How To Write Sick Day Email Templates to Get the Day Off

This article includes sick day email templates and all the information you need to create a sick day email.

This article is for you if you realize you can’t report to work today because you feel awful when you wake up.

Even if your workplace has a relaxed absence policy, telling your boss that you can’t make it to work can be intimidating. 

And while you don’t want to give away too much information or make the conversation awkward, you also don’t want your boss to think you’re slacking off.

It can be challenging to decide what information to include and what to leave out, as well as the proper procedure for calling or emailing.

But you need the day off because you’re sick, so just read through this article, write an email using the templates as an example, and go back to bed.

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Article Road Map

Writing A Sick Day Email To Get The Day Off

1 Check Your Company’s Protocol About Sick Leave and Time Off

Most employers offer a set number of paid sick days per year, however, you might need to accumulate the time first before you can use it. 

You should check your company’s protocol or employee manual to see if there are any sick leave policies in place or if you need to adhere to any specific company policies.

Use the absence procedure outlined in your company’s manual or your manager’s preferred method of contact. 

For some, this might include notifying your manager at least two hours before your shift, calling in sick rather than sending an email or text, or letting your coworkers and clients know that you’re going to be absent from the office.

For leaves longer than three days, some employers require a doctor’s note, however, some strict employers require a doctor’s note even if you are only going to be absent for one day. 

If you’re unsure of your employer’s policy regarding doctor’s notes, check your employment contract or speak with your manager.

2 Write The Email Early

As soon as you know you won’t be able to report to work, you should write an email explaining your absence or give a call in advance. 

And although a sudden illness or trips to the ER can make work seem unimportant, you still must make a call to your manager as soon as you can.  

3 Write a Brief Straightforward Email 

The following must be mentioned when you call or write a sick day email:

  • The Cause Of Your Absence 

You should list your specific illness along with the primary symptoms that keep you from going to work.  

  • How Long You’ll Be Out Of The Office

For many illnesses, like the flu or a cold, where the worst usually passes in one or two days, this is expected. And you can ask your doctor how long it might take you to recover if you’re unsure of when you’ll return.

  • Mention When You’re Available To Talk

If you can answer questions via email, let your boss know and you can also provide a phone number for emergencies. 

If you’re too sick to respond to emails, be honest and let people know you won’t be available while you’re out of the office.

Indicate Whether Or Not You’ll Be Working 

This rule applies to remote, telecommuting, or senior-level employees who are expected to keep working even when on vacation. 

If you are contagious but not sick enough to require complete bed rest, your boss may permit you to telecommute.

  • Include Documentation Like A Doctor’s Note

Mention any medical documentation you have to support your request for sick leave, such as a prescription or doctor’s note.

  • Identify Your Point Person

So that your manager knows who to contact with questions about your tasks, mention who will take over your current projects and meetings. 

  • A Competent Closing

Your name and a brief closing should be used to close your sick day email.

A condensed version of this email that omits the specifics of your illness and the doctor’s note can also be sent to your team.

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 Let Them Know How Available You’ll Be

You may check your email from home occasionally throughout your sick day thanks to technological advancements.  

On the other hand, you might be groggy from a cold remedy, so inform them you’re too sick to check your email. Inform them if you’re going to check.

If your condition worsens and you decide to stop checking your inbox, you can also say you’ll email them later.

Say Whether It’s Paid or Unpaid

This is particularly valid for hourly jobs or positions at big businesses, where you have to inform your boss if this will be taken from your accrued PTO or sick leave or if it will be considered unpaid leave.

You should also specify which of your personal, vacation, and sick days you are using if your employer makes a distinction between them.

Mention the coworker who will be filling in for you if you are a part-time employee and need to find coverage for your shift. 

Make sure to email your manager as soon as possible if you are too sick to get coverage so they can find someone else to work with.

Give Clear Steps on Whatever You Were Working On

Let your employer know if you have meetings scheduled that you’re thinking of rescheduling or that you’ll find someone to run the meeting for you.

Also, let your boss know if there is someone on the team who can handle your clients or assignments in your place.  

Examples Of Sick Day Email Templates 

These are examples of sick day email templates that you can use:

Example 1 

Hi [Your Boss’s Name],

I’m not going to be able to go to work tomorrow because of a personal illness, so I’m going to use one of my paid sick days to recover. 

I intend to periodically check my email throughout the day, but I’ll let you know if things get too bad and I have to completely disconnect. 

I’ll send [Name of Colleague] an email to ask her to lead the morning check-in meeting I’ve scheduled with the team [and whatever else she needs to help cover].

In case you have any inquiries, kindly let me know. By Thursday, I hope to be back at the office!


[Your Name]

Example 2

Good morning [Your Boss’s Name],

I had a fever when I woke up, so I’m taking a paid sick day to recover and look out for my coworkers.

Following the guidelines in our employee handbook, I’ve already created an out-of-message to ensure that any urgent emails are routed to the appropriate coworkers.

I appreciate your patience and anticipate feeling better soon.


[Your Name]

Example 3

Good day [Your Boss’s Name],

Unfortunately, I got sick this morning, so I’ll be taking the day off to rest and get better. I’ll work as hard as I can, but since [Name of Colleague] is knowledgeable about our current projects, I’ve asked her to serve as the point person for today’s department meeting.

I hope to be back in the office tomorrow, so if you have any questions, kindly let me know.


[Your Name]

Example 4

 Hi [Your Boss’s Name],  

Unfortunately, I felt too sick to enter the office today when I woke up, so I’m going to take a day off without pay to rest and recover. I’ll periodically check my email just in case you or the team have any questions.

In case you have any inquiries, kindly let me know. I intend to return to work tomorrow!


[Your Name] 

Example 5

Greetings [Your Boss’ Name],

I must, regrettably, begin my sick leave on [Date] and take it for [Number of days].

I’ve spoken to the HR department to find out what needs to be done next and what options are available for my PTO, sick leave, and any FMLA benefits. 

According to the employee handbook, they possess the necessary medical certification and a letter authorizing sick leave.

If you’d like to connect, I’m available to talk about my medical leave and what it means for my job in the coming weeks.


[Your Name]

Sick Day Email Tips

If you’ve been extremely ill or caught a deadly virus like Covid 19, don’t go back to work until your doctor gives you the all-clear.

You have to give yourself a few days to catch up on work once you’re back to full strength before scheduling meetings.

You should know mental health days where you have attacks of anxiety, depressive episodes, or emotional exhaustion are still considered sick days. 

If you’re unsure of the specific protocol at your workplace,  you can observe how your coworkers handle sick days.

If you’re sick, send an email to your company using the steps listed here and you can follow any of the templates as a guide.

Have a great day.

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