Employers usually understand most reasons you give to call in sick at work. However, while taking some casual days off, you may run out of reasons to call out of work. Providing good excuses for missing work upholds a good professional reputation for you. These reasons should only be used when absolutely necessary and not regularly.

Here’s a not-so-surprising fact:

40% of employees were not really sick while on paid sick leave. Hence, rather than lying on your sick leave notice, you could rather come up with a better reason to take a personal day off.

We have made things easier by listing 15 excellent reasons to call out of work that look appealing to your HR and management. Cherry on the cake, we’ve also included example messages of how to convey your reason acceptably.

15 Best Reasons to Call Out Of Work

The following reasons (or excuses) are the most acceptable and legitimate grounds for taking leaves.

1. Personal Illness


Personal Illness is one of the most common reasons and a valid excuse for missing a work day. Taking a leave while you’re sick is important not only for you but also for your peers. You don’t want to go to the office and spread your illness to your colleagues. Your employer doesn’t want that either.

Another note is that taking a work-from-home day on your sick days doesn’t help you or the company. Even if you feel relaxed working from the comfort of your bed, your sickness might take a toll on your productivity.

Ask your HR about the company policies on how many sick leaves you get per annum. Utilize your sick leaves wisely and avoid faking them.

Email Template:

Subject: Sick leave request

Dear [Manager's Name],

I am writing to inform you that I cannot come to work today due to [insert reason for an illness]. I am experiencing [insert symptoms]. I believe it would be best to stay home and rest to avoid spreading illness to my coworkers and customers.

I will update you on my condition and plan to return to work as soon as I feel better. In the meantime, I will complete any urgent tasks remotely if possible.

Please let me know if there are any additional steps I need to take or if any documentation is required to support my sick leave request.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

[Your Name]

2. Loss of a Loved One (Bereavement Leave)


When you experience a loss of a loved one, work is the last thing that should come to your mind. Taking bereavement leave is necessary for you to take hold of your emotions.

It is important to take time to grieve the death of people close to us. Apart from that, teh bereavement period also consists of financial and logistical tasks like arranging and planning funerals.

Most companies have bereavement leaves as a separate section in the leave policy. However, if your company has no such policy, communicate with your HR about your situation and tell them how long you’ll be gone.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Bereavement Leave

Dear [Manager's Name],

I am requesting a leave of absence due to the recent loss of my [relationship] [family member's name]. The passing of [family member's name] has been a difficult time for my family and me, and I would appreciate your understanding during this period.

I would like to request [number of days] days of bereavement leave, starting from [start date] to [end date]. I will take care of [funeral arrangements/family affairs/other related activities] during this time. I will do my best to complete any outstanding work before my leave begins.

Thank you for your consideration of my request. Please let me know if any further information or documentation is required from me.

[Your Name]

3. Family Emergency


A family emergency is an acceptable reason to call out of work. Employers usually understand the fact that family comes first for their employees.

You could take such leave in advance or on an emergency day. Paying attention to your family in an emergency situation should be a priority task for you. Afterall, family comes first.

Here are some common causes of family emergencies:

  • Medical emergencies or urgent surgeries
  • A family member involved in an accident
  • Someone in the family dealing with mental health issues
  • Helping someone in your family who is in labor
  • Traveling for or with someone during natural disasters
  • A family member undergoing some injury
  • A call for help from a family member

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Emergency Leave

Dear [Manager's Name],

I am writing to request emergency leave due to a family matter. [Briefly describe the emergency and the affected family member(s)]. This situation requires my immediate attention and presence, and I would like to request [number of days] days of emergency leave, starting from [start date] to [end date].

I will ensure my responsibilities are handed over to my colleagues during my absence. I understand that my absence may cause some inconvenience, and I will do everything possible to minimize any disruption to the team.

Please let me know if any urgent matters need to be addressed before I leave. I can be reached at [provide contact information] in case of an emergency or if you need to contact me.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this difficult time.

[Your Name]

Micromanagement at work can cause unreasonable stress and anxiety at work motivating you to take more leaves. Take better steps: How To Deal With A Micromanager: Less Stress, More Tips

4. Taking a Mental Health Day


Sometimes, returning to work the next day becomes hard because you’re not feeling yourself. This could be because of several reasons like

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Family/relationship problem,
  • Underlying mental health issues

Prioritizing your health, especially mental health before any well-balanced individual practices work. Taking a day off to give yourself time and practicing self-love is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Mental Health Day

Dear [Manager's Name],

This is to request a mental health day off from work. I have been experiencing [briefly describe your symptoms or the issues affecting your mental health]. I believe taking a day off to focus on my mental health and well-being would benefit myself and the company.

