Before learning how to write a sick leave email, it’s important to understand what a sick leave email is. A sick leave email is an email that an employee sends to notify the business they require sick leave to recover from an illness or injury. Employees usually send sick leave emails to their direct supervisor or manager to inform them of their condition and inability to complete their usual duties.
If we wake up unwell and feel we’re unable to work our usual evening shift at a restaurant, it’s better to email in the morning than right before our shift. Employers prefer employees write and send sick leave emails as soon as they know of their condition, as notice helps the business cover staffing shortages. If we go to the hospital for an extended stay over the weekend, sending an email on our admission makes sure our manager knows the situation as soon as possible.
A sick day email is required when we are feeling under the weather and need time off of work to recuperate. The standard protocol in such circumstances is to call in sick, however, sending a sick leave application is also an acceptable way to inform our boss or manager. It will also spare us and our co-workers from having any trouble or delays in the tasks at work.
It is important to keep our email short yet concise. We may also include general details about why we need to take a sick leave and how we plan to make up for our absence from work. When writing a sick leave email, make sure we keep it short and up to a point. Here are a few details that should be included when we are writing a sick day email.
- Reason for our absence from work
- Number of days we will be absent from work
- Whether we’re available to field urgent calls/emails
- Name of the contact person who will handle our work
- And lastly, a doctor’s note (if applicable)
Occasionally it happens when we wake up and don’t feel like to go office due to illness and there comes a second thought about how to inform our manager about it. Well, you surely do have to write an email for sick leave too. It showcases our professionalism and dedication to our job. Also, attaching a doctor’s prescription for long leaves always helps us to get approvals real quick.
Few points to be noted while writing an Email
- Notify early & Send the Email earliest — It is important to let our manager and teammates know that we’re calling in sick for the day as early as possible. This allows them to prepare alternate arrangements, offload our tasks to others, and schedule their own tasks accordingly. It is the first and foremost thing that an employee has to follow to inform the manager and their co-workers before the official timings. The sooner the email reaches our manager the earlier they’ll have to contact it, and that’s enormous if they need to postpone some meetings or arrange substitutes.
- Write a clear email “Subject Line” – When writing a mail, it should specify why we’re writing this and what it indicates? Fill up the subject line with our name and the motive for writing. For example, “First Name Last Name – Absence.”
- Keep it simple & to the point — When we write the sick day email, ensure that we write a simple and subject and keep the body of the email to the point. Mention why we’re calling in sick, and how long do we expect to be away. We should not be overly formal and also should not write complex and long paragraphs.
Supporting Team in your Absence
- Inform about our availability — As much as possible, let our co-workers know about our availability and how to reach us. In some cases, if we’re working from home, let them know how we’ll be available. When we’re sick, it might not be possible for us to keep a check on our official mail. So, update them about our presence and how will we be able to cope with urgent emails or calls. If yes, then inform them we’re capable of working from home and not taking a sick day at all. It will be an excellent way to let them know before about how well we can manage to work remotely or not at all.
- Mention Paid or Unpaid Leave – Revise the boss about the paid or unpaid leave, whether this is approaching out of our sick leave or not. If we turn out to be at a company that distinguishes between personal days and sick days, we’ll want to affirm which of those we’re using as well.
- Mention any immediate action points — If there are some urgent tasks that need to be attended to, let our manager or teammates know about them so that the necessary alternative action can be taken. In all likelihood, those tasks are to be assigned to someone else on the team. If there’s a client meeting scheduled that we’re going to miss due to our sickness, ensure that someone from the team is tasked with informing the client as well.
If we’re unwell or injured and cannot attend work or carry out tasks remotely, we may write a sick leave email. Some businesses prefer sick leave emails instead of a phone call to notify them of health conditions, while others prefer receiving sick leave emails along with a phone call. Understanding how to write a sick leave email can help us maintain our professional reputation and tell our employer all the relevant details of our condition.
Writing an instructive sick email should consist of a few things, such as:
- It should notify our co-workers that we will be taking the day off, whether or not we will be active throughout our sick day.
- Proactively communicating this in order to help the business to run smoothly while we’re on sick leave, show our teammates and managers that we’re accountable, and help us recover without extra pressure.
What to include in the Leave Application (Email Format)?
There are certain sections that are essential to include when drafting a leave application in an email format to the HR Manager or our manager.
- Subject Line – Add ‘Leave Application’ in our subject line along with other details (If required)
- Salutation- Add Recipient’s Name. If we identify the person, use the initial title only.
- Body of the Letter- We must state the reason for our absenteeism, duration of our unavailability, name of the colleague who will look for our work, and point of contact (mode and time availability)
- Thank you note- Thank the reader for considering the leave
- Complimentary Closing- Add formal closing only.
- Name- Add our full name.
- Job Title (Optional) – We can also include our job title.
