What is a Medical leave of absence Letter?
A medical leave of absence letter is a written document that informs your employer that you require some time off for medical issues that cannot otherwise be addressed while juggling work demands. Like all other letters to employers, the letter is formal and concise and includes the reason for the medical leave.
According to the FMLA earlier mentioned, medical leave of absence may also be requested for individuals are not medically challenged but are responsible for a family member that is; thus – the medical leaves of absence may be used for any of the following reasons:
- To address a serious health condition that impairs them from performing the essentials of their job.
- To attend to the serious health condition of a child, parent, or spouse. (A serious health condition in this case shall mean a disabling physical or mental illness, injury, or impairment which requires In-patient care in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, Constant in-home care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.
- To address maternal/paternal concerns associated with the birth of a child or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
- A medical leave of absence may also be taken in association with a death in the immediate family. “Immediate family” shall mean spouse, children, parents, grandchildren, grandparents, or persons bearing the same relationship to the spouse. The term shall also include brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law.
Why Medical Leave of Absence Letter?
It is often said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
There is very little to dispute this.
Neither life, nor any of its spontaneously occurring situations seems to play according to the rules; and somehow, more often than we like to – we are broken out of comfortable routine to satisfy the demands of her shenanigans.
When life happens, you find that you often have to drop everything and attend to it; even work takes a halt – and it is only polite that you inform all those whom your absence will affect that you would need some time away in the form of requesting for a leave of absence (except in the case where you have no intention of returning). The leave of absence, may be for a variety of reasons; the birth or adoption of a child, relief from excessive job stress, to the pursuit of a hobby, or a desire to travel and/or most tragically, death or family/ personal health problems.
Thankfully, a federal act that was passed in 1993 to attend to matters such as this, and it applies to the entire United States of America – the act – FMLA (which stands for ‘Family and Medical Leave Act’) provides that an ‘eligible’ employee is entitled to a minimum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave due to serious illness of self or a family member.
What Is The Difference Between A Medical Leave Of Absence And Sick Leave?
The major difference between a Sick Leave and a medical leave of absence is that a Sick Leave may be taken by an individual when required and could be for any illness at all. The medical leave of absence on the other hand only applies in the case of serious illnesses like cancer, etc. ( It would not be applicable if a day off is required to recover from a cold or flu).
Very often, employers have their own regulations that govern the terms of sick leaves provided by them to the employees – however, the regulations that governs medical leave of absence is the FMLA which guarantees the terms on which the medical leave of absence is issued.
Components of A Medical Leave Of Absence Letter
There are various components that make up any formal letter. The leave of absence letter is not exempted from these components –
Dates (For Everything)
The medical leave of absence letter must contain the dates within which you are requesting to be allowed off work – this would require that you confirm the date and length of time so that the information provided would be accurate. It is also good practice to mention the date that you hope to begin the leave and the date that you would resume work; this would make your employer’s task of reassigning your duties easier.
Details Of The Medical Condition –
While some might consider this negligible, it might be important to include these details if the leave of absence is to be approved. It would also help in garnering support in the duration spanning the medical treatment or procedure – it is hard enough to deal with a medical challenge, it doesn’t hurt to ask for help.
A Way That Your Duties Would Be Performed in Your Absence –
The truth is you will be missed. If not for anything else, you will be missed for providing the services for which you were hired in the first place. It would rub off well on your employer if you thoroughly consider an alternative means by which these tasks could be performed in your absence, an assistant or a temp. Staff may just fit the bill. If these do not apply, it may be a good idea to suggest that you finish the most recent tasks assigned you before leaving.
Proof Of The Medical Condition
This requirement particularly helps to curb fraudulent activities of some employees.
You will be required to provide evidence of the medical condition that warrants the need for the leave of absence, this could be in form of a doctor’s report – which should be duly signed and stamped, and may also include X-rays, scans and test results that reflect the severity of the medical condition.
Tips an Applicant Should Consider –
- It is important to research your companies policies on medical leave of absence because a few terms may vary with different organizations – this should be done prior to scheduling a discussion with your employer; and see if your situation is addressed under the companies policy.
It does not hurt to also know a few details about your rights as are provided by the 1993 FMLA act. You must know them and demand them.
- Word spreads fast in an office environment, so in order to make sure your boss doesn’t feel slighted, it is best to talk to him/her first before discussing it with anyone else. It is also important to start the process with your most immediate supervisor – it would be impolite and embarrassing somewhat, if they have to hear about it from a senior colleague, and may jeopardize your chances of getting the leave approved.
- Also, provide your employer with as much advance notice as possible as it will make it easier for your employer to make arrangements for a reassignment of tasks.
- Planning your finances prior to filing your request will assure you the ability to pay your bills for the duration of the leave without the normal cash flow your job provides – if you have doubts, you may consider either of the following;
- If the medical condition allows it – consider applying for a partial leave. A part time proposal may be more feasible to your employer and also help you maintain a much more stable cash flow (even though you have entitlements as provided by the FMLA act)
- If you are caring for a family member, you may consider requesting a temporary work from home arrangement rather than a full leave might be appropriate for your situation. Or, perhaps you work from home for four days out of the week, and come in one day for a weekly check-in or you come in for meetings.
- Plan your next steps prior to submitting your request. If your request is denied (which is highly unlikely in this instance) will you need to leave your job permanently?
Sample Formal Medical Leave Of Absence Letter
Below is a sample of a medical leave of absence letter which can be easily altered to suit any specific need; hopefully, this would provide a template for what you require –
Administrative Assistant – A.B.C Incorporated
123, Alphabet Lane
New OldLands, LA, 56789
September 1, 2020
Administrative Manager – A.B.C Incorporated
123, Alphabet Lane
New OldLands, LA, 56789
Dear Mr. Royce
APPLICATION FOR MEDICAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE
I am writing to request for three weeks of medical leave to have minor surgery done on my lower back. I will have my procedure on September 15, 2020 and I intend to the office on October 6, 2020. The successful completion of this procedure will relieve pain that has inhibited my movements for several years. Enclosed you will find all of the necessary doctor and human resources paperwork required for this sort of a leave.
I am already in the process of completing all of my projects that will due prior to my leave and I am working closely with colleagues to make sure that my responsibilities are covered during my absence without any inconvenience to you.
This procedure will allow me to focus better on my work and become much more productive over the course of a day.
I have attached a few documents as evidentiary proof to my claims, kindly let me know if you require additional information.
Thanks in anticipation of your favorable response.
A formal email may suffice in some instances, here is a sample of an email requesting the medical leave of absence –
Subject: Medical Leave of Absence Request
Dear Manager’s Name,
This email is accompanying my medical leave of absence application to inform you that I am requesting sick leave for three weeks ( from DATE to DATE) I will resume work on (DATE) I have injured my back in an automobile accident and have been requested by my doctor to take a three-week treatment. Attached is a copy of her instructions.
I understand the need to find a substitute administrative assistant, and I have gone over, and put in order necessary documents that would aid to carry out their duties with ease.
Kindly let me know if you require any additional information.
Thank you for your kind consideration of my request.
List of Attachments