Best Reasons for Emergency Leave (5+ list)

In this brief guide, we will take a look at some of the best reasons for an emergency leave.

Best reasons for an Emergency leave

While one of the best reasons for an emergency leave is always something health-related, other reasons like mental health issues, transportation problems, and other lifestyle-related things may be used. The best reason for taking an emergency leave right now is probably something that every single person on the planet is experiencing, which is the ongoing lockdown.

Here are some examples of the best reasons for taking an emergency leave that we will explore later:

  • Illness or physical damage
  • Medical appointment
  • Family Emergency
  • Home Emergency
  • Religious reasons
  • Work-related commitments

Taking a leave from office in the case of an actual emergency may be a hard thing to do, but sometimes you may have to do it because you might not be able to tell your boss exactly what is going on.

For instance, in cases where the actual reason is embarrassing or is not conducive to your work situation, you may want to avoid the hassle and not tell your boss exactly why you are taking a leave.

Whatever reason you give for taking an emergency leave, you need to make sure it is not for something minor or something that may be avoided without taking a leave, and 

Illness or physical damage

Illness or physical damage makes for one of the best reasons for taking time off from work or taking an emergency leave. 

In some cases, it might actually be the real reason and not be an excuse at all.

When you are feeling sick or are physical damaged in some way, you can call your employer and let them know that you won’t be able to come in and that should be the end of it.

If you work in a high powered job or are experiencing a heavy volume of work in the office at the current time, you may have to talk the boss into letting you take an emergency leave, but in most cases it is possible.

If you work in a setting that is extremely organized and there are too many rules regarding taking leaves and such, you can try to get a letter emailed to the boss pretty much at the start of the day, so that it can be processed immediately.

If you would like to take an emergency leave strictly in the time of the current ongoing lockdown, you may tell the boss that you are experiencing symptoms that are worrying and you don’t want to risk infecting other people, and that might be the best reason to take an emergency leave even if you don’t have the disease.

Medical appointment

Medical reasons always make for the best reasons for taking an emergency leave when you are not feeling great or are not in the state to go to work, because they relate to your productivity at the end of the day and no employer would want that to suffer if they can help it.

If you want to give a reason for taking an emergency leave, you may tell your employer that you have an urgent medical appointment you need to get to.

You may tell them that it was going to be later but got moved up due to the doctor’s schedule, or you may say that you are sick and worried about the symptoms and it needs to be checked out immediately.

You may also say that you are not able to make it to work due to an extension on a medical appointment you had the previous day.

Family emergency

Your boss cannot ask you to go into details of any unforeseen personal or family events and therefore these can be the best reasons for an emergency leave. 

If you play the role of parent or caregiver in your family, your boss will likely understand your need to stay home in the case of an emergency even more.

You may say that you need to take an emergency leave to take care of a family member’s illnesses, or other sudden family matters that require urgent attention.

If your familial commitments generally call for a flexible schedule anyway, on a daily basis, you may want to discuss alternate possible arrangements with your employer for maintaining the balance between work and family responsibilities. 

If unexpected emergencies are common in your family situation then it should be addressed with your employer as soon as you can so that you may get ahead of it before they occur, and you don’t leave your work life in the balance while you take care of these emergencies.

When you have an emergency that you have taken a leave for, make sure that you update your employer when you might be able to resume your normal work schedule.

Home emergency

In case of any unexpected event in your home, you may be able to give this as a reason for an emergency leave so that you can take care of the situation as soon as possible, and most employers shouldn’t have a problem with it, which would make it a good reason for an emergency leave.

Such events, involving a sort of home-based emergency, maybe things like security issues, major damage of some kind involving flooding or an electrical problem that needs urgent attention, or even scheduled repairs that you could not schedule for another time or that got moved up or down from when you had planned them, can be appropriate reasons to ask for an emergency leave.

If you are in a situation that may constitute a home emergency, you need to inform your employer right away and if you have taken an emergency leave for the said situation, you need to also make sure you update your employer when you can to so they have a sense of what is going on and when they might expect you back at work. 

In case you are in a situation that demands a longer period of attention you may have to extend your emergency leave, in which case it would be best, to be honest with your employer to ensure you can remain focused and productive when you return to work.

