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Leave of Absence Request Process Template

Teach your team the process for requesting and managing leaves of absence, including eligibility, forms, approval steps, and post-leave considerations. Understand responsibilities and communication guidelines throughout the process.

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Leave of Absence Request Process Template

Teach your team the process for requesting and managing leaves of absence, including eligibility, forms, approval steps, and post-leave considerations. Understand responsibilities and communication guidelines throughout the process.

*Disclaimer from Trainual

Please note that this template is not a legal document. And its information is for general knowledge and educational purposes only — not to provide advice on how to structure your organization's processes and/or policies. Meaning, this template should never be taken in place of legal advice. 

To use, you will need to customize this template to meet all your company's requirements. So, please update it with any and all relevant information before rolling it out (like deleting this step)!


Why We Have a Request Process for Leaves of Absence

At our company, we have established a formal request process for leaves of absence to ensure fairness and consistency across the organization. This structured process is crucial for maintaining an orderly workflow and ensuring that all employee requests for leave are handled equitably and efficiently. 

A clear process helps manage the impact of an employee's absence on their team and projects, allowing for adequate planning and resource allocation to cover their duties during the leave period. Additionally, this process ensures that we comply with relevant labor laws and company policies, protecting both the rights of employees and the interests of the company. 

By standardizing how leaves of absence are requested and processed, we foster transparency and trust within our workplace, making sure employees feel supported in managing their professional and personal commitments.

Types of Leave

We recognize the importance of supporting our employees through various life circumstances by offering a range of leave options. Here’s an overview of the different types of leave available and the conditions under which they are granted:

  1. Medical Leave:some text
    • Definition: Time off for medical treatment, recovery, or serious health conditions affecting the employee or a family member.
    • Conditions: Requires documentation from a healthcare provider and may be covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if eligibility criteria are met.
  2. Maternity/Paternity Leave:some text
    • Definition: Leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.
    • Conditions: Generally offered to both parents, with specific durations depending on state laws and company policy. May also be covered under FMLA.
  3. Sabbatical Leave:some text
    • Definition: Extended leave that may be granted to long-standing employees as a benefit for personal development or rest.
    • Conditions: Typically available to employees after a certain period of service, such as 7 years, and subject to approval based on company policies.
  4. Bereavement Leave:some text
    • Definition: Leave granted due to the death of a family member or close relative.
    • Conditions: The duration of leave usually depends on the relationship to the deceased and any travel requirements. Typically, a few days are granted.
  5. Personal Leave:some text
    • Definition: Leave taken for personal reasons not covered by other leave categories, such as attending to urgent family matters, education, or other significant personal obligations.
    • Conditions: Must be requested and approved in advance. Not typically covered under FMLA and may or may not be paid leave, depending on company policy.
  6. Jury Duty Leave:some text
    • Definition: Leave granted when an employee is required to serve on a jury.
    • Conditions: Employers are required by law to provide this type of leave. Employees must provide their jury summons notice as proof.
  7. Military Leave:some text
    • Definition: Leave for military service or duties.
    • Conditions: Governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), ensuring job protection and rights for military service members.
  8. Administrative Leave:some text
    • Definition: Leave that may be granted for various administrative reasons, such as pending an investigation of workplace misconduct or other situations as deemed necessary by the employer.
    • Conditions: Determined on a case-by-case basis and typically decided by senior management or HR.

Each type of leave supports our employees in different ways, reflecting our commitment to accommodating their diverse needs while balancing organizational requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for requesting a leave of absence is determined by specific criteria to ensure fairness and compliance with both organizational policies and legal requirements. Here are the general eligibility guidelines:

  1. Tenure Requirements: For certain types of leave, such as sabbatical leave, employees are required to have a minimum period of continuous service, typically ranging from 3 to 7 years, depending on the type of leave. This criterion supports employee commitment and loyalty by rewarding long-term service.
  2. Employment Status: Full-time employees are generally eligible for all types of leave. Part-time employees may be eligible for prorated leave based on their average hours worked, in accordance with applicable laws.
  3. Prior Performance: Employees must be in good standing with no active disciplinary actions. This ensures that leave privileges are granted to those who have demonstrated responsibility and reliability.
  4. Notice and Documentation: Employees must provide adequate notice and, when applicable, supporting documentation (such as medical certificates or jury duty summons) as required by the specific type of leave.

These criteria help maintain a structured and fair approach to granting leave, ensuring that all employees are treated equitably and that business operations are minimally disrupted.