Every company follows its own set of HR policies and procedures on what employees need to do when they’re sick. Some may require us to send a sick day email at least a couple of hours before our shift. If we will be on leave for more than three days we may be required to submit a doctor’s note.
Here are the common steps outlining how to write a sick leave email:
1. Write a subject line with key information
Including the key information in your subject line helps our manager see quickly that we have a health condition requiring sick leave. Our manager can then open our email for more details. A good subject line might include the words Sick leave and the dates of our intended departure. Our name appears beside our subject line as the email’s sender so that we can leave it out of our subject line.
2. Open our email with a friendly greeting
Starting our email with a friendly greeting makes a positive impression on our manager. Our greeting can be more relaxed than in a business letter. For example, we may start with the word ‘Hi’ rather than Dear. We may address our managers by their first names if we usually use them in the office.
3. Explain our condition
We can start our email by explaining the condition that keeps us from completing our usual duties. Give as many details as we feel comfortable sharing. If we become ill during the weekend and have already seen a doctor, we may share our diagnosis. If we’re yet to seek medical attention, we could describe symptoms like a high temperature, persistent cough, or nausea. Symptoms that may impact our productivity or suggest we’re contagious are good reasons to take sick leave.
4. Suggest when we may return to our usual duties
Try to estimate when we can resume our usual duties. This is easier if we have already seen a doctor, as they usually prescribe a set number of days off. If we’re yet to seek medical attention, we can take our best guess and note that we can return if our symptoms subside.
5. Share our medical plan
If we feel comfortable, we can tell our supervisor our medical plans. For example, if we woke up feeling unwell, we may tell our manager we have a doctor’s appointment later that day. If we already saw a doctor, we may note any follow-up appointments impacting our work schedule. Some businesses require employees to see doctors and obtain medical certificates to qualify for sick leave. The business may ask us to see a doctor when we have more than one consecutive sick day or if we take a sick day before or after a weekend or public holiday.
6. Note if we’re working from home
Some businesses encourage employees to rest after sending a sick leave email, while others prefer employees to work remotely if they feel able. If the business and our role allow it, note if we plan on working remotely. We might work remotely if we have a persistent cough that may suggest we’re contagious, although we otherwise feel well. If we’re unsure of our capabilities, we could note that we plan on working remotely if we feel better later. If we feel unable to work, we can note that we plan to stay offline to focus on our recovery.
7. Detail any work you may need help with
If we have an important deadline or presentation approaching, we may need to help us meet our professional goals. It’s important to note the assistance required so our manager understands the situation and can help us. We may suggest reassigning tasks or asking for an extension on a deadline. If we know someone who can help us or cover our duties in our absence, we can mention their name in our sick leave email.
8. Thank our manager for understanding
We can close our email by thanking our managers for their understanding. Giving thanks shows we understand our absence may be inconvenient for the business and we appreciate our manager’s help in organizing cover in our absence. Depending on the length of our sick leave, we may also mention that we plan to email updates on our condition.
9. Add a friendly closing
After completing the email, we can add a friendly closing and our name to sign off. This closing can be more informal than a business letter. Cheers or see you when I’m back in the office are both appropriate. As emails are more informal than business letters, we can also end with our first name.
Sick Leave Application Templates & Samples
Here are a few templates/samples for a sick leave email we can modify with our details:
#1 Sample :
Write the Subject as: Sick leave from [Date]
Hi [Manager’s name],
I’m writing to let you know that I developed [Condition/symptoms and time of onset] and as a result, I am unable to attend work today. Possibly, I anticipate that I can return to work [Estimated return date] if my symptoms improve. I have seen/will see a doctor at [time of medical appointment] to obtain a medical certificate.
Due to this, I plan on working from home/focusing on my recovery while I am away. I may need help with [Issue you may need help with]. I would appreciate [Action plan]. Appreciate you for understanding my need for time out of the office and organizing cover in my absence.
[Insert your Name]
#2 Sample :
Subject: Regarding Sick Leave – [Your Full Name]
I woke up this morning with a [insert reason here, such as severe fever] and have to be on my prescribed medication starting today. As a result, I have to take a few sick days off, so that I can rest and hope that I can recover soon.
I’ll make sure I finish all my assigned tasks by the end of this week/early next week. For any urgent matters, [name of a colleague] can cover for me. I am available via Slack & Email for any assistance.
I hope to be back at work in a couple of days and will keep you updated on my progress.
Really appreciate you for understanding.
# Sample :
The Subject: Unpaid Sick Leave – [Your Full Name]
I’m writing to inform you that I have been feeling unwell since last night, due to which I am unable to attend the office. I’ve been diagnosed with a [severe case of food poisoning] and have been advised to rest for [#] days.
Since I do not have any sick leaves left on my calendar, I understand that my absence during my recovery will be marked as unpaid sick leave.
I will try to make myself available on Slack or email for any assistance during this recovery.
Thank you for understanding.
[Your Full Name]
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