How To Write an Annual Leave Request Email in 6 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 17 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Sometimes you may decide to email your employer asking for specific days to take off from your job. A well-written request email serves to let your manager know what you have planned so they can ensure that you've completed your portion of the work or that you've secured someone to finish it for you. Writing a professional and concise email of this style encourages a positive communicative relationship built on respect and trust. In this article, we explore how to write an annual leave request email in six steps, including a few tips and examples to guide you.

Email Etiquette: The Professional Business Email Format

How to write an annual leave request email

Follow these steps to help you write a leave request email:

1. Include a subject line that is brief, but concise

Subject lines usually serve as the recipient's first impression of your email. For this type of email request, write a brief line that states the general purpose of your message and the dates related to your request. If you work in a large company, consider also writing your last name in the subject line to ensure the recipient can quickly identify who is requesting time off and when. Double-check your subject line for any potential grammar, name or spelling errors and make certain that you don't accidentally leave it blank before sending the email.

Related: 40 Professional Email Greetings To Use at Work

2. Describe why you are writing

After greeting your recipient, use the first line of your email to state that you are writing to seek time off. You can use a statement if you've already spoken with your supervisor about your request, or you may phrase your purpose as a question if this email is the first time you're discussing the request. Asking your supervisor or employer if they'd allow you to take time off is a professional courtesy that shows your respect for their time and seniority. If the team isn't too busy, then your manager is likely to agree to the request.

3. Be specific about your requested dates

In the first line of your email, be sure to include the dates you're requesting time off. Make certain that the dates match those listed in the subject line to ensure clarity. This step can help you to maintain clear communication about your request and provide your employer with accurate documentation. If your company follows an accruing paid time off policy, you may also consider mentioning how many hours you expect to be taking off.

4. Describe why you need to request for an annual leave

Though it's optional, you can try to mention the reason for your annual leave, which can further help with accurate documentation of your time off. It may let your employer know that you're taking an annual leave, but if you take time off for another personal reason, providing some reference to that reason may help your employer better understand the purpose of your request. This step may help your supervisor or employer decide whether to approve your time off. Sometimes managers don't immediately approve a request if there is a sufficient amount of work that needs to get done prior to you leaving.

5. Mention how you're going to prepare for your annual leave

In the next part, which is often the second brief paragraph of your email, provide details regarding the tasks you're completing, the work you're delegating and the other ways in which you've been preparing your team and other relevant parties for your time off. This step shows your dedication to your organisation's success while you're away and ensures the company understands the full extent of your absence's impact on the team's productivity and efficiency.

Consider listing the projects and tasks you're working on, what you're expecting to finish and when and who you expect to be assigning your work to while you're away. If you have outstanding tasks, let your employer know what those are so they can plan and delegate the work accordingly.

6. Keep yourself available for any questions

End your email by allowing your employer or supervisor to contact you for further information and to confirm the decision of your request. This element is a professional courtesy that also promotes clear and open communication between you and your employer. Your employer is likely to appreciate this kind of simple gesture.

Related: Email Etiquette: Best Regards and Alternative Salutations

Tips to help you write an annual leave request

When you've decided that you're ready to take some time off and begin drafting an email leave request, consider these tips:

Conduct thorough research to identify your employer's annual leave policy

Most companies have some type of policy about taking time off and annual leaving. These rules are likely to vary depending on your specific employer. Prior to requesting to take off a few days, make certain that you have a firm understanding of your company's annual leave policy. Sometimes do not have written policies for this and if that's your situation, consult your manager or someone in human resources who can tell you about the company's time off practices.

Your employer may also use an accruing paid time off system, so it's important for you to verify the amount of paid and unpaid days you have remaining. This is necessary so you don't request off more time than you actually have.

Choose your off dates well in advance if possible

It's usually beneficial to request your days off at a minimum of two months in advance. There are some companies that make it mandatory for their employees to include the specific amount of time they want to take off in their request email for annual leave. If you're looking to make a leave request during the more popular times of the year, then it's courteous to provide your management with an earlier notice. The earlier you ask for time off, the more your manager sees you as reliable.

Select dates that are most convenient

If you can, try to consider work patterns in your decision-making process when choosing your annual leave dates. You could try scheduling your off days during a time of the year when work is slower or right after the completion of an important project. Refer to your team members' schedules to help you choose one that is least disruptive.

Send your manager a follow-up email

Generally, it's common courtesy to contact your manager with a follow-up email after talking in person. This simply allows you to reconfirm your request in writing form. Try to keep the follow-up email very brief and direct.

Send an additional email to remind them

Consider sending a reminder email to your manager. Sometimes they might forget and become confused when you don't come to work. By sending this email, perhaps even a few times, you can ensure that your manager is completely aware of your time off so they can act accordingly with the remainder of the team.

Email to request annual leave examples

The following are just some examples of what an annual leave request email may look like:

Informal email to request annual leave example

The following is a sample of an informal request email:

Subject: Annual leave request June 1-15

Hi Coral,

I'd like to request an annual leave from Monday, June 1st through Tuesday the 15th. I will be travelling to visit my parents and take them on a trip.

While I'm away, you can reach me via email at my work address, lileung@email.com, but not by phone. As we discussed, my team has agreed to provide coverage while I am away, and I can make certain to complete my project after I return by August 1st.

Thanks,

Li Leung

Related: Email Etiquette: How To End an Email (With Examples)

Formal email to request annual leave example

Here's a sample of a formal request email:

Subject line: Chan – Annual leave request June 1-15

Dear Ms Kong,

This letter is a formal request for one week's annual leave from Monday, June 1st to Tuesday, June 15th. I will be back in the office on Wednesday, June 16th.

All of the projects that I am working on will be completed before I leave. My team has agreed to cover my responsibilities while I am away. My team leader has approved my annual leave request (please find an approval letter from her attached).

If you have any questions or concerns, I can be reached at my work email address, Chan@email.com, or by phone at 1-555-445-5454. While I am away, I will not be able to check my email regularly, but I can be reached at my cell phone number if urgently needed.

Thank you for considering my request.

Best,
August Chan

Annual leave reminder email example

Review the following sample of an annual leave reminder email:

*Subject line: Reminder – Pak Annual leave, June 1-15*

Dear Mr Fan,

I just wanted to remind you that, per our conversation last month, I will be out of the office Monday, June 1st through Tuesday, June 15th.

As we discussed, my colleague Anne Yue will be covering my project while I am away. We completed our team project ahead of schedule, so I will get the follow-up paperwork for you by next week.

Again, I will be available by email at pak@email.com if you or anyone on the team needs to reach me. Thank you.

Best,

Joseph Pak

Explore more articles