List of reasons for taking annual leave (13 reasons)

In this guide, we will discuss “list of reasons for taking annual leave”, what does annual leave mean, how do you go about asking for it, is annual leave paid or how much are you entitled to are some questions we will answer throughout this blog.

List of reasons for taking annual leave

There are many reasons for taking annual leave. Let’s start by mentioning the reasons why employees should take annual leave and the benefits for their employer:

  • Maintaining employee’s performance
  • Breaking through habits
  • Creativity from play and new experiences
  • Maintaining or improving relationships
  • Find out what they do at work
  • Family commitments.
  • If you are taking care of your health.
  • Taking advantage of the good weather.
  • You are feeling stressed out.
  • Vacation/holiday time.
  • Taking care of your family or home.
  • You are feeling depressed.
  • Due to the death of a loved one.

Reasons to Take a Vacation Leave

Here is a list of reasons why you should take vacation leave any time:

  • Lower Blood Pressure.
  • Increased Creativity.
  • Opportunities to Make New Friends.
  • Lower Stress.
  • Better Overall Health.
  • Need for a Healthier Heart.
  • Weight Loss.
  • A Slimmer Waistline.

We can all relate to being afraid of going for a few days and coming back to an office full of chaos, which can make us feel very stressed and guilty for leaving in the first place but no matter how much we love our job and our company.

The truth is, we all need some time off and a break from all the stress and pressure we endure every day. 

This is one of the main reasons employees forget they are actually legally entitled to take time off.

According to ‘Reed’, “Annual leave is paid time off work that is provided by an employer, which an employee can take for whatever reason they choose.”

Yes, and when we say whatever reason it means you can use it however you want but the whole point is disconnecting yourself from work, even if it is just for a few days.

Stop postponing and start acting. By preparing your holiday in advance, it will give you that “I need time for myself” mentality that will keep growing every day if you actually feed it. 

How much annual leave am I entitled to?

In the UK, workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday a year that may or may not include bank holidays.

However, some employers might even offer a bit more than this.

In addition, the amount of days a worker is entitled to will depend on how often they work per week. For instance:

  • Full-time workers who work 5 days a week must receive a total of 28 days’ paid annual leave per year.
  • Part-time workers who work 3 days a week are entitled to 17 days’ paid annual leave per year.

If you work more than five days a week, you are still entitled to get 28 days paid annual leave per year.

How much holiday can I actually take?

As indicated by ‘Total Jobs’, “every employee in the UK has a basic entitlement of 5.6 weeks annual leave: that’s 28 days every year for full-time workers and pro-rata for part-time employees. The European Union’s Working Time Directive states that employees should be taking a minimum of 20 days leave every year. But the government has since increased the minimum entitlement from 20 days per annum to 28 days in 2009.”

Even though it was a positive increase, it is considered that British workers have the least amount of holiday entitlement than any other country in the EU and it is a bit shocking to know how British employees aren’t taking the time off they are entitled to.

This phenomenon seems to be explained by the fact that the “challenging economic climate” workers have felt compelled to work overtime and take fewer days off.

Employees might think that working more means being more productive but it has the opposite effect.

 “Heavier workloads, tighter deadlines and threatened job security all add to the pressure to perform to the highest standard – even if this means shying away from taking necessary breaks from work.”

Employers should have the responsibility of encouraging employees to take their full holiday entitlement.

However, the reality is that employers even force their employees to work through their holidays because some employers have a business-only mentality where the human resource is not really important but their productivity.

Do I have holiday rights?

Some of us wait impatiently for our next holiday destination or simply yearning for a few days off work (even if we decide to stay at home doing nothing).

However, for most people reaching the end of their leave year and not being able to take their leave because it keeps getting postponed for various reasons. 

However, if this is the case you should write a formal letter to your employer since they could be breaking the law and also try getting advice/support from your union rep if you feel unsure about your rights.

You are actually entitled to have a paid holiday leave, it is your right (legal entitlement) to get a break from work. 