Request Process

How To Request a Leave of Absence

Requesting a leave of absence is a standardized process designed to ensure that all requests are handled efficiently and fairly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how employees can submit a leave request:

  1. Review Leave Policies:some text
    • Before initiating a leave request, review the company’s leave policy to understand the types of leave available and the specific eligibility criteria and conditions for the leave you are requesting.
  2. Prepare Documentation:some text
    • Gather all necessary documentation related to your leave request. This could include medical certificates for medical leave, birth or adoption papers for maternity/paternity leave, or any relevant legal notices such as a jury duty summons.
  3. Complete Required Forms:some text
    • Fill out the necessary leave request forms available from HR. Ensure that all sections are completed accurately to avoid delays in processing.
  4. Contact Your Supervisor:some text
    • Inform your direct supervisor about your intention to request a leave. Discuss how your responsibilities will be managed in your absence and propose solutions for coverage if possible.
  5. Submit Leave Request to HR:some text
    • Submit your completed leave request form along with any required documentation to the Human Resources department. It’s best to do this via email or the company’s HR management system if available.
  6. Deadlines:some text
    • Submit your leave request as early as possible. For planned leaves like maternity or sabbatical, a notice period of at least 30 days is recommended. For unexpected leaves, such as medical or bereavement, notify HR and your supervisor as soon as reasonably possible.
  7. Await Approval:some text
    • Once submitted, your leave request will be reviewed by HR and your supervisor. You may be contacted for additional information or clarification during this time.
  8. Receive Notification:some text
    • HR will notify you of the approval status of your leave request. If approved, you will receive details regarding the duration of your leave, any conditions that apply, and information on maintaining contact with the company during your leave.
  9. Prepare for Leave:some text
    • If approved, coordinate with your supervisor to ensure a smooth transition, addressing any outstanding tasks or responsibilities.
  10. Keep Records:some text
    • Keep copies of all correspondence and documentation related to your leave request for your records.

By following these steps, employees can ensure that their leave of absence requests are submitted correctly and processed in a timely manner, minimizing disruptions and maintaining compliance with company policies.

Template: Leave of Absence Request Form

This template was created by recruiting software and hiring platform Workable.

Employee Information:

Name: [Insert name here]
Job Title: [Insert job title here]
Department: [Insert department here]
Hire Date: [Insert hire date here]
Work Location: [Insert work location here]

Type of leave:

Military Leave (must provide verification from appropriate military authority)
Military Service

Personal Leave (up to 30 days, unpaid)
Reason: [Insert reason here]

Non-FMLA Medical Leave

Start of leave (first day absent from work): [Insert start date here]

End of leave (last day absent from work): [Insert end date here]

Regular hours worked per week: [Insert number of hours here]

Full-time or Part-time: [Insert full-time or part-time here]

Intermittent Leave Request: [Yes or No]

If yes, please attach proposed schedule.

Leave details:

Number of days of leave requested: [Insert number of days here]
Dates of leave: [Insert dates of leave here]
Reason for leave (if personal or medical): [Insert reason here]

Approval process:

Supervisor Approval: [Insert supervisor signature block here]
HR Approval: [Insert HR signature block here]


  • All requests for non-FMLA leaves of absence must be submitted to HR for approval.
  • Employees are required to provide supporting documentation for any medical leave request.
  • Any changes to the original leave request must be submitted in writing to HR for approval.
  • During the leave, the employee will remain employed by the university but will not receive pay or benefits.
  • Upon return from leave, the employee will be reinstated to their previous position or a similar position, if available.

Disclaimer: This policy template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.

Review and Approval

The review and approval process for leave requests is designed to be thorough and efficient to ensure fairness and operational continuity. Here’s how leave requests are managed:

  1. Review Process:some text
    • Upon receiving a leave request, the Human Resources (HR) department first verifies that the application is complete and all required documentation is provided. HR then assesses the request against company policies and specific eligibility criteria for the type of leave requested.
  2. Approval Authority:some text
    • The authority to approve leave requests typically resides with HR and the employee’s direct supervisor. For standard leaves such as medical or maternity leave, the direct supervisor, in conjunction with HR, can approve the request. For more extended leaves like sabbaticals, approval from higher management or a department head may be required.
  3. Time Frame for Response:some text
    • Employees can expect to receive a response to their leave request within 10 business days from the date of submission. This timeframe allows adequate review and ensures that all considerations regarding workforce planning and compliance with legal requirements are met.

By adhering to this structured approval process, we ensure that all leave requests are handled promptly and appropriately, keeping the employee’s and organization’s best interests in mind.

