List of Reasons for Taking Annual Leave (7+ reasons)

In this brief guide, we will discuss the concept of annual leaves and look at a list of reasons for taking annual leaves.

List of reasons for taking annual leave

There might be many reasons for taking some time off, as you might see on this list of reasons for taking annual leave:

  • Changing the habit of working constantly 
  • Improving creativity through play behavior and new experiences
  • Maintaining relationships and trying to connect with loved ones some more
  • Take a break from work to get into a different frame of mind
  • Family time
  • To take care of health, physical or mental
  • Taking advantage of the weather and getting out into nature
  • If you are feeling stressed out
  • Vacation/holiday time.
  • Taking care of your home, catching up on repairs or upkeep
  • Feeling depressed
  • Death or grave illness of a loved one
  • Attending a family event like a wedding 

Anyone or more of the points from the above list of reasons for taking annual leave may apply to you, but whatever your reason for taking annual leave, you need to ensure that you take some, so that you are able to make use of some time off, and don’t reach the levels of burning out.

What is Annual Leave?

According to HRZone, annual leave may be defined as such:

Annual Leave definition

“Annual leave refers to paid time off provided to employees as part of the employment contract. In most cases, the amount of annual leave – which may or may not include public holidays – will be stipulated in the employment contract. Most organizations require staff to give advance notice of their intention to take holiday; generally the longer the period of time the employee wants to take off, the longer the notice period required.”

“Annual leave is an employee benefit although most countries around the world have minimum annual leave provisions which employers must adhere to. In the European Union, states can set their own minimums, although it can’t be less than 20 days plus public holidays). US law requires no minimum – many employees get no paid time off at all, although most employers give around two weeks.”

Annual leave is very important because it provides the opportunities to refresh and get back to work with a clear head, and it may provide some much-needed break from work, and a chance to avoid a possible Burn Out.

Annual leave in most places is specified at the beginning of the contract itself, and you should check with your employer about whether they count the days you work from home in the annual leaves or if they have a separate system for the annual leave, as many companies may count work from home days as annual leave.

If your company does count the work from home days in annual leave, you might have to be more careful, and it may make sense to just not work at all on the days you are taking annual leave so that you are able to refresh and take care of your business in a more clear-headed manner. 

In addition, you should also check with your employer about whether annual leaves are paid, because while they are in most companies, there may be companies that don’t offer paid annual leaves (Although this is a rarity, most companies will have paid annual leaves).

What this tells us is that reading your contract at the time of employment is very important.

What are annual leaves like in the US?

According to Foothold America, this is the normal breakdown for annual leaves in the US:

“US workers are not legally entitled to any paid holiday at all. However, in reality, most US employers will offer their workers paid holiday time. On average, most US workers receive at least 10 days of holiday a year.”

“If you hire US staff to work for your UK-based company while you’re expanding into the American market, you’ll need to understand the differences in paid holiday leave between the USA and the UK.”

“Most UK employees are entitled to at least 20 days of paid holiday a year. US workers, however, are not entitled to a single day. There is no law that requires US employers to offer paid holiday time to their staff.”

“However, in reality, most US employers offer a paid holiday to their workers. The number of days varies from employer to employer, but on average, US workers receive around 10 days of paid holiday each year. In addition, this holiday time is often accrued, which means that US staff will need to be working in their job for 12 months before they’re entitled to 10 days of holiday. Foothold America will handle HR logistics if you’d like to hire a US employee on behalf of your UK business.”

List of reasons for taking annual leave

If you are wondering about whether you should take annual leave or just wondering if your reason for taking annual leave is valid, you can take a look at this list of reasons for taking annual leaves that have been reported across various surveys over the last few years.


Stress is a massive reason why you should consider taking annual leave.

Stress affects your body, your mind, and most of all, your productivity, why bother working so hard if you know you are not going to do well at all because you are so stressed out?

Taking annual leave due to stress may be the best decision you have ever taken, as it can invigorate you and make you a much better worker.

