart from the fact that I learn more through writing, I chose writing also because I found it to be a great way to express my thoughts and share my feelings with others.

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