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22 Free Time-off Request Forms for Employees

The employee time-off request form is a document that allows an employee to ask their employer for a scheduled absence from work formally.

The employee vacation request form may come in handy when an employee needs to request time off for reasons such as vacation, sickness, bereavement, military duty, jury duty, personal leave, and any other reason considered suitable by the employee. The request should be handed to the employer as soon as possible, with ample notice, and a decision approving or declining the request should be given by the employer immediately.

How to Write a Time-Off Request Letter

If your company does not have a time-off request form, you may choose to write your employer a time-off request letter. This is just as effective as using the employee time-off request form or template.

Your time off request letter should include the information provided below:

  • Write your personal information, including your legal name, job title, and the department that you work in.
  • Write the date of submission of the time-off request letter.
  • In your introductory paragraph, write the requested time-off start date and the estimated requested time-off end date. Calculate the total number of days you wish to take off work and clearly indicate it in this section. Further, include the date that you intend to return to work.
  • In the body of your time off request letter, use a few sentences to explain your reason for taking time off. Some of the most common reasons for taking time off work include an expected illness, going for a vacation, bereavement, jury duty, personal leave, medical leave, military leave, etc. When writing this section, be as explicit as possible and don’t provide too much irrelevant information.
  • In the last paragraph of your letter, provide an employee certification. This involves providing an affirmation statement that certifies that you have submitted your letter in accordance with your company’s policy on time off management. Most organizations demand that you submit your request letter at least five or 14 workdays before the start of the requested time off. Make sure to comply with the requirements of your organization so that the time off is approved.
  • Conclude your letter by providing your signature and your name.

Why is a Time-off Request Form Essential

All employees will have to take some time off work during their time in an organization. However, if you want to take time off work, you must first communicate your intentions to take time off work to your employer.

This is where the time off request form is appropriate because it helps to streamline the entire process in the following ways:

First and most importantly, by providing your employer with advance notice of time off, you allow the company time to find coverage for you if necessary. This way, you will not return to backlogs of work due to the office’s missed time that may lead to burnouts.

Secondly, if an employee is taking an extended leave for a medical reason such as maternity leave, the time off request form will provide the leave’s anticipated return dates and allow the employer to train a temporary replacement. All this works to the employee’s advantage because there would be no work carried forward for you to do upon your return. This way you can relax and enjoy your time off work.

Time-off request forms are a formal and professional way of tracking documents. You can use the time-off request form to document all the leave you have taken to correctly calculate your payor time owed if you decide to leave the organization for another company.

How to Request Time-off from Work

Usually, an employer will require you to send an advance request to your supervisor or manager when you need time off work. However, the request’s approval is often dependent on the employer’s policies and procedures regarding time off requests unless otherwise stated in an employment agreement. Learning how to ask for time off properly can improve your chances of your supervisor approving the request.

When requesting time off work, consider the following steps:

Decide the type

If you consider taking time off work, you first need to identify the type of time off you intend to ask for.

The most common type of time offs that you can request from your employer include:

  • Paternity or maternity leave
  • Leave of absence either short term or long term
  • Bereavement
  • Health/Disability (Illness, surgery, etc.)
  • Vacation
  • Jury duty
  • Break from work
  • Military duty

Speak with your employer

Your employer or direct supervisor should be made aware of the time-off request as soon as possible so that they can adequately prepare for your absence. Therefore, speak with your employer about your intention to request some time off work once you have identified the appropriate time off you wish to take. However, the employer might consider other factors such as whether the request is during a high season when more employees are needed or if the time-off is paid or unpaid before approving it.

Even though there are no Federal Laws on how many days off per year an employee should take, ten paid days off work is the average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ considerable law, moreover, the bureau of labor statistics states that, on average, an employer should grant an employee an additional eight days off for federal holidays.

Make a formal request

After speaking to your employer, manager, or human resource department about your intention to take time off work, make a formal request and submit it to the respective authority. Your request should clearly indicate the total number of days you wish to take off duty and the exact dates. If justifying circumstances are the basis for your time off request, make sure to include further details and an estimated time for when you will be back to work. Once you have submitted your employee time-off request form to the respective authority, a response approving or declining the request should be granted in less than or within 48 hours.