It is good for your health giving you time to come back with more energy and batteries recharged.

In reality, taking a break from work would be something we need and want to feel better but we usually postpone it because we feel guilty for leaving out team on their own before an important presentation or meeting with a client. 

Not taking enough holiday breaks can actually be detrimental to our health since we lose the ability to balance our work life and our personal life.

But why is this? If we are too fatigued or we are pushing ourselves to the limits not thinking about the consequences.

For instance, it is easier to make mistakes when we are too tired and they can be costly or reputation-damaging.

In addition, people don’t actually understand how accidents related to being fatigued are potentially threatening.

Someone working at a factory operating heavy machinery and being too fatigued to operate it can cause long-term damages.

But this, not the only detrimental consequence, if you are married it can also affect your relationship or relationships with other people around you.

How do I request my annual leave?

So you have decided to take your annual leave, so How do you go about doing that?

Well, the process for requesting your leave will actually vary from one company to the other. 

However, it will usually involve asking for your time of using an online HR system or a form that you need to deliver in-person to your line manager or your HR department with specifications about the date you will start and the date of your return.

Your manager most likely will be the one to approve it after you have followed the correct procedure or policy established by your employer.

Remember to give them your request in advice so they can have time to approve it but they can still refuse your leave if they consider there is a valid reason for it.

Always make sure to check your company’s policies and procedures first, before handing your request.

Tips for the workaholic

If you are one of the employees married to your job or who thinks the company will burn or disappear if you are absent for a day or two.

Here are some tips on how to get that time off:

  • Make sure you give your employer plenty of notice to prevent them from having ‘emergencies’ at the last minute.
  • Visualize why this time off is important, not only for you but for the people around you.
  • Plan your holiday in advance by booking flights and making hotel reservations ahead of time, honoring your investment.
  • Try to plan your holiday with friends or family so you feel compelled to avoid letting them down if the occasion arises and you feel like you have to cancel your whole trip.
  • Make a work plan to delegate your work to colleagues before you leave so you will feel more relaxed knowing someone will take care of your duties.
  • Make sure to leave all electronic devices that are related to your work at home so you can actually have some time for yourself and can truly relax without having to get that work-related call when you are taking a mojito at the beach

Annual Leave Reason: Sample Letter 1 

In this Annual leave reason: sample letter, one might find the necessary information that is supposed to be included in any leave letter, that is, the reason for the leave, date of the person’s return, any arrangements that need to be made for the time they are gone, and so on.

Before you hand in your annual leave letter for whatever reason, make sure you talk to your employer or manager about the possibility and inform them that you are going to need time off, so that they are not blindsided, especially if you are working on projects that require your presence of need a replacement if you are gone.

“Subject: Annual Leave Application

Dear Mr./Ms. {Recipient’s Name},

I am writing to inform you that I will be travelling with my family for a period of one month, between {start date} and {end date}.

As my entire quota of annual leave sanctioned by the company is pending, I request you to adjust my leaves accordingly.

As per my prior discussion with my team lead, I have requested my colleague, Mr./ Ms. {enter name} to take over my project while I am on leave. I have already handed over all material regarding the project to him/ her, and expect there to be no exigencies in my absence.

Due to the nature of my travel plans, I may not be available to take phone calls. I request you to address any urgent work-related matters to my email address {enter email ID}.

I will be grateful for a positive reply on my leave request.

Thank and regards,

{Your Name}”

Annual Leave Reason: Sample Letter 2

This Annual leave reason: sample letter consists of a reason for leave many people often cite, and often take leave for, which is illness, and if you are suffering from an illness too, you might be able to use this leave letter sample after changing a few key details.

You need to also keep in mind that if you are requesting an annual leave for the reason of illness, you might need to provide a medical note from a doctor attesting to the same and in most cases this condition is applicable to leaves that are longer than 1 week.