I would like to request [number of days] days off, starting from [start date] to [end date]. I will care for myself and seek professional help if necessary.

I will do my best not to cause any inconvenience to the team and hand over any necessary responsibilities to my colleagues. Let me know if any urgent tasks need my attention.

I appreciate your understanding of my situation, and I hope to return to work with renewed energy and focus.

Thank you for your consideration of my request.

[Your Name]

In case of serious mental health issues, provide advance notice to HR. Inform them about how many days you need to take off and what kind of help you should receive.

5. Commute or Car Troubles


Sometimes, your car may decide to shut down suddenly. When this happens on a work day, your whole work routine may get messed up. You won’t be able to commute to work on time and will probably have to spend the rest of the day fixing up your ride.

In such a situation, you should inform your manager and HR about your inconvenience and take a day off. Consider providing an estimated time of arrival or any alternative arrangements. You could also request a day to work from home or take a personal day.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Leave due to Car Troubles

Dear [Manager's Name],

This morning, my car decided to shut down suddenly. Hence, I won't be able to make it to work today. I've been trying to fix it, but it will take longer than I thought.

Understanding the inconvenience this will cause, I wanted to give you a heads-up as soon as possible. I've talked to some of my coworkers and arranged to make up the work I'll miss today to avoid falling behind.

If there's anything else you need from me, let me know. I hope to have my ride up and running again soon, so I can return to work.

Thanks for understanding. I appreciate it.

[Your Name]

6. A Doctor’s Appointment


A doctor’s appointment is one of the most legit reasons for calling out of work. For starters, taking care of your health should always be a top priority. Regular check-ups and treatments are key to keeping yourself healthy and preventing future issues. Plus, staying on top of things and caring for yourself is merely being responsible.

When you don’t show up for an appointment, you might miss out on important advice from your doctor. So, don't feel guilty about taking time off to care for yourself, and reschedule any work you might miss. It's all about balance.

Note: Apart from emergency appointments with your doctor, provide advance notice or take a leave of absence beforehand. This allows your team to be prepared for your absence and delegate tasks accordingly.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Leave due to Doctor's Appointment

Hi [Manager's Name],

I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for [Date and Time], and I'll need to take some time off work to attend. I understand it might be inconvenient, but I wanted to ensure you were aware so we could plan accordingly.

I'll complete all my work and responsibilities beforehand, and I've arranged with [Name of Co-worker] to cover anything that may come up while I'm out. I'll be reachable by email in case there's an emergency, and I'll catch up on anything I missed when I return.

Let me know if I need to provide a doctor’s note regarding the appointment.

Thank you for understanding and accommodating my request. I appreciate your support in allowing me to prioritize my health.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

Sometime's rather than taking a whole day off, you could simple leave work early to get refreshed or for any other reason. Here's some help: 15 Good Excuses to Leave Work Early

7. Sudden Home Emergency


Sudden home emergencies requiring immediate attention from you are valid reasons to call out of work. Apart from fulfilling your duties at work, you have certain responsibilities towards your home too.

Here are some common home emergencies for which you are allowed to miss work:

  • Fire
  • Gas Leak
  • Major Appliance Breaking Down
  • Home Break-In
  • Flooding
  • Undeniable Home Repair

While taking such leave, inform your manager about the condition in advance. If you think you can manage, you can also ask for a remote work day to complete urgent tasks at work.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Emergency Leave

Dear [Manager's Name],

My home experienced a sudden emergency requiring immediate attention. Last night, a burst pipe caused significant flooding, and I need to be away from work to attend to this urgent matter.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will ensure that all pending tasks are completed before I leave. I will also make arrangements to ensure my absence does not cause significant delays in ongoing projects.

I anticipate needing [number of days] off, but I will update you on any changes.
Thank you for your understanding and support during this time. If you require any further information, please let me know.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

8. Extreme Weather Conditions


Most companies don’t expect their employees to shut off during work hours during extreme weather. However, sometimes it becomes very difficult to reach work.

Imagine you got ready for work, but it’s raining cats and dogs outside. Commuting to work would be too much of a hassle for you. Heavy snowfall and flooding make it difficult and can cause a serious threat.

