Free Printable Time off Request Forms & Templates (Word / PDF)

request off work form

A time off request form is used by an individual to formally ask their employer for days off from work. This document contains all the details of the request including a specific reason for the absence, type of request, and more. With the help of this form, managers can manage time off requests effectively.

What is the Time off Request?

A time off request is a formal request that an employee makes to take time off or day off. The reasons behind the time off are different varying from holidays and personal time to medical leave and jury duty. Also, there is time off request forms available that are professional tracking documents. These forms keep a record of employees’ leaves.

What Things Need to be included in the Time off Request?

The accurate contents depend on your company’s requirements and the country you work in. But the basic things include such as employee and his manager’s name, date and time he wants to take off, the reason behind his time off (holiday, medical, personal, or etc), and his signature.

What to include in your time off request form?

Making time off request form requires a lot of thought. It’s up to you whether you can download resources online and use them as a reference, or you can begin from scratch and create your own form for your organization. You must include some essential elements in your form to make it effective. Below are the essential things required on the request for time off form;

  • Dates or hours of the requested leave. Ensure to fill in the requested days off.
  • Note down the total number of days.
  • Keep in mind how far in advance the request for time-off is made
  • The method of requesting the time-off
  • You must include the request date and approval or denial date
  • The signature of the supervisor who approved or denied the request
  • The signature of the employee

Other essential elements to include are the following;

  • As a reminder, include in a section to record the dates on the employee calendar as well as the payroll system to differentiate paid time-off versus unpaid time-off.
  • For different time offs, different processes may be involved. These contain the following;
    1- Specify whether the time off is paid or unpaid
    2- Indicate that someone calling in might require a different process than a salaried worker.
  • For this kind of form, there is no standard format. But, the ones that are found online are the same to each other. The reason behind is that the purpose of the form is similar.

What is the importance of having a time off request form?

Let us discuss a few important reasons for having a time off request form;

  • For the employees, the form keeps a record of their time off days spent and remaining time off days. For the employers, the form helps to identify which employee is requesting time-off days constantly.
  • If an employee gets fired, they use this form to get accurate information on how much an employer owes them.
  • The time off request form enables the employer to reschedule or hire personnel to temporarily fill up the slots of the employees who are on leave. In most cases, the employer shuffles the employees to maintain manpower needs.

What are some instances when an employee may request time off?

Employees may request time off in the following instances;


Employees who are sick get paid sick leaves from their companies. Usually, they take sick leave to care for sick family members.


An appropriate time to ask for time off is when you are sustaining a major injury that needs rehabilitation or results in immobility.


Requesting time off would be appropriate when an employee needs time to grieve the death of a loved one.

Family care

Employees can request time off to act as a caregiver when an employee’s spouse, child, parent, or another family member gets injured or sick.


Maternity leave is granted to female employees when they are pregnant and their doctor suggests they take rest.


When an employee hasn’t used their vacation days for a year, they request time off to go on a vacation.

How to manage time off requests?

Likewise the salary, the workforce views the perks and benefits of a prospective job. Never make the mistake of restricting time off policies. Time off is an essential part of the common employee. When you post too many restrictions on time off, then during peak time vacations you would either struggle to get deserving applicants or to retain employees or to stay fully staffed.

Here are some tips that will assist you in managing time off requests;

From the start, ensure to communicate your time off policies

As soon as employees are hired, the employers have to inform them of their time-off policies. The following two results will happen without the knowledge of the time-off boundaries;

  • The newly hired employees will ask other employees regarding the boundaries of time-off policies. As a result, this may lead to resentment among other employees.
  • Since the uninformed employees do not know the boundaries, they will be hesitant to ask out of fear that their request for time-off will be denied. Eventually, this may lead to frustration.

For requests, a deadline must be in place

Also, it is important to regulate the time off requests of employees. For time offs, specific businesses could not afford a deluge of requests particularly those involved during high-intensity seasons. Too much time off would spell disaster in some businesses.

The employer needs to set a deadline for filing the time off in order to avoid the filing of time offs during these times. Moving further, when requests come in, you may also set a time frame for them. Some employees have annoying habit of filing requests for next year. It has a clear disadvantage for employees who haven’t been hired yet.

Furthermore, this notice should be announced to all employees at the same time. This is essential because in case time off requests are submitted at the same time, it will provide the employer time to decide on who will be granted the time off.