Responsibilities of Employee

Employees at our company have specific responsibilities when requesting a leave of absence to ensure the process is smooth and compliant with company policies. 

Firstly, employees must provide accurate and complete information on their leave request forms, along with any required documentation, such as medical certificates or legal notices. They should submit their requests within the stipulated deadlines, ideally providing as much notice as possible to facilitate planning. 

Additionally, employees are responsible for discussing their leave plans with their supervisors to manage the handover of duties. Finally, employees must adhere to any conditions set forth in the leave policy regarding their absence and return.

Denial of Leave Requests

A leave request might be denied for several reasons, including insufficient documentation, non-compliance with eligibility criteria, failure to provide adequate notice, or if the timing of the leave severely disrupts business operations. Each denial is based on specific reasons that are clearly communicated to the employee to ensure transparency.

If an employee's leave request is denied and they believe the decision was made in error or without sufficient consideration of all factors, they have the right to appeal. The appeal process involves submitting a written appeal to the Human Resources department within a specified timeframe, typically within two weeks of the denial notice. The appeal should clearly state the grounds for reconsideration and include any additional documents or information that supports the employee's case. HR reviews the appeal, possibly in consultation with higher management, and a final decision is communicated to the employee within a reasonable timeframe. This process ensures that every employee's request is fairly considered.

During and After Leave

Communication During Leave

We respect the purpose of a leave of absence, recognizing that it is a time for employees to focus on personal matters, whether they are related to health, family, or other significant issues. Therefore, unless absolutely necessary, employees are not required to maintain routine communication with the company during their leave period. This policy helps ensure that employees can fully benefit from their time away without work-related interruptions.

However, in cases where communication during leave is essential — such as transferring critical knowledge or updates on a significant project — these instances should be agreed upon before the commencement of the leave. Any necessary contact should be minimal and scheduled in advance to respect the nature of the employee's absence. Employees should provide a preferred method of contact to be used only if absolutely necessary, ensuring that any communication is conducted efficiently and respects the boundaries of their leave.

Return to Work

Returning to work after a leave of absence at our company is managed through a structured process to ensure a smooth transition back to the workplace. Here are the key steps and documentation required:

  1. Notification of Return: Employees must notify HR and their supervisor of their intended return date as confirmed in their leave plan, ideally two weeks in advance. This advance notice helps the team prepare for the reintegration.
  2. Required Documentation: Depending on the type of leave, employees may need to submit relevant documentation upon their return. For example, medical leave might require a fitness-for-work certificate from a healthcare provider, confirming the employee is ready to resume work.
  3. Reintegration Meeting: On the first day back, a meeting with HR and the direct supervisor should be scheduled to discuss any necessary updates, changes, or adjustments needed to ease back into work. This might include a revised workload or updated work schedule if needed.
  4. Review of Work Arrangements: It may be appropriate to discuss any temporary or permanent adjustments to work arrangements or responsibilities, ensuring they align with the employee’s current situation and the company’s needs.

This process is designed to support employees as they transition back to work, ensuring they feel welcomed and that their return is as seamless as possible.

Extension of Leave

Requesting an extension of a leave of absence is a straightforward process that accommodates unforeseen circumstances requiring additional time away from work. Here’s how employees can request an extension:

  1. Initial Request: Employees seeking to extend their leave must submit a request to HR and their direct supervisor as soon as possible, preferably before the initial leave period ends. This request should include the reason for the extension and the expected new end date.
  2. Documentation: Depending on the reason for the extension, such as medical or family-related issues, appropriate documentation supporting the request may be required. This could include medical certificates or other relevant documentation that justifies the need for additional time off.
  3. Evaluation: HR, in consultation with the employee's supervisor, will evaluate the request based on the necessity of the extension, its impact on business operations, and compliance with employment laws and company policies.
  4. Approval: Decisions regarding the extension are communicated to the employee as soon as possible. Approval depends on both the justification provided and the operational capacity to accommodate the extended leave.

By following this procedure, our company ensures that all requests for leave extensions are handled fairly and consistently, while also considering the needs of both the employee and the organization.


Have Questions?

The Leave of Absence Request Process at our company is designed to support the diverse needs of our employees while ensuring operational continuity. By outlining clear steps for requesting leave, specifying the types of leave available, and establishing protocols for extensions and returns, we foster a supportive work environment. Employees are encouraged to fully understand and utilize these guidelines to effectively manage their leave requests. 

Should there be any questions or additional support needed during the leave process, HR is always available to assist. 

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