An email to request time off

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


  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.
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Worksheet98.55 KB

Language level

B2 English level (upper intermediate)

Submitted by GraceZ on Thu, 30/06/2022 - 03:57


In my country annual leave depends of your labor sector and the company. Employees are normally entitled to 12-15 days annual leave. General attitude towards taking time off work requires notices in advance.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Sun, 30/01/2022 - 22:58


In my country people normally get annual leave for four weeks. In my work place the general attitude to taking time off work, requires notice in advance.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Tue, 09/11/2021 - 13:26


I'm a still a student so I don't know what is the annual leave provide in my country but in my country different companies have different rules and regulations. Government entities have provided more annual leave than private companies.

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Fri, 05/11/2021 - 14:41


Its normal 28-30 days annual leave in my country, but is not possible to take all days 1 time, maybe in some places- yes. Oh, I think that`s not enough days for 365 day per year. Its good Government to think for almost 2 months annual leave- it will be motivating the people to take long and nice rest...

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 20/07/2021 - 07:00

in our country, annual time off days are 16. Attitudes toward this issue are different for different organizations.

Submitted by Denise on Wed, 16/12/2020 - 08:43

From: Denise Pinheiro Correia To : Louise Bennet Subject: Request for time off Dear Ms Bennet I would like to request two weeks off between Monday 9 June and Tuesday 20 June, in order to have time to prepare myself for my IELTS exam which is due to submission on 30th of June. Upon your approval,I’ll make plans to leave Sara Coper and Jane Moran covering me during my absence and also leave a playbook so the whole team will be aware of the responsalities and task they need to meet while I’m away. During my time out I would be fully reachable by phone or email to respond any questions and to solve any problem they might come across. I believe that the IELTS test I am doing would benefit not just my personal Life but also my professional life in Uk and at the same time would be really helpfull to the assetments I make in the company. Please let me know if you need any additional information. Thank you for considering my request.I’m looking forward to receive your respond. Best Regards Denise P. Correia
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Submitted by Hennadii on Thu, 10/12/2020 - 10:01

Normally we have twenty-four days leave in the year. Some works or positions provide extra leave due to hard work conditions. Our labour legislation also gives extra days off to single parents and persons with disabilities. As for me, I have 31 days of leave per year: 24 days - normal leave and 7 days extra because of the work conditions. Honestly, I don't think my job is so hard to give me those extra days off but I don't know anyone who declines additional leave )) Some words about the leave procedure. If you want to get time off you have to write an application request and get approval from your manager.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 19:39

In my country, regarding the people who carries out the employee work, the annual normal leave is different in public or private sphere, because there are various collective labor agreements.

Submitted by YaMaCa on Mon, 12/10/2020 - 11:17

In my country, the annual leave is 21 days, in common accord with the boss and the employee. Normally, it is not a big issue if the time off is taken with the previous time.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 08:25

I think people get normally 30 days' annual leave in my country. I am right now in Europa, and I can also get 30 days of annual leave if I will work in any company. When and why you will get your time off this depends on your wish. I would request for time off when I'd start my work at Bosh companies after pandemic.

Submitted by jazmin marquez on Sun, 24/05/2020 - 19:05

Annual leave in my country depend on the sector in which you work. However, many people are informal employees, therefore, they do not have the right to rest, because if they do not work they will not have money to eat. In particular, the attitude of my superior when I take a break from work is as if they were giving me a gift, so it is very uncomfortable to do so.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sat, 09/05/2020 - 21:48

The annual leave in my country depends mostly on the sector, however it ranges between 11-28 days annually. This has to do with choice and decision of individual, but it's subject to approval by the concerned authorities.

Submitted by Reza 2020 on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 13:58

Dear Mr Smith I am writing to request 5 day work off of my annual leave from 8 May to Monday 13 May. As you know I already set up IELSE test for 13th May, so I need more time to recovering an relaxing before it. I understand it may be cause some pause in regular office process, but upon your approval, I had given all detailed instructions to my colleagues, and Mr. Brown and Mrs. Judi will cover my responsibility during my absence. I will be reachable any time of day through email and other social media for helping my colleagues regarding office work. I believe passing my IELTS test successfully, both me and company in future professional duties. please do not hesitate to contact me if need any additional information. Thanks for consideration to my request. Best regards, Reza

Submitted by Huini on Mon, 27/04/2020 - 17:14

From: Stefan Bauer To: Emma Louise Jensen Subject: Request for time off Dear Ms. Jensen, I am writing to ask for some time off from Monday 13 May through to Friday 17 May in order to attend an international conference, which will be held from 14-17 May, India. I understand that 4 days leave of absence in a row is not allowed in any type of leave. Thus, I have taken permission from the VC office, as it is not causal leave rather it is a leave for conference attending, which is generally given one time per academic year. I have spoken to Arif, who has agreed to cover for me during my absence. Furthermore, I have already completed some essential works in advance so that they won't be hampered. During my leave, I would be fully reachable by phone and email to answer any questions and provide any assistance needed. I would also be happy to further discuss any plans to ensure my workload is covered. I believe that attending this conference will benefit both myself and the university, as I will share what I learn at this conference. Please let me know if you need any additional information. Thank you for your consideration of my request. Best regards, Huini