Some weather conditions that are leave-worthy are:

  • Severe thunderstorms or tornadoes
  • Heavy snow or hailstorms
  • Flooding
  • High storms

Email Template:

Subject: Leave Request - Extreme Weather

Dear [Manager's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. Due to the extreme weather conditions in my area, I cannot come to work. I request a leave of [number of days] days, starting from [date] to [date], to ensure my safety and that of my family.

I have completed all necessary tasks and informed my colleagues to ensure no major disruption to the company's operations. I will also be available via email and phone to attend to any urgent matters that may arise during my absence.

Thank you for your understanding.

[Your Name]

9. Pet Emergency


You get sick leaves for yourself and other leaves to take care of your family members. Your family has other significant members who employers rarely recognize. They’re your pets.

A pet emergency is a valid reason to take a day off or two from work. Just like humans, pets sometimes require urgent care too. Leaving them unattended can cause anxiety and stress both for the owner and the pet.

Here are some common pet emergencies that count as important reasons to call out of work:

  • Difficulty breathing or choking
  • Seizures or collapsing
  • Uncontrolled bleeding or trauma
  • Suspected poisoning or ingestion of a toxic substance
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea, especially if accompanied by lethargy or loss of appetite
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Sudden loss of vision or consciousness
  • Injuries from a car accident or other traumatic event
  • Allergic reactions, especially those involving swelling or hives

Email Template:

Subject: Pet Emergency Leave Request

Dear [Manager's Name],

I regret to inform you that I cannot come to work due to a pet emergency. My pet requires urgent medical attention, and I must take them to the veterinarian for treatment.

As a result, I request [number of days] days of leave, starting from [date] to [date], to ensure that my pet receives the necessary care.

Any major tasks that require my attention will be completed remotely as far as possible. I have informed [employee_name] about my absence, and he/she will look after some of my responsibilities. I will be available via email and phone in case of any emergency.

Thank you for understanding.

[Your Name]

10. Religious Obligation


Taking time off from work to complete your religious obligations is accepted by most employers as a reason to call out of work. Practicing religion is a personal and important part of life.

Religious obligations could include attending religious ceremonies, festivals, or events that require time away from work. Employers who understand and honor it show respect for their employees' beliefs and traditions. This also promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Leave for Religious Obligation

Dear [Manager's Name],

Hope this email finds you well. This is to request some time off work to attend a religious obligation of great personal significance. I would like to request [number of days] days of leave, starting from [date] to [date], to participate fully in the event.

All my essential tasks are completed, and I have informed my colleagues to ensure a smooth operation in my absence. I will also be available via email and phone to address any urgent issues.

Thank you.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

11. Jury Duty


Serving on a jury is kind of a big deal. It's a civic duty that people take seriously. If you get summoned, you have to go, but you shouldn't worry about your job. Since it’s part of the country's justice system, it is one of the most valid reasons to call out of work.

Employers who get it should also give you time off and pay you for it. That shows they value their employees and support their civic duty. Plus, it benefits the community and helps create a positive workplace culture.

Email Template:

Subject: Jury Duty Leave Request

Hi [Manager's Name],

I've been summoned to serve on a jury and must take some time off work to fulfill my civic duty. I'm hoping to take [number of days] days off, starting from [date] to [date], to be able to serve without worrying about work.

I've completed all necessary tasks and informed my colleagues, so things should be okay while I'm away. If anything comes up, I'll be available via email and phone.

Thanks for understanding!

Best regards,
[Your Name]

12. Moving or Shifting to a New Place


Moving to a new place can be a pretty big deal. It's like, you're uprooting your whole life and starting fresh in a new location. It takes a lot of work and can be super stressful.

That's why taking time off work to deal with the move is so important. It lets you focus on getting everything packed up and transported without worrying about work.

Plus, it gives you time to adjust to your new surroundings and settle in your new place. Employers who understand this know that taking a few days off to move can help reduce stress and make for a happier, more productive employee in the long run.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Leave to Relocate

Dear [Manager's Name],

I'm letting you know that I'll be relocating soon and will require some time off work to focus on the move. Specifically, I'm seeking [number of days] days off, starting from [date] to [date], to ensure a smooth transition.

I have notified my colleagues to ensure minimal disruption to our team. While I'm away, I'll be available by email and phone in case of any critical matters.

Thank you for accommodating my request.

