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Emergency Leave Letter

Even with the most carefully planned schedules and routines, unexpected emergencies can sometimes crop up, temporarily preventing normal work attendance. In these cases, it is important to maintain professionalism and keep communication with employers in the form of an emergency leave letter. This is a formal business letter to briefly explain the emergency, the date you expect to return to work and any other important details pertinent to the situation.

Format and Content

There is more than one acceptable emergency leave letter format, but the most common type is a typical business letter in which the emergency situation is briefly summarized along with the expected return to work date and the status of currently unfinished work. If you can be contacted during the emergency leave, provide at least one current method of contact information where you can be reached. The letter should be sent directly to your supervisor, with another copy for your company’s head of the human resources department.


Here is an emergency leave letter sample, written by an employee whose husband has unexpectedly suffered a heart attack and has been hospitalized. She writes a formal letter to inform her employers of the situation and that she will plan to return to work the following week, remembering to give a summary of her unfinished work and her contact information. She makes assurances of her willingness to make up the lost time and thanks her employees for their consideration.

Dear Ms. Lopez,

I am writing this letter to inform you of my taking an emergency leave of work starting immediately. My husband has suffered an unexpected heart attack and has been hospitalized. He is in stable condition but I will need to care for him throughout the week before our family will be in town to help. I plan to be able to return to work next Monday, April 8, 2014. I hope you will find that my work record over the past couple of years speaks for itself in regards to my willingness to do everything in my power to make up for lost time once I return.

I feel confident that my currently unfinished projects will not suffer from such a short absence on my part. If there are any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to leave me a message and I will try to get in touch with you as soon as possible. You may leave me a message via telephone at (555)-555-5555 or via email at [email]

I thank you for your consideration in this urgent matter as I will need the full week off in order to best take care of my husband during this unexpected emergency. With a week of emergency leave, I will have a greater ability to focus on my work once I return.

Yours sincerely,

Janice Gallagher

Janice L. Gallagher

Senior Assistant

Smith Communications