In this brief guide, we will look at good reasons to take a leave of absence from work, as well as a list of reasons for taking casual and a leave of absence letter for personal reasons. We will also look at how to take a leave of absence due to stress and what kinds of leaves of absence are available to employees in general.
Good Reasons to Take a Leave of Absence from Work
Some good reasons to take a leave of absence from work include:
- Jury duty
- Military leave
- Medical leave
- Maternity leave
- Family related problem
- Personal Reasons
- Extended vacation
- Short-term disability
- Long-term disability
- Needing to take care of house
- Stress or other mental health issues
- Improving work skills (class, workshop)
A good reason to take a leave of absence of work is anything that requires you to be away from work for a relatively short period of time, though if you have to take a sabbatical for research work or something similar, that can sometimes count as a leave of absence too.
A good reason to take a leave of absence from work must also be something that may be recognized as your employer to be a valid reason, and in most cases the employer may not want you to take a leave simply because you need time off.
Whatever your reason for taking a leave of absence from work is, you will need to submit some sort of formal application and ensure that you have made arrangements for your current projects or short term deadlines.
When you take a leave of absence from work it is also recommended that you provide either some alternate arrangements or contact details to ensure that the work does not come to a standstill while you are gone.
You may also need to be reachable if you are in charge of any projects or deadlines that cannot go on without you.
What is a Leave of Absence?
A leave of absence is a short period of time taken away from work to attend to some situation that cannot be managed at the same time as work related responsibilities.
Indeed defines a leave of absence as:
“A leave of absence is when an employee receives permission from their employer to take time off work for an extended period of time. Some types of leave, such as jury duty or maternity leave, include legal protections. Other types of leave are granted at the discretion of the employer.”
The criteria for a leave of absence may differ from place to place depending on what you work on generally as well as what the laws of your region dictate.
Some places might require the reason to take a leave of absence to be stated clearly for the purpose of making sure that the person is not leaving work unnecessarily and some may require the reason to ascertain if it is covered by their regular wages or if they continue to receive benefits during that time.
A leave of absence may also be stretched beyond the stipulated time depending on what the situation is, and in some cases a leave of absence that is too long may need some proof, like a medical certificate, before it can be sanctioned.
In cases of leaves of absence like sabbaticals, the person may also need to provide alternatives to their position or contact details so that their long absence does not affect the work.
If the reason for the leave of absence is related to family, and you are working in the United States, you might be covered by the Family and Medical Leave act, or FMLA, which says:
“The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.
FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.
FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:
- For the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
- For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
- To care for an immediate family member (i.e., spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
- To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.”
The FMLA also has specifications about when an employee is eligible to take a leave of absence for the above mentioned reasons, and it says that:
“Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.”
Is a Leave of Absence Paid or Unpaid?
Depending on why you need to take a leave of absence it can be paid or unpaid, for instance, if it is because of family related reasons or medical reasons, you might be able to get a leave of absence for a definite period of time with benefits but not full pay.
Usually, people might be able to get a paid leave of absence if the duration of the leave is shorter and they are able to get back within the stipulated time.
List of Reasons for Taking a Casual Leave
A full list of reasons for taking a casual leave are as follows:
- Medical family emergency
- Medical and personal reasons
- Death of a relative or friend
- Medical Reasons
- Trauma or physical damage
- Urgent need at home
- Family gathering
- Parental duties and responsibilities
- Vehicle breakdown
- Preparation for a religious gathering
- Religious reason
- Overwhelming or unrelenting Traffic
- Urgent travel needs
- Dental/Medical appointment
- Work-related assignments like workshop or classes
- Pet emergency
- Preparation for a work-related event
A casual leave may be defined as short term leave of absence from work (about 1 or 2 days generally) in case of an unexpected event that requires immediate attention and cannot be managed with work.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website is a good source for all information about casual leaves and other types of leaves of absence, and it talks about the various benefits the
Employees of any workplace are entitled to, which includes the leaves that they may take.
About casual leaves, the information from the Family and Medical Leave Act states that:
“The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.”
This means that the person is able to take a paid casual leave if they have a reason to.
Leave of Absence Letter for Personal Reasons
Here is an example of a leave of absence letter due to personal reasons:
1245 James Avenue
Pocatello, ID 83201
April 6, 2020
Ms. Janice Smith
9876 Industry Avenue
Pocatello, ID 83201
Dear Ms. Smith:
I would like to request a thirty-day leave of absence for personal reasons. If possible, I would like to leave work on May 1 and return on June 1.
If approved, I will be traveling during this time period, but I would be glad to assist with any questions via email or phone.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
George Jenkins (signature on hard copy letter)
How to take a leave of absence from work due to Stress?
To take a leave of absence from work due to stress, you may do the following:
- Talk to your GP or psychiatrist
- Get a sick note/fit note
- Talk to your employer about the stress you are experiencing
- Mention that your doctor recommends a leave
- Submit a letter to the employer and HR
- Work on getting better before returning to work
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.
In this brief guide, we looked at good reasons to take a leave of absence from work, as well as a list of reasons for taking casual and a leave of absence letter for personal reasons. We also looked at how to take a leave of absence due to stress and what kinds of leaves of absence are available to employees in general.
Sometimes there are circumstances in which only a leave of absence helps, and the person may not be able to come up with any other possible way to deal with whatever they need to take care of.
Whatever the circumstances, there are always ways to take time off work to deal with life without it affecting your job.
If you need to take a leave of absence from work or you have any questions or comments about good reasons to take a leave of absence from work, please feel free to reach out to us any time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Good Reasons to Take a Leave of Absence from Work
What are the reasons to take leave?
Here are some reasons to take leave:
Having family commitments.
Wanting to or needing to take care of your health.
Not having taken your vacation time.
Needing to take care of your home.
Not being able to concentrate anymore.
Wanting to take advantage of good weather.
Feeling stressed out and needing a break
When should you take a leave of absence from work?
You should take a leave of absence from work for many reasons including personal or family health problems, relief from excessive job stress or the desire to travel or pursue a hobby, the birth or adoption of a child, the loss of a loved one.
How do you ask for leave for personal reasons?
To ask for a leave for personal reasons, you can first inform your employer in an informal way either over the phone or in person, and then write a formal letter including details like a brief explanation of why you are taking the leave and a statement of where you will be while you are away.
You should also provide some contact information in case you are needed for a specific project or anything else and end the letter by thanking your employer for considering your request.
What does it mean when you take a leave of absence?
When you take a leave of absence it means that you are asking your employer for an extended period of time to not work, with or without pay depending on why you are taking the leave and depending on what your job is.
Whether you receive employee benefits during your leave of absence is also dependent on what line of work you are in and what your contract stipulates.
Leaves of absence also differ based on what country you are in as there may be different laws for where you are.