Inform your colleagues

If your time off request is approved, make your co-workers aware of your scheduled absence so that they can prepare well in terms of being short-handed or covering any shifts throughout the period. Regardless of whether or not the employer informs the other staff members, it is probably best to maintain a healthy working relationship by having all parties of the organization informed of your approved scheduled time off work.

Time-Off Request Form Template

Employee’s name___________________________

Date of Request_____________________________

Manager/ Supervisor’s Name___________________

Time-Off Request_________________ (Days, hours)

Starting on_________________________________

Ending on__________________________________

Reason for Request (Tick appropriately)

[-] Vacation [-] Medical leave

[-] personal leave [-] Bereavement

[-] Jury duty [-] Family Issues

[-] Other

If your reason for time off request is due to other reasons other than the ones provided in this form, please specify here_______________________

I realize that this request is subject to my immediate supervisor’s approval and, consequently, my employer.

Employee signature__________________ Date__________________

Employer’s Decision (To be filled by the employer only)

[-] Approved [-] Declined

Employer Signature_________________ Date___________________

Time-Off Request Form Sample

Employee’s name: [Insert Name]

[Insert Date]

Supervisor’s name: [Insert Supervisor’s Name]

Dear [Insert Supervisor’s Name],

I am writing to request time off from [Insert Start Date] to [Insert End Date] for [Insert Reason for Time Off]. I would appreciate it if we could schedule a sit-in meeting to discuss this request further.

As per my understanding, our team schedule should not be impacted by my absence during this time. I am willing to use my available vacation days to attend this event. Please let me know if this request is feasible and whether you require any further information.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


[Insert Name]

Free Employee Time-off Request Forms

Each employee is entitled to take some days off work during their career, be it for a vacation, medical leave, or unexpected sickness.  However, this should be communicated to an employer in advance to prepare well for the absence. This is where the employee time-off request form comes into play as it helps streamline the whole process of asking for a leave.

If your organization does not already have a standardized system for making the time-off requests, and you need a paper method or a custom time-off request form to formally make your request, download our free, premium, and ready-to-use employee time-off request form templates to get you started. You just have to simply select the right one for you, download it, personalize it to suit your unique needs, print it, and submit it to your employer.

Excel Template

ETR Form excel 10

    Employee time-off request forms are part and parcel of any reputable organization. In any case, most countries now have mandatory vacation days that employers must allot to their employees.

    When an employee desires to request time off for any reason, such as for a vacation, bereavement, sickness, or any other reason that may be deemed appropriate by the employee, they can use a time-off request form to officially document the employee’s request as well as the management’s response.

    This is very important to both the employer and the employee, especially when calculating the time owed or pay when the employee leaves the company.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I fill out a time off request?

    While filling out your employee time-off request form, make sure you include all the important details and be explicit. Your form should comprise: Your full legal name, the date of the request, the date you wish to take time off, you are asking, your reason for asking for time off, your signature, as well as your manager’s, approval or denial confirmation.

    Can an employer deny unpaid time off?

    Ideally, an employer cannot deny an employee unpaid time off. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees should only be paid when they work. This means that an employer can authorize unpaid vacation leave at any time, provided the exempt employee is ready to incur deductions for the unpaid time off.

    What are the usual guidelines for requesting time off from work?

    Most employers require their employees to fill out a time-off request form and hand it to the respective authority 14 days before the beginning of the proposed time-off period. However, this does not guarantee time off because managers and supervisors must consider other factors before approving the time-off request form. It is important to note that these procedures and guidelines don’t always apply to all companies. Thus, check your organization’s policies regarding time off management with your manager or supervisor.

    How does paid time off work?

    Employees may accumulate paid time off each year, and the amount payable may increase with each year of an employee’s career life. Paid time-off can be used at the employee’s discretion, provided that there is a proper advance notice issued, a time-off request form submitted, and approval from a direct supervisor is granted.

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