How to Write a Request for Leave for a Funeral

Funerals might be unexpected, but submit your request as soon as you can.
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When a friend or family member dies, you may have a lot of funeral details to deal with -- but you also have to make sure you're covered at work. Some workplace policies allow for as many as five days of paid time off following the death of a spouse or close relative, but the process always starts by making a formal request. This might include filling out a form or simply writing a letter requesting the time off.

1 Employee Policies

If you're requesting time off to attend the funeral of a relative, chances are your workplace already has a policy in place to handle that situation. Check your employee handbook for instructions on how to make the request and how many days off you can expect. If you need to attend a funeral for a person who's not a relative, it might not warrant paid days off. Still, the bereavement policy in your employee handbook may tell you whether there's a form you can fill out, or whether you need to use vacation days or personal days for that time off.

2 Crafting the Request

If your company doesn't have a pre-made form, craft a brief letter to your supervisor or to the person who grants time off. Get right to the point, with a sentence detailing your request. For example, write, "I am requesting time off to attend the funeral of a close family friend." Then state the date or dates you need off and what type of leave time you plan to use for those dates. Some employees, for example, might have a choice of using flex time or personal days for the time off. There's no need to add any additional details; simply sign the letter and deliver it to your supervisor in person or via email as soon as possible.

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.