[Your Name]

13. Quarantine


During the pandemic, being in quarantine was one of the most common reasons to call out of work. We gained from the pandemic that people paid more attention to their health. We have realized the importance of taking necessary precautions while being sick to keep ourselves and others safe.

Taking leave from work while being quarantined can help reduce the transmission risk and ensure you get the rest and care you need. Here are some causes why you may want to put yourself in quarantine:

  • Close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.
  • Traveling to areas with high rates of infection/
  • Developing symptoms of infectious disease and awaiting test results.
  • Returning from international travel.
  • Being advised to quarantine by a healthcare professional.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for Leave Due to Quarantine

Hi [Manager's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I'm writing to inform you that I must take a leave of absence from work due to being in quarantine. Unfortunately, I have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for [disease name], and I need to take the necessary precautions to keep myself and others safe.

I'm not experiencing any symptoms now, but I will be in quarantine for [number of days] as recommended by public health authorities. During this time, I will isolate myself and avoid contact with others to reduce the risk of transmission.

I have handed over all necessary responsibilities and have informed my colleagues, so everything should be okay while I'm gone. I'll also be available via email and phone in case of any urgent issues.

Hoping to return back soon. Thank you.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

14. Volunteer Work


Although we’re not obliged to give back to our society and community, practicing the same makes us feel fulfilled. Taking time off work to volunteer is a great way to give back to your community and support causes you care about.

To request leave for volunteer work, you can talk to your boss and explain what you'll be doing and how it aligns with your values. You could also mention any skills you'll learn that could help with your job. It's important to work out a plan to make sure your work responsibilities are still covered while you're gone.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for time off to do some good

Hi [Manager's Name],

I wanted to reach out and request some time off work to participate in a volunteer program that I'm excited about. It's focused on [insert a brief description of the volunteer work] and runs for [insert number of days you'll need off].

I've already confirmed the dates with the organization; they're pretty strict about volunteers being there for the whole program. I'm happy to chat with you about how we can ensure everything runs smoothly while I'm gone, and maybe we can delegate some of my tasks to my colleagues for a bit.

Thanks for considering my request! Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Take care,
[Your Name]

15. Sleep Deprivation


Taking leave from work because of sleep deprivation is something many of us have experienced. When you're feeling exhausted and struggling to keep your eyes open, it can seriously affect your productivity and personal well-being.

While this is not included in the common reasons to call out of work, it's okay to admit that you need a break to rest and recharge. You can talk to your boss to request leave and explain your feelings. Be honest about how your lack of sleep affects your work, and communicate that you're taking steps to address it.

Remember: Taking care of yourself is essential, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

Email Template:

Subject: Request for leave due to sleep deprivation

Hey [Manager's Name],

I hope you're doing well. I am reaching out to request some time off work due to sleep deprivation. I've been struggling to get enough rest lately, affecting my productivity and focus at work.

Taking some time off to rest and recharge would help me return to my best self. I'm happy to discuss alternative work arrangements like working from home or delegating tasks to my colleagues to ensure everything runs smoothly while I'm away.

Let me know what you think, and thanks for understanding. Hoping to hear back from you soon.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

Wrapping Up

Apart from these 15 reasons to call out of work, there could be many other causes, depending on your preferences. Some people take leaves during extremely hot weather, too, and that’s okay.

Remember that your work does not obligate you to prioritize your duties over your personal health and choices. The key to a healthy work-life balance is to find the thin line of difference where you make your own choices while fulfilling your responsibilities.

More often than not, people take leaves merely because they’re lazy. Companies hardly provide you with unlimited leaves in an annum. Hence, remind yourself during your lazy days to save up your leaves for more important reasons to call out of work.

Here are 5 important points to remember calling out of work:

  1. Be aware of your company’s leave policies.
  2. As far as possible, plan your leaves ahead.
  3. Ensure there is clear communication with your manager and colleagues about your absence.
  4. Be professional and avoid oversharing your reasons.
  5. Adjust yourself, be flexible, and be open to other work arrangements.

Taking personal days off is a normal part of life and work. The above email examples and reasons to call out of work will help you make this process easier and stress-free.

This article has been written by Pansy Thakuria. She works as a Content Marketing Specialist at Vantage Lens. Her areas of interest include marketing, mental well-being, travel, and digital tech. When she’s not writing, she’s usually planning trips to remote locations and stalking animals on social media.