Religious Reasons for Emergency Leave

Most countries in the world and most offices in the United States as well are required by law to make allowances for religious practices or events, and in case you need to take emergency leave for such a reason you may be honest with your employer about it and let them know via email or by a call that you won’t be able to come in due to a religious event or practice that you are observing.

Some countries also have laws that require employers to accommodate their employees’ religious beliefs and practices unless their absence is a large source of unreasonable hardship to the business, and if you are such a person you may talk to your boss and try to figure out what may be done about the situation. 

Usually, in case of any religious obligations like an upcoming holiday, you may not be able to take an emergency leave, unless you did not know about them or miscalculated the day in some way, in which case you can let the employer know that you need to be with family and observe the event with the due importance. You may also want to take time for the preparation of an upcoming event, may let the employer know about this accordingly.

Of course, if you know about the upcoming events it would always be best to let the employer know ahead of time so that work does not suffer, especially if you are vital to the operation in any way, but you may still try to take an emergency leave if it is truly an emergency situation.

Work-related commitments

Taking an emergency leave may also be possible if you have an appointment, meeting, or professional event related to your job that is out of office and this may be one of the best reasons for an emergency leave.

You may give this reason for emergency leave to your boss if you need to travel or prepare in some way for the work-related event. Chances are that if it is work-related, they may not ask you to try and do it on your own time or any such thing.

Some employers also let people take an emergency leave to take part in some opportunities that involve professional development. 

You may apply for emergency leave in cases where you need to attend any workshop, networking event, or training course that takes place during work hours. 

You may also discuss the benefits of these events on your job skills and productivity with your employer and assure them that your emergency leave will be well spent.

Worst excuses for emergency leave

Career Builder, a company that helps people find jobs did a survey to find out what the worst excuses people make for taking an emergency leave were. Here are the results:

  • “Employee said the ozone in the air flattened his tires.”
  • “Employee’s pressure cooker had exploded and scared her sister, so she had to stay home.”
  • “Employee had to attend the funeral of his wife’s cousin’s pet because he was an uncle and pallbearer.”
  • “Employee was blocked in by police raiding her home.”
  • “Employee had to testify against a drug dealer and the dealer’s friend mugged him.”
  • “Employee said her roots were showing and she had to keep her hair appointment because she looked like a mess.”
  • “Employee ate cat food instead of tuna and was deathly ill.”
  • “Employee said she wasn’t sick but her llama was.”
  • “Employee had used a hair remover under her arms and had chemical burns as a result. She couldn’t put her arms down by her sides due to that.”
  • “Employee was bowling the game of his life and couldn’t make it to work.”
  • “Employee was experiencing traumatic stress from a large spider found in her home.” “She had to stay home to deal with the spider.”
  • “Employee said he had better things to do.”
  • “Employee ate too much birthday cake.”
  • “Employee was bit by a duck.”

Needless to say, try not to make outlandish excuses to leave work as the above people did, and just be honest with your employer as far as you can.


In this brief guide, we took a look at some of the best reasons for an emergency leave. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, comments, or suggestions you have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Best Reasons for an Emergency Leave

What is the best reason to take leave?

The best reason to take leave may be a family or house emergency. 

The best reason to take leave from office is always the real reason, if you are sick, tell them as much, if you are just feeling lazy, you can still tell them that you are not feeling well because it is a mental health-related cause and if you are not able to work because you are not feeling great, you can mention it as such.

How do I ask for emergency leave?

To ask for an emergency leave you need to send a letter or make a phone call.

To ask for an emergency leave you may write a letter along with the following guidelines:

Keep the tone and content formal.
Be concise about the reason for leaving
Use polite and professional language.
Indicate the date or time of your return to work
Mention a person or some way that may help with the work while you are away.
If possible, enclose proof of an emergency.

What is a good reason for a leave of absence?

A good reason for a leave of absence may be that you are ill or recovering from illness, or undergoing a medical procedure.

You may also say that you need to assist a family member, take an extended trip, or take care of something in the house as a good reason for a leave of absence.

Other Sample resignation & Leave letters you may like

Below is a list of other sample resignation letters we have curated.

Remember, your health comes first and if you are feeling exhausted or work is simply stressing you out then taking a break doesn’t make you weak but strong.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.


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