Leave Request

What Is a Leave Request?

A leave request or PTO (paid time off) is the process that a company puts in place for an employee to request paid time off work. There are many reasons why an employee may put in a leave request – here are some of the most common ones:

  • Health reasons
  • Family emergency
  • Travel
  • Vacation

No matter the business’s size, it’s crucial for there to be a formal process in place and for all team members to be aware of it. The process is often written down, and can also be input in modern software.

How Do You Request a Leave of Absence From Work?

There are a few ways in which you can request a leave of absence from work. The most common are formal letters of request and, nowadays, by using dedicated software.

Formal Written Leave Request

Traditionally, a leave of absence is requested through a formal letter detailing when the leave of absence is required. This is typically either approved by a manager and is passed to the HR department.

Approval of the leave of absence is required from the manager or superior.


In recent years, a lot of companies have adopted dedicated software for leave requests.

While the process stays the same as the traditional formal letter, using software cuts down a lot of the admin time required. This can be a huge time saver for larger businesses.

The leave of absence is requested via the software, and is then sent to the superior that makes the final decisions.

Another advantage of using software is that it removes the possibility of human error and keeps all the data in a centralized database, making it even easier to create and view reports around leave requests.

Example of a Leave Request – What Do You Need to Include?

If the leave request goes through a formal letter rather than software, here’s what you need to include to make sure that your superior has all the details they require:

  • The request itself and the reasons that you are requesting the leave
  • The start date of the request and the date that you intend to return to work
  • A section that offers to assist in any way you can
  • A thank you for the consideration

Sample Leave Request Letter

(image via templatelab.com)


See our full list of over 50 Small Business Terms here


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