Submitted by Lau on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 17:35

In my country (Venezuela), annual leave depends of the profession and kind of job. I thinks school´s teachers are the most take annual leave. They take approximately three months every year. From August to October and from the middle of December to the first days of January. On the other hand, the most jobs establish annual leave of 15-21 days, which can be continuous or working days. It is very common in public administration workers to use medical leave to justify absences. This is frowned upon, yet it is a well known attitude. In private companies, this behavior is unusual. In my profession as a doctor, the annual leave is generally 18 to 21 continuous days. On occasions where you must be absent from work for any reason, the same employee seeks the replacement that will cover it, unless it is due to medical leave, because in this case is the Chief of the Department who must be in charge of solving the situation. However, when you are responsible, even if you are sick, you should try to leave everything covered. When you need to requesting additional time off work, you can negotiate with your boss or colleagues to cover you. The most important thing is not to disturb functioning of your service or department or your colleagues

Submitted by NicoleAlbornoz on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 15:55

In Venezuela vacations are 15 business days, some companies add one day to this number for each year of work on them. Often people take their vacation days in July or August, because there are no academic classes at schools, colleges or universities, so they can travel with all the family. Although there are also people with many accumulated vacation days because they do not take them and in Venezuela they are added year after year. But of course a lot will depend on the policies of each company. Also in the days of December there are vacations for being holidays. Everyone is entitled to festivities 24 and 25 with 31 of December and 1 of January. However, most companies grant vacations from the end of the second week or the beginning of the third week of the month (according to the calendar) until the day of the Three Wise Men , which is January 6th. Following them the first Monday after, work begins again. Another holiday in which vacation days are usually taken is Easter, in Venezuela they are national holidays Thursday and Friday, but frequently people ask for additional days which are vacation leave, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to complete the week off and take a small vacation with the family and celebrate the festivities.

Submitted by theberriz on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 15:27

I'm not certain about how much annual leave do other companies give to their employees in Venezuela, but in my case, the company gives us 15 work days annually to be spent in whatever we decided In the company I work for almost everyone take the days of annual leave when they want to travel, of course there are a couple of cases that have accumulated up to 60 days because they hadn't gone in leave in 4 years, which I don't think is good because we all need some time to rest and think about other things that are not work related. In my particular case I always try to get my days of annual leave whenever I have a special occasion like a wedding of one of my friends that lives abroad o whenever one of those friends or even my family (that also lives abroad) comes to Venezuela to visit, so I can be certain that I can have those days to spend them exclusively with them. For example, in February 1st one of my closest friends that lives in United States came to Venezuela to celebrate his wedding with his girlfriend of 9 years, I took a couple of days off to spend time with them because I hadn’t seen them in almost two years
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Submitted by Magedelabd on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 18:44

My people are taking from 21 to 30 days annual leave. If you served if woek less than 10 years then you deserve 21 days annual leave . And if you served more than 20 years so you deserve 30 days.and about my employees attitude towards the annual leave , we have to types , one type doesn't worry about the days off and the most important thing for him is work. The other type is the opposite one where he has to take all his allowed days off even if he has nothing to do with those days.

Submitted by gicandrade on Thu, 14/11/2019 - 09:30

Request for time off Dear someone, I’m writing to request some days to finish my MBA dissertation, which is due for submission on 30 April. I know I asked for other days in march to the same intention. However, I would like to know if those days may be taken in lieu of extra working hours I did two weeks ago when I took part of the Chicago Internacional Conference. I really asked for Azevedo and Luiz if they can cover this days out. For them, there is no problem, because of they follow my process and know what I am doing. On the other hand, I also distributed a playbook each one and for my team members. Thereby, during my leave, everyone is clear on the tasks and know all of the deadline they have to meet. Besides that, I told them that I will be available on the phone and email to answer any question or provide my assistant if they need. I take the opportunity to say that all my work is advanced and that there are no urgent issues. Thus, I believe that the research I am doing and the resulting MBA will contribute greatly to my professional development, and my improved 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,

Submitted by Maitane on Fri, 19/07/2019 - 12:04

How much annual leave do people normally get in your country? In your workplace, what is the general attitude to taking time off work? In Spain, people normally get one month of annual leave (fifteen days in summer and other fifteen in winter). Currently I'm not working, but in my previous jobs the general attitude to taking time off work is of acceptance, if and when that time you made up for overtime.

Submitted by NATIS on Wed, 22/05/2019 - 16:44

I like cats and dancing in the dark.

Submitted by Azzarine on Thu, 14/03/2019 - 10:41

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.

Submitted by Murali Manohar… on Mon, 11/03/2019 - 03:50

Nice excersice. I am learning alot.

Submitted by juanfra366 on Fri, 01/03/2019 - 16:24

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.