How to Get a Day Off Work

Do you want to find out how to get a day off work? For some reason, you want to get out of work. That is okay, especially after many days of work and completing a demanding project. Your employer requires you to send a request when you want to get a day off. You must provide a convincing reason, or at least know how you can properly request time off for your manager to approve the request.

Some employees willingly give up requesting a day off. You may not be one of those, but let’s find out why it’s rampant for employees to avoid seeking at least a day off work from their accumulated time.


Why Are Employees Not Taking Their Day Off?

how to get a day off work

Kimble Apps’ research on 1,200 workers in the US identifies four ways people rationalize forgoing their day off. 

  • Returning to work means more work. 27% of surveyed employees say that many projects or deadlines keep them from asking for time off. Over 13% fear they’ll return to too much work after a day off from work.
  • Some managers reject day off request.19% of the surveyed employees say that they’ve felt pressured by their employer or manager to overlook taking their time off work.
  • Employees still work despite an approved day off. 48% of employees in the survey say that they proactively check in on work while on vacation. 19% report that they check in on work every day, meaning an employee may spend several hours checking up on the job during a day off. 29% of employees say they do so periodically and more than 29% are expected to be available for emergencies, and another 9% say that they are expected to check in regularly.
  • Employees think that a day off work affects their professional life. 14% of the respondents think that employees are more likely to succeed and advance in their careers when they do not take all of their time off. 19% say that they would give up their vacation time for an entire year if it means securing a promotion.

With these considerations in mind, you would want to give it a second thought before writing or asking your manager for a day off work, especially if it’s due to your hangover after a few bottles with the boys last night.


How to Get a Day Off Work

In this section, you will learn the tips to get off work for a day. It is easier when you follow the appropriate steps and understand the company’s policy.

Below are the steps regarding how to get a day off work:

  1. Consult the PTO Policy of the Company

First, review the vacation policy of the company where you work. Many companies have particular request policies that allow you to take a day off work. Suppose a company has a limit on the number of leave days per year. You may be allowed a day off and may be able to use one of your available days to get out of work.

You should also find out the PTO hours or days you have before you request a day off. As a new employee, ensure that you are eligible to use these leave hours or days before making your request. Some companies may ask you to wait till your probation period to be able to request a vacation for a day.


What if you used up your vacation time, or the current situation does not allow time off work? You are still able to take an unpaid day off. Consult your employee handbook or ask your HR to educate you on the vacation policy of the company.

  1. Review the Company’s Calendar

If you have a flexible request, ensure to review the company’s calendar to determine if the day you want off work conflicts with other special events.

The best time to request a day off is when you do not have many projects or tasks to complete. Avoid asking for a day off during a tight work season.

Ensure that the day you want off is okay with your supervisor and the company to increase the chance of approval. Suppose you complete a large project, or the company does not expect bulky work on a particular day. It makes an excellent time to request a day off. For example, an accountant who wants a day off in spring may have to wait until a day in April to request because of the busy tax season.

  1. Send Your Request Following the Company’s Guideline

Find out the correct way to ask for a day off before making your request. Some companies may accept in-person requests while others require a written statement. If your company requires a written statement, they may have an online timekeeping portal to submit your request for approval. You may also have to submit the written statement in person.

Find out how far in advance the company expects you to give your request. Depending on your company, you may have to request a time off after a week’s notice. Some managers require at least a month in advance if the situation is not urgent.

The notice period will also depend on the length of time you want off. In this case, you need just a day off, and it could be an urgent reason, which may require a few days or a week of notice.

  1. Request Instead of Telling

There is a difference between making a request and telling. If the season’s task is less demanding, your manager will most likely approve your request to get off work for a day. Instead of telling your manager that you are taking a day off, ask them whether the time you have selected for the vacation is acceptable. You can also include in your request that you decided on the date after reviewing it so that it does not affect the team. Inform the manager that you are available to answer questions while you are away from work.

  1. Give a Concise and Convincing Reason

It is necessary to provide a reason to get a day off. Your manager also wants to know your general plans for taking a day off. If you are making an excuse, you want a believable excuse that persuades the manager to approve the request without a second thought. You do not necessarily have to tell your manager the exact reason for asking to leave for a day.

For example, you could mention that you plan a family reunion or that your child is sick. As you read further, you will find believable reasons to get out of work for a day.

Excuses to Get a Day Off Work

In most cases, to get a day off from work, good excuses can get the job done. Below are the excuses to get a day off work:

  1. “I will be answering to an emergency family problem.”

You can use family problems as an excuse to miss work for a day. Although it is a believable excuse to get a day off, your manager may ask for more information. You may explain what the issue is if you are comfortable. Otherwise, give your manager a vague explanation. You can say that the problem affects a family member and that you would like to respect the person’s privacy by not going into detail.

  1. “I have personal issues I won’t feel comfortable discussing.”

Since it is only a day off, you can tell your manager that you have personal problems you are comfortable discussing in the workplace. You can always add more details to hint to the manager about your problem. For example, you can say that you are overwhelmed by a recent happening. It could be heartbreak with your significant other.

However, instead of discussing detailed information, you generalize by stating that you have personal problems that affect your productivity. Typically, your manager will approve the request without further questions. If your boss asks about it, you can politely respond that you are sorry and do not feel comfortable sharing it at the moment.

  1. “I lost a family member.”