If your job consists of a stressful environment and you find yourself often staying overtime or bringing your tremendous amounts of work home, then you need to make sue of some of the annual leave that your employer has provided you for a time like this.

You are of no use to anyone if you are just suffering constantly.

Bereavement Leave

While this is the worst possible reason for taking annual leave, it is one of the most valid ones as well.

There are very few things that may hurt more than the death of a loved one, and if you are going through this painful time, there is no harm at all in taking annual leave and you might even want to check with your employer to see if you are afforded a specific bereavement leave, as this additional time off work is granted to employees who have suffered the loss of a family member. 

In some countries, you may have a statutory right to some time off work in such a case.

Even if you are not provided a separate Bereavement leave, you can still claim some of your annual leave instead, but make sure you get the time to mourn that you need, as not being able to properly mourn the loss of someone close to you may lead to mental health issues.


Travel is a great reason for taking annual leave, as human beings were meant to live a nomadic life, and even though we settled due to evolution, we still seek some parts of going around the world.

Many people request leaves of absence because they want to travel, and you might be one of them, so if you want to travel, go ahead and put that down as your reason for taking annual leave.

Usually people between 2-6 weeks, but it always depends on where you want to travel and how much leave you to have from your employer.

If you are still torn on why you should take annual leave for travel, just check out this testimonial from a user on a social media forum about how it was a great decision:

“I’ve done it with success. I took off a month last year and will be taking off two this year. I asked around early-on and discovered that co-workers had taken unpaid time off for traveling in the past. This told me that my boss had to be open to the idea. The key is making and explaining a plan of how your workload will be dealt with in the interim or how it will be dealt with in the future. Think of it like this: if an employee has surgery or becomes pregnant, your employer will give you time off, so why not for travel? On the other hand, if you don’t like your job, it could be a great motivator to travel, come back, and get a new one. Go for the gamble.”

Medical Procedure

This is a no brainer, anyone might need to take annual leave for this reason.

If you are undergoing a medical procedure, you might need to take annual leave, and if you need to do that just make sure you make plans in case recuperation takes longer than anticipated and make sure your finances and insurance details are all in order.

Also, make sure that you are informing your colleagues of your time off accordingly so they are not depending on you for any work.


Illness, physical or mental, is another good reason for taking annual leave. 

You cannot be expected to work and give your best when you are sick, so in order to ensure that you are at your absolute best, taking annual leave for illness is never a bad call.

Personal Leave

Personal leave may include anything from a personal reason to something regarding your family.

Some employers may not approve of it, but most will give this leave freely, and if they don’t you can always use your annual leaves to tackle any personal issues you may be having.

Maternity, Paternity, or Adoption Leaves

While these are likely to be provided in almost any standard contract, maternity, paternity, or adoption leaves are great reasons to take your annual leaves.

If you have finished up your assigned leaves for any of these reasons, you may use them as reasons for taking annual leave as well, and there won’t be any rules against it.


In this brief guide, we discussed the concept of annual leaves and looked at a list of reasons for taking annual leaves. Please feel free to send us any questions or comments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): List of reasons for taking an annual leave

What is the best reason to take leave?

One of the best reasons to take leave is a House emergency, if you have a broken boiler or a flooded bathroom, it may make for a valid excuse for why you are taking a leave. 

Your employer will know that things break down all the time and it’s not safe to leave the house in broken state, else something worse may occur.

Another one of the best reasons to take a leave may be illness, or a medical emergency.

How do you ask for leave for personal reasons?

To ask for a leave of absence for personal reasons, you can include a brief explanation of why you are taking the leave and you may provide some contact information for the time you are gone.

You may also offer help while you are away and tell the employer that you are grateful for the help.

Why do people take annual leave?

People take annual leaves for a variety of reasons, like for instance if someone needs to take paid time off from work so they may have regular breaks so that they can rest and re-energize. 

People may also take annual leaves so they may be more motivated about their work and perform more effectively than they would if they just worked all the time.

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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