Sample Sickness Absence Excuse Letters and Emails

woman home sick with computer
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Everyone gets sick on occasion, and has to miss a day or two of work. When you miss work due to illness, you need to let your employer know as soon as possible.

When you miss work because you are sick, you need to follow the procedures specified by your manager, or outlined by the human resources department and your employee handbook. Typically, an employer will require you to alert your boss by letter, email, or phone call.

Even if it is not required, it is a good idea to tell your boss about your absence as soon as possible. Putting this message into writing (either via letter or email) is often best.

Read below for advice on how to notify your boss about your absence, and read sample sickness absences excuse letters and emails.

How to Notify Your Boss

Whether it is required or not, it’s a good idea to put your sickness absence excuse in writing. That way you have a record of what transpired, and your manager can easily document the absence.

Of course, if you have to miss work due to a sudden illness, you should make every attempt to notify your supervisor as soon as possible. A quick phone call, text, or email to let them know that you are unable to be at your job that day is an absolute priority, if at all possible. Use whatever method is preferred in your office (for example, some employers prefer text messages, while others discourage texts).

When you return to work, you should then provide a formal absence excuse letter or email, along with any supporting documentation (doctor’s note, ER evaluation, etc.).

What to Include in the Letter or Email

When writing a letter, follow the business letter format. Include your contact information, the date, and the contact information of your employer.

Then, begin the content of your letter with an appropriate salutation.

Next, briefly explain why you are writing. Include the reason for your absence, and mention if you have any documentation. Include the date(s) of your absence as well.  However, keep this part of your letter brief. You do not need to go into all the details of your symptoms. Be clear but concise.

Then, end with a professional closing and your signature.

When writing an email, keep your message just as professional as any business correspondence. However, you can leave the date and contact information out of the top of the message. Include the same content, but underneath your signature, include your contact information.

Fill in the subject line with your name and your reason for writing. For example, your subject line might simply be “Firstname Lastname – Absence.”

Whether you write an email or a letter, be sure to proofread your message. Yes you are sick, but this is still a professional message. You want your writing to be clear and polished.

Examples of Sickness Excuse Letters

Here are some sample absence excuse letters to use as a guide when you need to provide a written excuse for missing work because of sickness.

Use these examples as templates for your own letter. However, remember to change the letter so that it first your particular circumstances.

Example #1

Your Firstname Lastname
Title
Organization
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Date

Employer's Firstname Lastname
Title
Organization
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Ms. Lastname:

Please accept this letter as written notification that I was unable to attend work on Monday, August 2, 20XX due to sickness. I was ill and unable to report to work on that date.

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

Sincerely,

Your Signature

Your Typed Name

Example #2

Your Firstname Lastname
Title
Organization
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Date

Employer's Firstname Lastname
Title
Organization
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr. Lastname,

Please accept this letter as documentation of my absence from March 2 through March 6, 20XX due to sickness.

I have included my doctor’s note detailing his recommendation for hospital treatment due to complications from the flu. I have also enclosed the hospital discharge instructions.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know. Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

Your Typed Name

Examples of Sickness Excuse Emails

Here are some sample absence excuse emails to use as a guide for when you miss work due to illness.

Example #1

Subject: Mary White Absence

Dear Mr. Grey

Please accept this written notification of my absence on November 16, 20XX. I was unable to attend work due to sickness. 

If you need additional information, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Mary White
marywhite2345@email.com
123-456-7890

Example #2

Subject: Joe Brown- Absence June X, 20XX

Dear Steve,

I am writing to document my absence due to illness on June X, 20XX. I was unable to report to work due to an acute attack of food poisoning. Please see the attached report of my treatment at Urgent Care. 

Regards,

Joe

joe.brown765@email.com
555-555-5555

Read More: Excuses for Missing Work | Email Message and Letter Work Excuse Examples | Excused Absences from Work