How to Write a Vacation Request Email
Why Write a Vacation Request Email?
If you are requesting time off from your job, you need to make sure that you ask for it correctly.
Writing a vacation request email is an opportunity for you to formally ask for specific dates off and let your line manager or supervisor know how your work will be covered in your absence.
You might have asked your line manager verbally, but it is important to request the time off in writing so that it can be referred to in the future if necessary, and to comply with your organization’s requirements.
It also provides tangible proof of your request, including the date you made it, so that it can be considered by whoever is in charge of sanctioning leave.
Sending a vacation request email to your line manager, supervisor or HR is a professional way to ensure that you can take the required vacation time without concern.
What Should Be Included in a Vacation Request Email?
As with other work-related emails, you must write your vacation request email in a professional manner.
Having a structure to follow makes it simpler for you to complete the task.
There might be a company template available, or a specific form that needs to be filled out according to your company’s vacation policies – but if not, your email should include the following:
Relevant Subject Line
You want your recipient to be able to understand the purpose of the email without opening it.
This makes it easier for them to organize their inbox and ensures that your vacation request email is easy to find.
Clear Statement of Purpose
Start the email with a short paragraph explaining what the email is about.
Make sure this is professional and polite, and reference any conversation you have previously had with your supervisor about the request.
Specific Dates You Have Requested
If you are requesting more than one day, make it clear when you will be returning to work.
If you are looking for a full week off, for example, it might be a good idea to point out that you will be returning to work on the following Monday.
If your organization allows you to take half-day vacations, be clear if you are using a half day.
Why You Are Requesting the Time
While you might want to keep the reason for your time off private, it might be company policy for you to tell them why you are taking the time.
Even if it is not part of the policy, it is often considered professional and courteous to let your manager know why you are requesting the time off.
Provisions You Have Made for Work to be Completed in Your Absence
This is one of the most important sections of the email for your manager and HR – they want to be sure that your workload is covered while you are absent.
In this section, highlight what work will be completed before you go on leave, and what needs to be completed while you are away.
Inform them of your contingency plans for anything that comes up (who is taking over customer contact for you while you are away, for example) and that your colleagues are aware of your plans so that they are prepared to take up any slack.
Your Contact Information While You Are Absent
In some cases, you might have different contact details while you are away.
Some people might take a work laptop with them on holiday, but in most cases, a vacation means being completely away from work-related equipment.
Make sure that you can be contacted in an emergency. Provide a personal mobile number or an email (even if they already have this information on file).
What Leave Allowance You Have Used
Some businesses will have one vacation ‘pot’ from which all days off are taken. In other organizations, there are a certain number of days specifically for personal leave and medical leave.
It is important that you tell your manager which vacation pot you are planning on taking the days from.
It is also worth keeping a note of the days you have remaining in that particular section so that you have a personal record, informing your supervisor if there are any discrepancies.
Invite Further Discussion
Close the email with an invitation for questions so that your supervisor or HR can get back to you for more information if needed.
Make sure your sign-off is professional, thanking them for their consideration of your request.
How to Write your Vacation Request Email
Make sure that your email is identifiable as a vacation request, use your full name and possibly include your employee number (depending on the size of the business and who you are sending it to).
If you need to send it to HR, include your employee number or unique identifier.
You might need to include the specific dates you are requesting as well, depending on company policy.
Vacation Request: John Smith, March 2022
Statement of Purpose
Your email opening needs to address the specific person you are sending it to. Treat this like any other professional email.
Be clear in this section what you are asking for.
As discussed on Friday, I am requesting vacation time for the following dates:
Monday 14 to Friday 18 March 2022
I will be returning to work on Monday 21 March.
This leave will be taken from my personal leave allowance.
Reason for Absence
If you feel it is appropriate or you have to disclose according to company policy, the next paragraph should include your reason for the request.
I am planning our annual family vacation to the Caribbean for that week.
Explain Your Absence Planning
If you can demonstrate that you have a contingency plan for work to be completed or covered before you go on leave, it makes it easier for your supervisor to allow you the time off.
I am just about to wrap up the X project, and although Y is still ongoing, there is no action to be taken in the time I have requested off.
In the meantime, Laura and Joseph are ready to take on any questions or requests that come in while I am away. I will be setting an Out of Office notice when I am off to let my clients know that I am away, when I will be back, and to contact my colleagues if there is something urgent that needs attention.
Invite Questions and Sign Off
Make sure that you have opened a conversation for your supervisor to come back to you with any questions or clarification that may be required.
Please do let me know if you have any questions or require any further information.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
Top Tips for Writing Your Vacation Request Email
Check the Employee Handbook
Before you request your leave, make sure that you know the vacation policy for your company.
You might need to check your contract to find out how many vacation days you have available and whether there are any restrictions on the time of year that you are allowed to take leave.
For example, a retail employee might not be allowed to take leave over the festive period, and in some organizations there might be a certain number of days that have to be taken in each quarter.
In the handbook, you will find out if there is a template or form for requesting vacation time.
There might even be some official software that needs to be used. If you are in any doubt, ask your line manager or HR for guidance.
Ask in Person First
Although it can be a bit awkward, asking your line manager about taking vacation time before putting in an official request is not only a courtesy but also encourages a conversation.
Asking your immediate supervisor in advance about the specific dates ensures they are appropriate and likely to be accepted.
Check Colleagues Are Not off at the Same Time
In almost all businesses, it is usual policy that employees in the same team, especially if it is small, cannot take vacation time at the same time as their colleagues.
Before sending the email, make sure that nobody else has requested the time you are looking for.
Give as Much Notice as Possible
In your company policy, there might be a specific notice period for vacation requests.
It is best practice to give at least two weeks’ notice for extended leave, so it is important to be prepared early when you are deciding on when to take your vacation.
Speak to Colleagues First
Just because you are taking a vacation, doesn’t mean the business will stop. In fact, you taking time off might put extra pressure on your colleagues as they need to take on your workload.
It is courteous to let them know that you are taking leave, so they can be prepared.
Example Vacation Request Email
Subject: Belinda Blumenthal (Employee No. 12345) Leave Request: 03.10.2022 – 03.20.2022
I am requesting 10 days of vacation time during the dates:
03.10.2022 to 03.20.2022 inclusive.
I will be returning to work on 03.21.2022.
This leave will be taken out of my medical leave allowance.
I have a small medical procedure that needs to be completed on 04.10.2022 and I need to take several days to recover before returning to my duties. I should return fully capable of working as normal.
I have prepared my workload to ensure that there is no interruption to service for my clients or projects. I will have completed the ABC project by that time, and I am working on getting DEF to a stage where I can take a break without any issues so that I can come back to it on my return. Day-to day-work will be completed by Bella and Giselle in my absence.
I would be happy to discuss any aspect of this vacation request with you.
Thank you in anticipation of your reply.
Following the correct procedure when requesting vacation time will ensure that you can take your leave confidently.
Whether you need the time for rest and relaxation, to visit family or for medical reasons, you must ensure your workload is covered and your manager has approved your leave in good time.