A deceased family member is an acceptable excuse to get off work even more than a day. Your company may have a bereavement policy that lets you go away from work for a couple more days. You have to explain that you have a close relationship with the deceased to make your excuse firm.

If possible, elaborate on your explanation. Most employers require detail, but you can choose to remain vague about it.

Meanwhile, you might be interested in how some employees make a fake obituary to get out of work. They would typically claim the deceased is not a close family member to secure a day away from work. You may be able to present a fake death certificate to back your claims.

  1. “I am sick.”

A recent Career Builder study shows that 40% of employees have called in sick when they were not. Employers caught 43% of employees lying about being sick through their social media posts. 38% of employers checked up on a sick employee, and 26% fired an employee for using a fake excuse to get out of work.

Sickness is one of the most common excuses to get a day away from work for a day. Most of the time, the employer will question you for calling in sick. In extreme cases, they may request a doctor’s note, mainly if you used a sickness excuse many times.

You do not have to feel extremely sick to use it as an excuse to get off work for one day. The slightest sickness feeling under the weather is enough to ask to miss or leave work. Ensure that your colleagues do not learn about your sickness, perhaps until your day leave is approved.

  1. “I will be receiving a home delivery I have to inspect.”

You can tell your company that something will be delivered to your home and that you are in a position to receive it. Besides, it is a day off, and not many tasks to complete on this day.

Your excuse can be that you will be receiving a piece of furniture, important paperwork, a classified package, etc. You can further convince your supervisor by explaining the importance of the item. Tell your company why you must receive the item from home. You can say that it is a large piece of furniture. If it is paperwork, explain to your boss that you will have a lengthy discussion with the person.

On rare occasions, you may be asked to confirm the delivery time and then asked to work a half-day only. You can still take the entire day off by explaining to your manager that you are not sure of the delivery time.

  1. “Schools closed in my area, and I have to babysit the children.”

School closure excuse in your area is enough reason to skip work for a day. Explain to your manager that you could not find a last-minute babysitter, meaning you have to care for your kids and find a babysitter for them.

  1. “I have to address my home maintenance problem before it gets worst.”

Home maintenance is a good excuse to get out of work for a day. Your reason could be that you have a leaky bathroom faucet, your basement is flooded after heavy rain, or you have a broken air conditioner.

Your manager will be worried that someone else can handle the task. Explain that nobody is home at the moment. Do not exaggerate the problem, but explain that it could worsen if you do not address it immediately.

  1. “I have an appointment with the doctor.”

You can tell your manager about a scheduled doctor’s appointment you need to keep for your health. Try to be specific about the appointment. You can say that it is a scheduled eye exam or health checkup. Ensure to remain vague throughout your explanation. Depending on your company, you may be asked to submit a doctor’s note to verify your claims, especially if you have used this excuse many times in the past.

  1. “I have an appointment with the bank.”

You can use the excuse of meeting your bank to investigate suspicious activity on your bank account. Of course, your employee would not want to stop you from rectifying an account issue with your bank. You can complement this excuse by presenting a fake bank statement to get a day off work.

A Day Off Work Request Template/Sample

The sample template below explains how you can request a day off work:

Sample 1

Dear [Name],

I have a vacation day available and would like to use it on [date]. I would be [reason(s) for requesting a day off].

I reviewed the team schedule and should be [mention what the project you would be rounding off]. Would it be okay to use my vacation day on [date of the day off]? I can be available virtually when the company needs me for quick questions.

I would not mind a conversation in person.

Thank you.


Sample 2

Hi [Name],

I am writing you to request a day off on [date] because [reason]. I will happily discuss my reason with you in person if you request.

After reviewing my team’s task, we do not have significant deadlines or presentations to give on [date of the day off]. I would not mind using my vacation hours toward my day off to [reason for the day off]. I am anticipating your kind response.

Thank you,

[Your name]

Bad Excuses When Requesting a Day Off Work

Do not use the following excuses if you want a day off at work:

  • “I have a job interview.”
  • “I’m unhappy at work.”
  • “I don’t feel like working on this day.”
  • “I have a date.”
  • “I need to discuss business with my client.”


Can I get fired for not answering my phone on a day off?

Yes, you can get fired for not answering your phone on your day off. While some employers respect your time off, others can abuse the employment laws that allow them to contact you while you are away. When your employer calls, do well to answer the phone. If you do not answer the phone immediately, you can give them these believable excuses for not answering your phone.

How soon is too soon to take a day off?

Less than three months at your new workplace is too soon to take a day off. This period is still your assimilation, training, and development in your new role. You do not want to start on a questionable mark, except your explanation for leaving work for that day is reasonable. You can include proof to make your request healthy.

Can my employer deny me a day off?

An employer can deny you a day off work if your explanation is not reasonable. Secondly, if you have requested a day off too many times, it declines the chance that the company will approve your day off request. Provide a brief explanation and emphasize the importance of getting out of work for that day.

Is it okay to ask for a day off?

Yes, it is okay to ask for a day off. However, if you have asked for a day off too many times, it is not okay to add to the number. Your reason must be acceptable. Keep your explanation as vague as possible, and do not give a sudden notice too often. Inform your employer at least 24 hours to the date you want a day off, except for sudden circumstances.

A day off work is good for many reasons, including your mental health. However, lying about it might ruin your integrity at work.

Family Instructor
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