Absence Excuse Letters

An absence excuse letter is written to notify about the reason for absence from a place an individual is liable to show presence at. The letter is mainly written by an employee, student, or juror to the relevant authority. The reasons for writing the letter can be sickness, death of an immediate family member, personal commitments, an important occasion, or an emergency.

The letter is a good way to document the absence either before taking a planned leave or after returning from an unplanned day off and highlighting a way to make up for the work that has been or would have been missed otherwise. Thus, it not only helps to record the absence but also reflects a professional and responsible attitude at part of one writing it.

Types of Absence Excuse Letters

Before getting into the template of the absence excuse letter, it is important to get informed about the types of absence excuse letters. The three majorly discussed types are mentioned below:

1.      Absence excuse letter for Business/workplace

In the case of ​a ​workplace, the letter is written to a supervisor or human resource manager by an employee and it signifies that the employee values work that would have or have been missed because of his/her absence. It also highlights how the employee plans to complete the missed-out work. Absence at the workplace can be categorized further into two main categories:

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  • Short-term absence- it deals with the half-day/full day off due to any of the reasons stated earlier. The full working days are taken into account for the short-term when the absence is less than 3-5 days. Most of the companies do not require complicated procedures to approve for the short-term absence
  • Long-term absence- It can extend to weeks or months and involves a complete approval process. Therefore, the process must be initiated by the employee so as to ensure getting leave approval on time. An unplanned long-term absence or without taking consent of the management can lead to severe consequences.

Both of the above-mentioned categories can be applied for and availed subject to the employee’s leave balance. The policy guidelines and count of paid and unpaid leaves vary for different companies.

In most companies, the employee is entitled to avail of a limited number of casual, annual, medical, and compensatory leaves. Few companies make deductions from the leave balance even when an employee arrives late to the office. Hence, it is recommended to have a clear understanding of the respective company’s guidelines before writing an absence excuse letter.

2.      Absence excuse letter for School/College

For school, the excuse letter is written to the principal or class teacher, by a student or guardian of the student. The letter portrays that the students or the guardian of the student are concerned enough about the valuable time of his/her instructor and the work that is being or has been missed out

3.      Absence excuse letter for Jury Obligation/Duty

The juror writes a letter to court or jury administrator in order to excuse from jury duty himself/herself or on behalf of his/her worker invited to be a juror, thus it helps in saving time for​ a​ trial process by making up for the required arrangements.

Parts and Guidelines for Writing an Effective Absence Excuse Letter

Once the type and the reason for absence are clear, there are certain guidelines that should be followed while writing an effective absence excuse letter. As it is a formal document, therefore, it must portray a professional outlook. Let us see the generic guidelines for different parts of excuse letter below:

Header: It is the main part the excuse letter should start from​. ​It is further divided into the following parts:

  • Recipient Details: the name, designation and the address of the recipient to whom the letter is being sent out
  • Subject line: An absence excuse letter may or may not include the subject line. However, a well-written subject line highlights the reason for absence to the reader before having to go through the complete letter.

Salutation: Using appropriate salutation such as “Dear Mr./Ms. followed by the name of the recipient is highly important for formal and professional communication

Body: This part of the letter contains the date, duration (if any), and briefly written reason of absence. Avoid unnecessary or irrelevant details of absence. Moreover, the use of technical words and jargon should also be prevented. A good way to end the body part is to mention the way how the missed work, due to absence, would be completed. The body part should be concluded by offering assistance in terms of providing further information that the recipient may require

Closing: This part represents the ending of the letter by reflecting esteem for the recipient. Hence, a good way to close an excuse letter is to use a polite and formal salutation. The most commonly used are “Regards” or “Sincerely”, followed up by the name of the sender

If the relevant authority requires proof of absence then it should be provided with the letter. A medical certificate in case of absence due to sickness, a photocopied passport​/tickets​ for​​ traveling, a death certificate when required as proof, or any other relevant supporting document should be attached to the letter.

Templates

Absence Excuse Letter for Business/Workplace

An employee writes an absence excuse letter to the supervisor or HR manager when he/she either misses complete workday(s) or a meeting due to reasons as highlighted in the introductory part of the article. The employee writing the absence excuse should be mindful of the company’s policy – how (phone call, email, or a written letter) and when to excuse. Mostly the companies require their employees to document the absence before actually availing it. But, in case of an emergency, the letter can be written later.

Letter #1

Date

[Complete name of Recipient]
[Designation]
[Organization]
[Address]

Dear Mr./Ms. [X]

I am writing this letter to formally inform you about my absence on February 12, 20XX. I needed to take my father for a medical test as he is a cancer patient.

Please see attached the appointment letter. If you need any further information, please let me know

Sincerely,

Sender’s signature
Sender’s name


File: Word (.docx) 2007+ and iPad Size 16 Kb | Download

Letter #2

Dear Mr./Ms. [X]

I am writing this letter as written documentation of my absence on March 10, 20XX.  I was unable to attend the work because of the court hearing for my family’s property inheritance case.

I have been briefed on the tasks by Mr./Ms. [X]. Please let me know if I can provide any further information or documentation. Thank you for understanding.

Sincerely,

Sender’s signature
Sender’s name


File: Word (.docx) 2007+ and iPad Size 16 Kb | Download

Absence excuse letter for School/College

The absence excuse letter can be written by a student or guardian/parents on behalf of the child to provide a reason for absence from the school. When the letter is written by the child himself/herself, it is to get the letter signed by the parent or guardian to ensure credibility for the absence reason stated in the letter.  

​For the absence letters for the school, a common practice is not to mention the recipient’s name in the salutation. “Dear Principal/Madam” is used instead.

Letter #1 (By Parent)

Date

[Recipient Name]
[Title (Principal/Teacher)]
[School’s Name]
[Address]

Dear Principal/Madam,

I am writing this letter to formally inform you that my daughter ABC, enrolled in Grade 5, was unable to attend the school on January 12, 20XX, due to food poisoning. Currently, she is on medication. Please allow her​ ​ ​to take ​leave​ for the day​.

Please let me know if I can provide any further information or documentation.

Sincerely,

Parent’s signature
Sender’s name


File: Word (.docx) 2007+ and iPad Size 16 Kb | Download

Letter #2 (By Student)

Dear Principal/Madam,

With due respect, it is to inform you that I, ABC, enrolled in Grade 8, was unable to attend the school on January 10, 20XX. My family and I were traveling to and attending the funeral of my grandfather.  

Kindly grant me a leave for a day. I will be obliged.

Sincerely,

[Sender’s name] (typed)
[Parent’s name typed] and signature


File: Word (.docx) 2007+ and iPad Size 16 Kb | Download

Absence excuse letter for Jury Obligation/Duty

To write an absence excuse letter when a court has summoned an individual as a juror, the juror must provide a valid and honest reason. In the case of fake or invalid reasons, severe legal implications can be faced.  The reasons other than highlighted in the introductory part of the article can be an exam if the jury duty has to be performed by a student, or a financial loss that could be faced if a summoned juror is a small business owner.

Letter Template

Date

[Recipient Name]
[Designation]
[Court/Company Name]
[Address]

Dear Mr./Ms. [Recipient’s name],

I am writing this letter as written documentation to be excused from jury duty, for which I have been summoned on June 14, 20XX, because I have a scheduled exam which cannot be re-taken. I would be glad to serve on any other date.

If you need any further information, please contact me at <phone number>. I shall be grateful for providing me the requested exemption.

Regards,

[Sender’s name] (typed)

Sender’s Signature (original hard copy signature instead of digital or computer-generated)


File: Word (.docx) 2007+ and iPad Size 21 Kb | Download

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