Learn how to write an email to request time off work.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

From: Stefan Bauer
To: Emma Louise Jensen
Subject: Request for time off

Dear Ms Jensen,

I'm writing to request some time off between Monday 18 February and Friday 8 March in order to work on my MBA dissertation, which is due for submission on 30 March.

I understand that the three weeks I am requesting exceeds my remaining annual leave by four days. I would like to ask if those four days may be taken in lieu of the extra working hours I put in during the two weekends of the Chicago International Management Conference last November.

I have spoken to Kristian Sander and Jasmine Riber, who have both agreed to cover for me during my absence. I would also distribute a playbook for my team members so that everyone is clear on the tasks they are in charge of and the deadlines they have to meet. During my leave, I would be fully reachable by phone and email to answer any questions or provide any assistance needed. I would also be happy to discuss any further plans to ensure my workload is covered.

I believe that the research I am doing and the resulting MBA will contribute greatly to my professional development, and my improved expertise and qualifications will in turn benefit the company.

Please let me know if you need any additional information. Thank you for your consideration of my request.

Best regards,

Stefan Bauer

Tips

  1. This is a formal request for time off, so unless you know the recipient very well, start your email with Dear ... .
  2. State the dates of your absence clearly.
  3. Be clear right from the beginning what it is you are asking for. In some cultures, it might be more common to start by providing full background information about why time off is needed. However, when communicating across cultures, it is better to be direct (but polite) and clear about what you are requesting, so as to avoid possible miscommunication.
  4. Give clear reasons why you need the time off, but don't go into too much unnecessary detail.
  5. Assure your manager that your work can be covered and that any problems during your absence can be dealt with.
  6. If possible, show how your company or team can benefit from your request being approved.
  7. End by thanking your manager for considering your request.

Discussion

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Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

The annual leave days that you have depent of your labor sector and your company. They are between 2 to 8 days.
The private comapnies usually don't show a good attitude when you ask for days off.

Nice excersice. I am learning alot.

In France, we have 5 weeks per year if I remember correctly, we "win" them by working 2.5 days per month during the years and we have to take those weeks in total before the last day of May of the next year. The first year of a job, we didn't have holidays, except if our boss is okay to make and advance on the next year holidays.