33+ Sample Time Off Request Forms

What Is a Time Off Request Form?

It is not uncommon for employees to take time off. Studies show that employees who take regular time off from work come back feeling rejuvenated. Their motivation increases as well as their work productivity. A 2018 survey found and reported that employees working in a company that encourages “taking time off from work”, 68% of those interviewed say that they are much happier with their jobs compared to companies that discourage employee vacation and absences. At some point in the year, a majority of a company’s employees will have to take time off from their work, either for medical, mental, or emotional purposes. When they do, they need to communicate their intention to take a leave of absence to their employer. One way of doing this is by filling out time off request form. 

A time off request form is an essential human resources document that helps record the leaves of absences of an employee. It also serves as a notice to the employer that an employee will not be going to work on a specific day. He may either approve or deny the request, depending on the needs of the business on such a particular date. It is standard for companies with a significant number of workforce to implement the use of time off request forms since using the form makes it easier for management to keep track of their employees.

As of 2019, 26 percent of employers in the U.S. offered paid time off for employees to do volunteer work.

A 2018 survey, according to SHRM found that employees working in a company that encourages taking time off from work”, 68% of those interviewed say that they are much happier with their jobs compared to companies that discourage employee vacation and absences.

An article in CNN says the economic opportunity amounts to $151.5 billion in additional travel spending and would create 2 million American jobs if American workers used their time off to travel, according to studies.


Importance of Time Off Request Forms in the Labor Industry

Not only does time off request form help in keeping track of employees’ work time, but using it also has other benefits. By having adequate time off request system, future miscommunications can be prevented. For example, imagine you do not notify your supervisor about your intention to take leave on a specific date. This can cause problems on his part, such as lack of workforce on that particular day. On the other hand,  if you send your leave request two weeks before the actual date of leave, your supervisor can have enough time to find a temporary replacement. By knowing when an employee will be gone, an employer can prepare and work on a solution for possible problems that may arise.

In another view, keeping time off request form can help in managing the payroll register. An employer can use the time off request forms as a reference document to know how much deductions or if any deductions should be made to an employee’s payroll check for absences or leaves caused and accumulated in a pay period. Using time off requests can have a really significant impact on management. It is a useful tool that should be utilized in a business setting to help keep employees time organized and well recorded.

How to Effectively Manage Time Off Requests

If you work in the Human Resources department for a large-scale company employing hundreds of workers, it is possible to receive multiple time-off requests daily. To keep things running smoothly, you need to establish rules and guidelines your employees should follow when requesting time off from work. To help you in this endeavor, consider the following steps and effectively manage time-off requests.

Step 1: Create a Standard Time Off Request Form

To minimize confusion and efficiently manage multiple requests for time-off at once, you can impose the use of a unified time off request form. All employees requesting a leave of absence should fill-out the standard form and submit it to your office. How you format the form is entirely up to you and your preference. But if you are having difficulties creating one, you can try using our sample templates as displayed above. All you need to do is find one you want, download the file in your preferred format (Microsoft Word or PDF format), make the necessary edits, and print it. It’s easy, right?

Step 2: Provide a List of When an Employee is Allowed to Request Time Off 

Imagine this scenario. You own a retail business that is usually extremely busy during the holidays, especially in November, December, and January. If a majority of your workforce files a request for time off during those months, it will be difficult to operate your business and there will be a huge chance you will suffer from great profit loss. To avoid this, you can integrate into your company policy that none of your employees may request time off during November, December, and January, especially those working on the frontline of your business.  This also applies to other days where the business will need all workforce to be present. Be specific on the days that your employee cannot request for a leave of absence. When drafting your policy, be mindful that although there are days your employees cannot request for leave, do not ultimately prohibit them from taking any leave for that matter.

Step 3: Establish guidelines for sending the request

How far in advance should he send the request and how often can he send a request? It honestly depends on the company, you can require your employees to send his or her time off request at least two weeks to a month prior to the actual date of leave. This all depends on the needs of each particular company. For office employees who are handling work that does not have a time constraint in completing them, their employers are not usually strict when they need to ask for time off work. However, for hard labor-related jobs, such as those in the retail and manpower area, requesting time off work can be difficult and may require them to send their request significantly early to give their employers or supervisors plenty of time to get things worked out such as finding a temporary replacement.


Can my employees take unpaid time off?

It depends on your company policy. Some employers do not allow their employees to take unpaid time off leaves; especially during a hectic season where there is a heavy influx of workload. Typically, an employee can take unpaid time off once he has used up all his paid, sick, or vacation leave credits in a year. The request is subject to approval by his employer. As an employer, you have the discretion to either approve or reject the leave request. The decision to deny the request may depend on how much you need the manpower on that certain day. It is best to explain to your employee why you will not approve his request for unpaid leave.

What are the guidelines in requesting time off from work?

Legally, the standard guideline when requesting time off from work is you merely need to sign and fill-out a time off request form and submit it to your supervisor two weeks before the actual date of leave. You can ask for the form from any personnel from the Human Resources department. For companies that do not have time off request forms, employees usually resort to emailing or writing a leave of absence letter to their superiors such as supervisors, team leaders, managers, or directly to their boss. The email or letter should be sent two weeks prior to the actual date of leave. You will have to wait for the reply whether your superior approves or rejects your request for absence.

How do you ask for time off in email?

First, determine who to send the email to. Varying from one company to the other, a request for time off email should be sent to your supervisor, head of Human Resources, department manager, and on some occasions to the head boss. When writing the email, place in the email subject line “Request for Time Off.” You want the person reading to immediately know the content and purpose of the email even without opening it. Be brief and on to the point. State that you are requesting a leave of absence on a specific date (or dates). You can also provide the reason for such a request. Once done, write in your closing salutations and name.

Can my employer deny my paid time off request?

A paid time off request can mean using your vacation or sick leave credits. When you apply for a sick leave or vacation request, you may be entitled to pay provided the company policy allows for it. An employer is allowed to deny your paid time off request for the following reasons: (1) you did not comply with the guidelines of sending the request, (2) your workforce is needed on the day of your request, and your leave would bring significant profit loss to the operation of the business, (3) there are already too many employees on leave on the day of your request and lastly, on rare occasions (4) company policy does not allow paid time leaves. To answer your question, yes, your employer can deny your request for time off.

It is normal for employees to feel burnt-out after successive weeks of labor. As humans, we need our rest. May it be physical, emotional, or mental rest. Although granting a request for time off is discretional, as part of management, we should not deprive workers of their requests to rest. Approving a leave request can be beneficial not only to the employee but also to the company. The worker can come back to work after his time off and be energized and ready for another round of hustling in the workplace. This can increase his morale and overall productivity when it comes to his workload. Hence, we need to be mindful and emphatic when we receive requests for time off.