Try to use employee rewards during peak business times

Employees usually dislike those employers who stick strictly to the rules. Rewards usually work on a reluctant force for schedules that require sacrifice.

For your employees, give a rotating schedule

The top ten complaints of employees have been compiled by a Survey conducted by HR Solutions and favoritism is rearing its head in number one. There are always employees who can charm their way to get what they desire in all business establishments.

Monitor all the previous requests that have been created

It would be so easy with the help of forms to keep track of the time-off requests of employees. Certainly, it is tedious to read out all these requests but it will provide you a view on employees’ time-off patterns.

Recommend trading shifts or days

Emergencies would happen inevitably. To resolve the predicament, the employer will have to have some flexibility. Allowing employees to trade shifts/days is the best solution to do this. The employees need to agree among themselves the shift in work days. Also, it dispels the idea that in granting emergency leaves the employer is showing favoritism.

It isn’t complicated to manage time of requests. Basically, it is an efficient tool of defined policies, flexibility on matters of emergencies, and avoidance.

How to use a time off request form?

The time off request form is an efficient tool used by the employer to keep record of his employees requested vacation and sick leaves. This document contains information that will give employer’s data to be used in adjusting work hours. This way, there won’t be a shortage of manpower. At the same time, for employees, the form makes an easy tool to request for their appropriate leaves.

This form can be used in the following cases;

  • The employer doesn’t contain a pre-existing form.
  • Small business employers have to give the employees all important forms they might require
  • You are working in Human Resources.

It is important to fill up the form. Always, it will be at the discretion of the employer for its approval or denial. You doesn’t as a priority by having so many accumulated vacation time. Whether it be vacation, special event or personal, filling out and submitting the form is the best way for employers to keep track of employee leaves. This form will tremendously assist in keeping things organized.

How to Ask for Time off?

Here are different tips for asking for time off from work;

  1. Firstly, plan a suitable time to ask for time off. Don’t ask for time off during the high-volume business cycle.
  2. Asked at a good time when your work is under control and well managed.
  3. You have to plan your time in advance whenever possible
  4. Then, put your request in writing. Especially, an email to your manager is sufficient.
  5. Keep your tone formal and it’s just a request not a demand. Moreover, don’t state your vocational plans to getting approval from your manager or supervisor.
  6. And state how your responsibilities are going to be handled in your absence.
  7. Before going take a catch-up. Avoid leaving your colleagues with a ton of work. This is because you weren’t up to date with it when you left.
  8. Inform everyone about your responsibilities who needs to know. Furthermore, your clients and customers have to know who will accommodate their needs in your absence.
  9. Planning your absence well will help you in the future to get time off next time.

Creating a time off request form:

Use updated technological methods to create and organize time-off request forms;

Mobile and email applications

Ask your employees to use phone apps and email applications to request time off. Also, ask them to secure those dates immediately on the electronic work schedule of a company. This makes sure that their time-off requests are confirmed.

Online request form

You can easily fill out electronic filing systems by using online forms. Make use of an online software program that has prebuilt templates to create them easily. You can also take the help of the IT department to create a tailored time-off request form.

Company-wide notice

After creating the form, you should make sure that all employees understand how to use it properly. Make a tutorial video and stored it on your intranet or in an electronic memo.

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How Far in Advance Time off Requests Have to be Made?

It all depends on how an organization/company makes its schedule and how much advance notice is necessary to incorporate requests. For most businesses, a minimum of two weeks’ lead time is a good initiative point. Moreover, you can change it to fit your specific needs. You can also set a certain date every month after which requests will not be accepted. This thing gives you a lot of time to get everything worked out.

How do Organizations Manage time-off Requests Fairly?

Below there is how to make time off request policy that works for everyone;

1- At first, you have to discuss the time off policies with your employees at the beginning.
2- Next, set a deadline every month after which requests will not be accepted.
3- Then, announce rewards for employees who want to work during holidays, weekends, and other peak times.
4- Now, create a rotating schedule for each employee. It’s a fair way to manage requests.
5- Keep the track of previous time off requests of employees. This includes that when they made requests, why they requested it, and the real-time off.

Who handles time off requests in a company?

Human resources staff handles time-off requests because they are specialized in employee and workplace relations.

Can your employer deny the request for paid time off?

The employer can deny the request for paid time off if your request is against company policy. If too many employees are taking a vacation at the same time then it also becomes the reason for denial.

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