How To Write Sick Day Email: 5 Template Examples

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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We all have those days when both our physical and mental health are completely wrung out, and nothing feels better than a short break.

No boss should deny you the right to leave your office work behind for a day or two, especially if you have been a very responsible employee who exceeded all expectations with your assigned tasks! But before you decide to spend all day in your bed, remember to ask for your boss’s permission via email first. 

How To Write Sick Day Email

Below are a few examples of sick leave emails that will certainly work. Keep scrolling to learn more!

How To Write A Sick Email To Boss: 6 Steps

Regardless of your circumstances and the company’s protocols, a standard call-in-sick email should always communicate the following information.

Subject Line

A subject line should convey your message’s purpose, such as “Request for sick leave” or “Sick leave notification.”


Start your email with polite greetings: “I hope you are having a great day” or “I hope this email finds you well.”

Short Explanation

Explain the reason you are writing in an up-front and clear manner. For example: “Due to health reasons, I am unable to attend work today. I am writing to request a sick day.”

When You Can Return

When will you expect to return to work? Mention a specific date or time estimate so your boss can backfill your responsibilities or find temporary replacements accordingly. 

If there is no way to predict, you can write, “I hope I can be back in XYZ,” or leave things open, “I will reach out to update you on my recovery progress and anticipated return once I feel better.” 


Are you going to stay in contact with your boss and colleagues? If yes, describe how, such as checking emails, answering the phone, etc. 

Let your coworkers know whether you can still field urgent requests or emails. If you can’t be available, ask someone to handle these matters during your absence. 


Conclude the mail with a sincere and courteous closing: “Thank you for your kind consideration” or “I am grateful for your understanding.” You can also choose a simpler closing like “Kind regards” or “Sincerely.” 

5 Sick Leave Template Emails

Call Out In Sick
Call Out In Sick

1. Personal Illness 

Examples: Fever, stomachache, flu, sore throat

Subject: Request for Sick Leave: [Your Name]


I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inform you that I am currently unwell. After consulting with my healthcare provider, I have been advised to take some time off to recover.

I am requesting sick leave starting from [start date] and anticipate returning to work on [anticipated return date]. During my absence, I will do my best to ensure a smooth transition of my responsibilities. Please let me know if any specific tasks or projects require immediate attention.

I understand the importance of my role and will make every effort to reduce any inconvenience caused by my absence. I will be reachable via email during my sick leave and will update you on my progress as necessary.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this time. I look forward to returning to work recharged and ready to contribute.

Best regards,

2. Medical Appointments

Subject: Sick Leave Request for Medical Appointments

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I trust this message finds you well. I am writing to formally request a sick leave due to upcoming medical appointments requiring immediate attention.

The medical appointments are necessary for the ongoing management of a health condition (*) that I have been addressing. These appointments are important to ensure proper adjustment of my treatment plans, and I believe taking this leave is necessary for my recovery. 

Beginning from [start date], I will be on sick leave and anticipate returning to work on [return date]. 

During my absence, I may not be readily available via email due to the nature of the appointments. However, I have briefed [colleague’s name] about ongoing projects and delegated some of my urgent responsibilities. [He/She] is fully updated on the project’s current status, and I am confident that they will be able to handle any urgent matters in my stead.

Your understanding and support during this time are greatly appreciated. Please let me know if I need to complete any specific procedures or forms before taking my leave. Thank you for your consideration, and I will keep you updated on any changes to my return date.

Best regards,

(*) You do not have to disclose the specific health condition unless you feel comfortable doing so or it’s relevant to the context. Most people choose to keep the explanation general to maintain their privacy.

3. Quarantine

Subject: Request for Sick Leave – COVID-19 Quarantine

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inform you that I have been placed under quarantine due to a recent exposure to COVID-19.

As a precautionary measure, I am required to isolate myself to prevent the potential spread of the virus. I anticipate returning to work on [date], pending a negative test result and approval from the health authorities. 

During my absence, I will be available for any urgent matters via email or phone. I will make arrangements for [colleague’s name] to handle my ongoing projects and tasks in my absence.

I appreciate your understanding and support during this challenging time. Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like me to address any specific instructions or tasks before my departure.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to rejoining the team as soon as possible.

Best regards,

Note: Not only COVID-19 but also other infectious diseases such as cholera, smallpox, yellow fever, etc., which require quarantine for absolute safety, would apply. 

4. Physical Injuries

Subject: Request for Sick Leave Due to Physical Injuries

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I trust this message finds you well. 

I am reaching out to inform you that I recently got several injuries to my lower back and right shoulder due to a non-work-related incident, which required immediate medical attention and a short period of recovery. 

I have attached the medical certificate from my healthcare provider, which outlines the diagnosis and recommended duration for my rest. Unfortunately, these injuries have temporarily prevented me from performing my duties at work as expected. I anticipate being on sick leave from [start date] to [end date]. 

During this time, I will be accessible via email [your email address] and phone [your phone number] during regular working hours to address any urgent matters that may arise or to provide clarification on ongoing projects. Furthermore, I am open to scheduling brief check-in calls at mutually convenient times to ensure everything runs smoothly.

I appreciate your understanding and support during this time. If any specific tasks or responsibilities require immediate attention, please let me know, and I will make arrangements to address them promptly.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to returning to work on [return date].

Best regards,

5. Mental Health

Mental Health Problems in work

Subject: Urgent: Request for Mental Health Leave

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to address a matter that has been weighing on my mind, and I believe it is important for me to discuss this with you.

Over the past [mention duration, e.g., weeks or months], I have been grappling with some challenges related to my mental health. After careful consideration and consultation with my healthcare professional, I have been strongly advised to take a short leave to prioritize my well-being and address these concerns.

I understand that mental health can be a delicate subject, and not everyone may view it in the same light as a physical ailment. However, like any other health issue, addressing mental concerns is essential for both my overall well-being and productivity. 

I want to assure you that I have taken steps to ensure a smooth transition during my absence. I have briefed [colleague’s name or team] on the current status of my projects, and they have agreed to cover for me during this period. I am committed to providing any necessary information or documentation to facilitate the handover.

I plan to commence my leave on [start date] and intend to return on [expected return date]. I will make myself available by email during my leave to address any urgent matters that may arise. Furthermore, I will keep you updated on my progress and notify you promptly if there are any changes to my return date.

Thank you for your kind understanding. I look forward to returning with renewed energy to contribute to the team.

Best regards,

Extra Tips When Asking For Sick Day

  • I know some people are hesitant to ask for sick leave due to mental illness. However, there is no need to feel guilty about it. Depression episodes, emotional burnouts, and anxiety attacks are the same as headaches or food poisoning: they are affecting you. Feel free to use your time off whenever you feel like your health suffers. 
  • Do not make your email too personal, no matter how open-minded your team or your boss might be. Instead, keep everything detail-free from the start.
  • Unsure about your company policy? Ask other coworkers how they handle their own sick days. 

You might also like these articles:


My team has introduced common email templates for some of the most widely used reasons for sick leaves.

Feel free to adapt these templates to your personal circumstances; however, remember that there is no need to include the specifics. You can simply mention a general “health condition” or “physical injury” and keep it that way. Unless you have been caught lying in the past or involved in something suspicious, most employers are unlikely to investigate further.

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Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

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