How To Write a Sick Leave Letter (With Template and Example)

Updated July 28, 2023

Companies often have different procedures when employees need to take sick leave. Regardless of the policies, it's usually a good idea to send a formal sick leave letter with details related to your absence, such as dates and projects you're working on. Understanding what information you should include in a sick leave letter can make it easy to write one.

In this article, we discuss why you should write a sick leave letter, the steps you should take to write one and a template and example of a sick leave letter.

Why send a sick leave letter?

A sick leave letter allows you to formally document your request to take an extended leave of absence from work because of illness. It allows you to put the dates and details of your absence in writing so everyone understands why and for how long you'll be gone. It will also serve as proof in your HR file for the future. In some cases, a formal, written letter is required. It's generally a good idea to consult with your HR department to find out if there is a specific format they prefer.

Related: How To Write a Professional Email

How to write a sick leave letter

Here are the basic steps you can take to write a sick leave letter. Include:

1. The right formatting

Your letter should be typed in 10- to 12-point font and have a margin of one inch on all sides of the text. Use an easy-to-read font as well, such as Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica.

Related: Formatting Your Business Letter: Definitions, Tips and Examples

2. The date

Put the date you intend to send the letter to your supervisor, HR manager or another party at the top left-hand corner of the page.

3. The recipient's address

Skip a line and then write the recipient's full name and title. Then write their office address, including the specific department they are in.

4. A greeting

The greeting in your sick letter should be professional and be written using formal greeting formats. Avoid being too informal with your greeting, regardless of the relationship you have with the recipient of your letter. It's a good idea to simply start your letter with, "Dear Mr./Ms. [name]."

5. The body

This is where you will explain the purpose of sending the letter. Be direct and state your purpose in the first or second sentence. If you know them or have a general idea, include the dates you anticipate being away from work. Include details like where you were with specific, high-priority projects and whether you will be available to communicate with your team during your leave. Let them know how they can get in contact with you if an urgent need arises. If you intend to include a note from your doctor, detailing the dates they recommend you be away from work, you should also mention that within the body of your letter.

6. An expression of gratitude

Express your appreciation for your employer's understanding. You may also want to add an apology if you're giving short notice.

7. Complimentary close

This is the part of the letter where you formally say goodbye. Some ideal complimentary closes are:

  • Yours truly

  • Best wishes

  • Regards

  • Sincerely

8. A signature

If you're sending an email, just type your name. If you're printing and mailing or hand-delivering the letter, add a handwritten signature under the complimentary close and add your name, typed, underneath.

9. Any supporting documentation

If you have a note from your physician expressing that you need to stay home from work, as well as the length of time, include that along with your letter.

Related: 8 Best Practices for Business Email Etiquette


Use this sick leave letter template to help you write your own:


[Recipient's name]
[Company name]

Dear [Recipient's name],

I am writing this letter to inform you that I need to take sick leave from work. I will need to remain off work until [date].

I've included a letter from my doctor to confirm that I need to take that amount of time off to fully recover. I apologize for any inconvenience that my absence from work may cause. I do intend to periodically check my email and [state whether you will or will not be able to work on some urgent projects from home].

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you need any additional information from my physician. Should I need additional time off, I will inform you as quickly as possible. And when I return to work on [date], I will do my best to catch up quickly.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.


[Your name]

Download Sick Leave Letter Template

To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.


Here is an example of a sick leave letter that you can use for ideas as you craft your own:

December 10, 2019

Mr. Mike Bradshaw
HR Manager
Turner Press
234 Orange Grove Drive
Miami, FL 32512

Dear Mr. Bradshaw,

I'm writing this to let you know that I need to take sick leave because of my sprained ankle. Per my physician's orders, I will need to remain off work until December 20.

I'm including a letter from my doctor confirming his diagnosis and that I need to stay off my foot completely for the time period outlined. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience my absence will cause.

I anticipate being able to periodically check my email and do some work from home, particularly on the new building project on 7th Avenue. When I am back in the office on December 20, I will do all I can to catch up on anything I missed.

Please let me know if I need to complete any additional forms related to my sick leave or if you need additional verification from my doctor. If I anticipate needing any additional time, I will let you know as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for your understanding in this matter.


Meghan Hill


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