Sample Letter to Boss Requesting a Day Off

By | November 23, 2016

It’s the dreaded ask-for-time-off letter isn’t it that landed you here? If I were your boss I’d say “go take care of it, I’ll cover for you.” And if I’m in a good mood I’d even give Mondays off, but I’m a rare being; I’m from the 1%. What I can do for you though is share a few tips on how to write a letter to your boss asking for a day off.

Never on a Monday Morning
Timing is everything! Try not to ask her first thing and ask her on her way out with the day’s work behind her. Try not to ask your boss for a day off if he’s visibly agitated or has his mom on line 1. Wait!

Use Empathy
Writing a letter to anyone is making it about them, not about you. Start your letter empathically. If you were in his shoes, what concerns would he have losing one of his employees for a day? Follow these 5 simple rules and give your boss a BREAK:

– Be yourself politely
– Respect rank
– Ensure being reachable, by phone or email if they need any information
– Assure workload coverage; swap shifts or talk to your boss about arranging your replacement for the day.
– Know the Rules; check employer policy for taking time off

Ask without “Asking”
If you say: “Can I have tomorrow off?” chances are she’ll say: “No!” Most days I’d agree with that. However, just because you’ve run out of leaves doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a day off. Ask without “asking.” Something along the lines of: “I was wondering if I could take a personal day tomorrow.”

Sample Letter to Boss Requesting a Day Off

November 23, 2016

Susan Waters, MD
Chief of Cardiology
Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center
5400 South Rainbow Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89118


Dear Dr. Waters:

This came as a surprise to me as it will to you. I’m afraid I only got news of it this morning. My previous employer had signed me up for the Primary Care Cardiology MCE Conference, taking place November 24, 2016 at Aria Resorts at MGM City Center. This morning I received a call from my former Cardiology Chief, Hazel Carter, MD, asking me to present one of my case studies.

I would be very grateful if you would grant my request for taking a personal day tomorrow to speak at the conference, as I was really looking forward to it and thought it no longer possible after having left their fellowship program.

I’ve requested my colleague Rachael Schneider, MD to take over my patients for tomorrow and she has agreed to swap shifts with me. I have no procedures scheduled for tomorrow, but in case of an emergency, my phone will be on the whole time and I will coordinate with Dr. Schneider. I will be back to work November 25, 2016 at my shift time.

I hope you will consider my request.


Best regards,


Allen G. David, MD
Cardiology Fellow