Walk into a workplace, and you could almost see the thought balloons:
“My kid’s school called. Another fight!”
“We just fired the nurse. I have to take care of mom till we find another.”
“The babysitter bailed on us, again!”
Sometimes it’s harder to balance work and family. Sometimes there’s no choice but to take time off to deal with a family emergency. A well-written emergency leave letter means one less stressor on your mind when family needs all of your attention.
The word “emergency” has a way of pushing everything into the background. Your boss knows you have to do what you have to do, that you can’t make a detour to the office to explain. Instead of grilling you with personal questions, his immediate focus is on finding someone to fill in for you, and maybe offering some advice, reassuring you that he has your back. Let him know as soon as possible.
Keep it short and simple, or question marks will arise; you shouldn’t have much time on your hands. Using brief but informative statements, stating the emergency and when to expect you back at work will garner his support. If it’s a medical emergency, mention any reports you will need to submit later to substantiate that. Depending on your emergency and company policy, you may offer to take work home. And if you can’t, don’t worry about it. Focus on the crisis at hand and accept that somethings are beyond your control. That’s what you have your supervisor for.
At a loss for words with no time to get your ducks in a row? Breathe! You’re not alone, we’ve all been there including your boss. Remind yourself: “I’m doing the right thing. I’m only human and so is my boss. He’s not demanding that I perform miracles. I can do this!” The words will come.
Here’s a sample letter asking for emergency leave for a family problem.
Smith & Smith
martin @ email . com
November 29, 2016
Mr. John Smith
Smith & Smith
587 Goldfield St.
Apopka, FL 32703
Dear Mr. Smith:
As you know, my son Jason has cystic fibrosis. Unfortunately, his health has taken a turn for the worse and my wife and him are en route to Hope Memorial as we speak. I just got word from his doctor that he has been pushed up to the top of the UNOS’ list for a bilateral lung transplant.
I know this is a critical time for the firm with thousands of depositions lined up. I’m afraid I will have to be away for a month to help my wife take care of Jason. To give the firm a heads-up for the road ahead, I wanted you to know the next six months may involve frequent visits to the hospital for Jason’s post-transplant tests.
To make up for lost hours, I will be writing the briefs from home and will be in touch daily with the interns and paralegals by phone.
I appreciate your consideration in this matter.