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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.



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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,

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

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.

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