The Manager,

(Insert company name)

Subject: Leave Application due (Insert illness)

Dear Sir/ma’am,

Respectfully, it is to inform you that I am suffering from (Xyz’s illness). I am an employee of your firm for the past (x years). I recently have been diagnosed with a (insert illness). Due to this sudden illness, it would not be possible for me to make an appearance at the office for a month. 

This critical condition has deteriorated my health a lot. I cannot eat properly and have a really bad body rash. It is impossible for me to concentrate on anything. I can attest to have been a dedicated employee and did not take any additional leave from work ever. 

The employee regularity record would serve as evidence of this claim. I would be able to come back after my complete recovery and serve your firm again with the same vigilant and attentive inclination. I hope you take my plea into consideration and allow me a leave of absence for a month. I shall remain indebted to you for this kindness.

Yours Truly,

(Insert name),

(Insert date)”

Annual Leave Reason: Sample Letter 3

This last annual leave reason: letter sample cites another commonly used reason for taking leave, which is personal reasons, and when someone uses this reason they do not need to go into too many details about it in the letter.

However, if you are taking an annual leave for personal reasons it may be wise to talk to your employer before you take the leave, because it may not be acceptable to them for you to cite personal reasons and not give them any inkling of how serious the situation is or if they should expect delays in your return and so on.

“Your Name

Your Address

Your City, State Zip Code

Your Phone Number






City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. [Last name]:

I would like to formally request a two-month leave of absence for personal reasons. If possible, I would like the leave from work to begin on August 1, 2019, with a return date of October 1, 2019.

If approved, I will be staying with family in [Any city] during this time period, and I would be glad to assist with any questions via email or phone whenever possible.

Thank you very much for your consideration.


Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Typed Name”

Best Reason for Leave Application

The best reason for a leave application is usually illness, either yours or a family member’s, however, some other reasons may also be used, like:

  • Taking a break from work to get into a different frame of mind
  • Family time
  • Taking care of your home, catching up on repairs or upkeep
  • Feeling depressed
  • To take care of health, physical or mental
  • Trying to change the habit of working constantly 
  • Improving creativity through relaxation and new experiences
  • Taking advantage of the weather and getting out into nature
  • If you are feeling stressed out
  • Working on relationships and trying to connect with loved ones some more
  • Vacation/holiday time.
  • Religious Reasons
  • Death or grave illness of a loved one
  • Attending a family event like a wedding 
  • Improving your work skills in some way (workshops, classes)

The best reason for leave application always needs to be as honest as possible and if you find yourself in a situation that you think is not explainable to the employer, you need to think about why, because in most cases when someone wants to lie to their employer about taking a leave it might be because they are stressed out about it, which in itself indicates the need to take time off.

Furthermore, even if you use the best reason for a leave application to take time off, you still need to ensure that you talk to your supervisor personally or on the phone before turning in the leave application, because that is usually the best course of action.

Justification for Annual Leave

The justification for annual leave needs to hold merit so that your employer does not feel that you are trying to slack off, and they may also find it easier to justify sanctioning the annual leave when they are sure that you are not abandoning any projects mid way or leaving them stranded.

Annual leave is something that is provided to every employee, and while it is their right, it still needs to have a just cause because otherwise it would affect how work gets done in the office all the time because people might take off just about any time.

Therefore, any justification for annual leave needs to be honest, accurate, and preferably backed up by evidence, like a medical certificate, if the reason for the annual leave is an illness.

Lastly, when trying to provide a justification for annual leave, it is also important that you offer to help out if possible, and if not, it would help your case if you finish your active projects before you go on a leave, and make sure that the time you are absent is not too hard on the workplace.

Reason for Taking Leave

Here are some good reasons for taking leave:

  • Family member being sick (e.g. your husband, mother, father, son, daughter, etc.)
  • Adverse House situations.
  • Relative’s wedding.
  • Accident.
  • Food Poisoning or other illness
  • Needing to prepare for a religious event
  • Needing to take care of a pet
  • Loss or theft.
  • Needing to deal with a personal problem.
  • A relative is leaving the country and you need to help out/see them off
  • A dentist’s appointment.
  • Excessive job-related stress.
  • Bereavement leave.
  • Emergency medical procedure
  • Medical appointment that got moved up
  • Childcare problems

No matter what the reason for taking a leave, the procedure is almost always the same, you need to talk to the employer either on the phone or in person, and follow that up with a letter, either by mail or email, and make sure that you mention all the necessary details in the letter and tell the employer some additional details about why you need time off.

