How to Ask Your Boss for Sick Leave | Guide & Examples

Feeling under the weather and uncertain how to inform your boss? You’re not alone. Crafting a professional sick leave message can be challenging. You need to balance the formality of workplace communication with the personal nature of your situation. This guide will help you understand how to ask your boss for sick leave in a message, why it’s important, and how to do it effectively.

The Art of Writing a Sick Leave Message

Crafting a professional sick leave message involves clear communication, factual representation of your health situation, and respectful request for leave. Here are some key guidelines to follow:

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  1. Begin with a formal salutation addressing your boss.
  2. Clearly state you are unwell and need to take sick leave.
  3. If comfortable, you may briefly mention the nature of your illness.
  4. Give an estimated duration of your absence.
  5. If possible, suggest how your tasks could be managed in your absence.
  6. Keep the message concise and formal.

Example 1: Sick Leave Message for Flu

Dear [Boss’ Name],

I am writing to let you know that I have come down with the flu and my doctor has recommended that I take a few days off to recover. I expect to be absent for about three days. During my absence, [Co-worker’s name] has agreed to oversee my tasks. I will check my emails periodically for updates. Thank you for understanding.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 2: Sick Leave Message for Unexpected Illness

Dear [Boss’ Name],

Unfortunately, I am feeling unwell and will not be able to come into work today. I have a doctor’s appointment later today to determine the cause and will update you on my status as soon as possible. In the meantime, I can delegate some of my important tasks to [Co-worker’s Name] to ensure continuity. Thank you for your understanding.


[Your Name]

Example 3: Sick Leave Message for Chronic Condition

Dear [Boss’ Name],

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As you are aware, I am managing a chronic health condition. Unfortunately, I am experiencing a flare-up today and will need to take the day off. I have assigned my immediate responsibilities to [Co-worker’s Name]. I appreciate your understanding.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 4: Sick Leave Message for Mental Health Day

Dear [Boss’ Name],

I am writing to inform you that I need to take a mental health day to focus on my well-being. I will be back in the office tomorrow. In my absence, [Co-worker’s Name] has agreed to cover my duties. Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

FAQs on Sick Leave Messages

1. How specific do I need to be about my illness in a sick leave message?

While it’s important to convey that you are unwell, you are not obligated to disclose specific details about your illness if you are not comfortable doing so.

2. Can I ask for a sick leave for mental health reasons?

Absolutely. Mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s crucial to take mental health days as needed.

3. Should I suggest how my tasks will be managed during my absence?

While it’s not a requirement, offering a solution shows initiative and consideration for your team and work.


Knowing how to ask your boss for sick leave in a message is a crucial skill that enhances professional communication. It ensures transparency, maintains your professional image, and shows respect for your workplace and colleagues. Remember, the goal is to convey your situation clearly and respectfully, and these examples should serve as a guide to crafting effective sick leave messages.

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