How to Write a Permission Letter (With Tips and an Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 21, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Sometimes, the needs or obligations of your personal life coincide with working hours, prompting you to leave work before the end of your workday. Here, you can submit a permission letter requesting early leave. If it's necessary for you to leave the office early, it's helpful to understand the importance of a permission letter and what it might include. In this article, we explain how to write a permission letter, discuss the importance of asking for permission to leave the office early, provide tips to help guide you in your writing, and share a sample letter.

How to write a permission letter for early leave

You may benefit from learning how to write a permission letter if you anticipate you might leave work early for any reason. To write your document and communicate your need for early leave, follow these steps:

1. Learn the company policy

Before writing your letter, refer to your employer's early leave policy to ensure you're fulfilling all the requirements. You may find the information you need in your employment contract. If there isn't an early leave policy specified, you can examine the absence policy to see whether you can apply the process in your case. Alternatively, you can ask a manager or human resources (HR) representative about the steps to take.

Related: Excuses to Leave Work Early (With Tips on How to Ask)

2. Decide who to contact

If the company for which you work has a specific policy about asking to leave work early, it likely specifies who to contact. Depending on the policy, you may contact someone from the HR department or your manager. If the company doesn't have a policy, consider contacting the manager with whom you work most, as they can escalate the request.

3. Write a subject line

It's often more common and efficient to write an e-mail to your supervisor rather than send a physical letter. This also aligns with the common communication method that workplaces use. To do this, compose a new e-mail and address it to your supervisor. Then, write a subject line for the e-mail. It's often helpful to be straightforward in your subject line. For example, Early leave request or Request to leave early.

Related: How to Format an E-mail Professionally in 6 Steps

4. Address your supervisor

For business letters, use the salutation dear, followed by your supervisor's name and a comma. It's beneficial to address your supervisor by their honorific and their last name. Alternatively, you can use just their honorific and last name as the salutation, replacing the comma with a colon.

5. Write the body of your letter

A permission letter for early leave is typically a brief message comprising one to three short sections, including:

  • First: Immediately explain that you're writing to ask permission to leave early. Provide the reason for your request and specific details relating to it, such as the applicable date and the time at which you want to leave.

  • Second: Assure your supervisor you've taken measures to ensure the completion of your work, so your absence might have no negative impact.

  • Third: Thank your supervisor for their understanding and consideration. Include suggestions for how they can notify you of their response.

If you wish, you can condense all the above elements into one paragraph. Separating each point into its own paragraph can help with readability.

6. Sign it and proofread your work

Once you complete the body of your e-mail, choose a professional and polite way to sign it. You might include phrases such as:

  • Sincerely

  • Thanks

  • Best regards

Then, you can type your name on the e-mail or include your signature. This can add to the formal layout of your e-mail. Once you finish, be sure to proofread your work to ensure it's free from any grammatical and spelling errors. It's also helpful to review your writing for the tone to ensure you stay polite and professional throughout the letter.

Related: Copy Editing vs. Proofreading: Definitions, Skills, and Duties

Why write a letter for permission to leave work early?

Writing a letter to ask to leave work early is a formal and polite way to earn your manager's approval for your request. Here are some of the primary reasons you may write one of these letters:

It's a requirement

As an employee, you have an obligation to adhere to the rules stipulated by your employer, including those relating to working hours. Exceptions to contractual hours often require approval by a supervisor to ensure you don't experience any penalty. A permission letter initiates the approval process and ensures you have officially documented allowance for your absence during part of the workday.

Related: A Guide to Negotiating a Contract Effectively (With Tips)

It's considerate and professional

If you're requesting early leave before the applicable date, a permission letter acts as a notice that allows your supervisor and your colleagues to cover your shift or work. If there are deadlines on or around the time of your leaving, they can help you complete your tasks by performing your tasks or adjusting the schedule.

Writing an official business document or e-mail demonstrates professionalism. It shows that you respect the position of your supervisor, are aware of the needs of your colleagues, and appreciate that they may make adjustments. Showing this respect to your colleagues and supervisors can help you contribute to healthy work culture and better relate with your peers.

Related: How to Answer, "What Does Professionalism Mean to you?"

It provides documentation

A permission letter for early leave is official business correspondence relating to a matter that affects business activities. Your supervisor is likely to keep it in their records and further document their approval or rejection of your request. If you need proof that you received the required permission to leave early, you can present your initial letter and any messages your supervisor sent in reply.

This can also be helpful for clarifying any salary discrepancy, as it may be important to remember the exact hours you work each day, especially if you leave a shift early.

Tips for asking your manager for early leave

When writing your early leave letter, you might consider these tips to help you in the process:

Be concise

Try to be straightforward and concise when writing your letter. Sometimes, your leave may be urgent, so writing this way can help you save time and ensure your manager sees your request. This is also respectful, as it's considerate of your manager's time as well.

Writing concisely can also help you maintain professional boundaries. While it's polite and often important to provide a valid excuse for your early leave, it's not necessary to include all the details of your situation. This can help you keep some personal information to yourself and remain professional.

Related: How to Make a Time-off Request

Offer solutions for work coverage

While you're rarely responsible for finding another professional to cover your shift, it may be beneficial to offer options to address the work you may miss. For instance, you may tell your manager that you can work later another day to finish a task or mention colleagues who have the qualifications and ability to cover your workload. Doing this can show your supervisor that you're considering the consequences of leaving early and are willing to participate in the problem-solving process. This may increase the likelihood of your manager accepting your request.

Related: A Complete Guide to Managing a Workload (With How-to Guide)

Consider your workplace communication

Consider how professionals in your workplace commonly communicate when preparing a permission letter for early leave. This is helpful because in some workspaces, writing an e-mail or formal letter may not be necessary. For instance, if an e-mail isn't a common communication method for the company for which you work, it's helpful to use an alternate one to process your request. In some work environments, it may even be more appropriate to talk to your manager directly and make a verbal request.

Permission letter example

Reviewing examples of this type of letter can help you decide what to include and how to format your own. Here's an example of a permission letter for an early leave that can inspire you to write your own:

Subject line: Request for early leave

Dear Ms. Wheeler,

I am writing to request permission to leave the office early on September 14, 2021, to take my dog to the veterinarian for an urgent surgical procedure. If possible, I might like to leave no later than 1 p.m. on the date mentioned.

Previous to my writing, I verified that I have no pressing deadlines due on September 14 or the day after. I do intend to complete much of my day's work at home and finish my assignments on the weekend.

I understand that this is short notice and appreciate your consideration of my request. Please feel free to e-mail, call, or speak with me today or tomorrow about this matter.


Anna Marie Zimmerman

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