Like the name rightly implies, a leave approval letter is a letter written to confirm or approve the leave request of an employee for a stipulated period.
As an employer, supervisor or HR personnel, it may be among your duties to approve leave for your employees or colleagues. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about leaves, what they are, the different types, the policies associated with leaves and we’re going to round it up with some templates and samples on how to write effective leave approval letters.
What is Leave (Paid Time Off), Leave of Absence?
Leave or paid time off is a period an employee can take off work while still getting paid. As an employer, your company should have guidelines and rules that dictate everything associated with employee leave. This includes how long they have to work till they’re eligible for leave, the number of days off they get, etc.
Leave of Absence
This is different from paid time off as it is specifically for employees dealing with unusual and often unplanned circumstances such as medical emergencies for them or families, military reasons, childbirth, etc.
A leave of absence can be mandated on the employee by you, the employer, or can be voluntarily asked by the employee. Also, with leave and paid time off, the employee gets paid. But leave of absence can either be paid or unpaid.
According to regulatory bodies such as Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA), the laws ensure that while your employee is on leave, their jobs are protected.
While leaves and paid time off are required by law, voluntary unpaid leaves are solely up to you, the employer to decide, and these kinds of leaves do not guarantee job protection.
An employee may request a voluntary unpaid leave on two occasions:
- They are not eligible for full mandatory leave.
- Have used up all their available leave days.
If an employee has exhausted their mandatory leave days, they can decide to request leave under FMLA or EFMLA. When an employee requests leave under these policies, they’re not using their sick days. Also, while you’re mandated by law to grant these leaves, you’re not mandated to pay your employees when they request these days off.
For time off that the FMLA doesn’t cover, you have sole discretion on whether or not to grant those leaves.
As an employer, before granting leaves, you need to consider the benefits of the employee to the company, as well as the cost of replacing them. To avoid taking drastic measures concerning leaves, make sure you have vacation days, or Paid time off and these days should be used by your employees to handle issues they would normally request leaves for. Unless in cases of emergencies.
How Long Should Leave Be?
As an employer, in most cases, you have sole discretion on how long an employee needs to work till they’re eligible for leave and how much leave they’re eligible to get.
According to the FMLA, employees can take up to 12 weeks off in 12 months, but only if they’ve worked 1,250 hours.
Under EFMLA, your employee is only mandated to have worked for 30 days before being eligible for leave. Also, under EFMLA, employees can take leave for personal or family emergencies such as recovering from Covid or taking care of recovering family members.
If an employee requests leave outside FMLA or EFMLA, you as an employee have sole discretion on how long they’re allowed to take off work and whether or not they’re going to be paid.
How Should Employees Request Leave?
As an employer, it is important to have a policy that helps your employees request leave. To help your employees request leaves, your leave policies and guidelines should be in your employee handbook.
For an employee to request leave, they should send a written leave request letter and the letter must contain the following:
- The date the employee intends to leave.
- The date they intend to return.
- A solution towards work in their absence.
- A thank you for your consideration.
The information above is a generally accepted leave request format. Once an employee requests leave, it should be filed in their file for record and compliance purposes.
If employees intend to file for leave under FMLA, they will need to send a form from the department of labour or the pertaining official body to their employer to request a leave.
If an employee is requesting leave either under FMLA or without, it is mandated that they send the notice in time, at least a minimum of 30 days before the stipulated time for leave.
How to Write a Leave Approval Letter
When writing a leave approval letter, there are general rules you must follow. In this section of the article, we’re going to list everything you need to know to write a leave approval letter and also include some templates to help you write a great leave approval letter.
- You decide the friendliness or the level of formality: Depending on your relationship with the employee or colleague, a leave approval letter can be written with a friendly undertone and could also be written strictly formally.
- Your decision on the request: When writing a leave approval letter, it is important to remember that you’re well in your right to decline the request. This is provided you have a valid reason such as the employee isn’t due for leave or they’ve exhausted their leave days.
- State the date the leave starts and when it ends. Your leave approval request must include the date the leave begins and the day it ends.
- If you like, you can decide to close the letter with warm wishes or keep it formal.
Leave Approval Letter Template One
[Recipients Name] [Address line] [State, ZIP Code] Subject: Leave Approval Letter Dear [Recipient's name], In line with the company's policy, I have assessed your leave request and I have officially approved your request. Please treat this email as an official leave approval letter. Your leave goes in effect from [Start Date] to [End Date] If there are changes to this date, please make sure to get in touch as soon as possible. You're mandated to be back at work the Monday after your leave ends. If you're not at work and fail to get prior approval, it will go down on your record as an unauthorized absence. If you have further questions or inquiries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Sincerely, [Sender's Name] [Sender's Title] -Optional-
Sick Leave Approval Letter Template Two
[Recipients Name] [Address line] [State, ZIP Code] Subject: Sick Leave Approval Letter Dear [Recipient's name], We have received your sick leave request to be away from the office from the [Start Date] to [End Date]. This letter is an official leave approval letter. Before leaving, please let us know if it would be okay to reach you in case of an emergency. If not, please ensure Jason has all the access to your files and your account. If you need anything, do not hesitate to contact us. We wish you a speedy recovery. Yours Sincerely, [Sender's Name] [Sender's Title]
Leave Approval Letter Template Three
[Sender's Name] [Address line] [State, ZIP Code] [Letter Date] [Recipients Name] [Address line] [State, ZIP Code] Subject: Leave Approval Letter Dear [Recipient's name], I am writing this letter to officially approve your leave request from [Start Date] to [End Date]. Since you're going away for a while, please show Jeffery the ropes of the most important aspects of your job and make sure he has access to your accounts and files. Thank you and have a lovely trip. Sincerely, [Sender's Name] [Sender's Title] -Optional-
In this article, we’ve listed everything that’s associated with leaves, even going as far as covering it from a legal point of view.
We’ve also included templates you can edit to write your leave approval letters.