Your letter for leave needs to be polite, concise, professional, and it needs to include details of your leave like when it starts and ends, as well as possible replacements or necessary provisions for work while you are gone, and of course, the reason for taking leave.

Your reason for taking leave is best appreciated when it is true, and you need to always make sure that you tell the truth about your reason, because there is always a risk that your employer will find out that you lied, and in that case you will jeopardize your credibility and your reasons for taking leave in the future will not be received well at all.

How to Ask for Annual Leave?

To ask for annual leave, you may follow the steps below:

  • Talk to your employer
  • If your reason is illness, get a medical certificate from the doctor
  • Try to finish the things you were working on before going on leave.
  • Find someone to fill in, if possible.
  • Draft a leave application and send it in

To ask for an annual leave you need to make sure that you talk to your employer before directly sending the leave application, because it is always best to give them advance notice before you have to go.

If you have to go right away or take an annual leave on short notice, make sure you call about that too, before sending a letter.

A leave application to ask for an Annual leave might look something like this:

“Subject: Annual Leave Required

Dear Mr./Ms. {Recipient’s Name},

I am writing this letter to inform you that I have decided to participate in an Executive Leadership Program in the coming month of {enter month}. This program will be highly beneficial, both at personal and professional levels.

I request you to allow me a leave of absence for a period of {number of days} days, in lieu of my annual leave allowance. I will be leaving for the program on the {Date} and will resume work on the {Date}.

As I will be unavailable for a significant period of time, I have given the responsibility of overseeing my projects to my assistant, Mr./ Ms. {insert name}. He/ she has frequently worked with me in the past, and is well acquainted with my tasks and duties.

In case of an emergency, I will be available at {contact details}.

I look forward to gaining valuable insights on {enter field/domain} upon the completion of my course and put them in use in our upcoming projects.

I hope you will soon sanction my request for the leave of absence.

Yours sincerely,

{Your Name}”

Reason for Applying: Earned Leave

The reason for applying for an earned leave may include illness, family member’s death or home emergency and other personal problems that you may have, and there are many other reasons for an earned leave covered under various work-related laws in different countries.

Earned leaves are usually leaves that kick in when someone has worked in a position for over 240 days, and these leaves are usually calculated in different ways in different countries, and in some places they may also be known as privilege leaves.

The reason for applying for an earned leave can be anything, as it is left to the discretion of the employee, and they can be used for vacation or travel. 

To know when you need a reason for applying for an earned leave, one may use a proper leave management system to track and maintain the records of the used and unused leaves of an employee. 

Before looking for a reason for applying for an earned leave one needs to know how to ascertain if they have earned leaves, and the calculation of earned leaves is done monthly for the entire calendar year. 

In most cases, earned leaves get credited to the employee’s leave account at the start of the calendar year, but the number of leaves the employee is entitled to also depends on the number of months they worked. 

Taking Time Off For Personal Reasons

Taking time off for personal reasons can involve any reason that pertains to the personal life of the individual and needs to be taken at their discretion, and some possible personal reasons for leave may include:

  • Moving houses.
  • Dealing with a family problem, for instance, a divorce.
  • Having a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment.
  • Attending the funeral of a friend or non-dependant relative.
  • Attending a wedding.
  • Someone in the family being ill or injured.
  • Dealing with house renovations.
  • Attending or planning a religious ceremony/event.

Just because taking time off for personal reasons is something that will be done at your discretion does not mean that you should not inform your employer accordingly or make sure that they have some notice if possible, it just means that you can put this reason down in the leave application.

If you are taking time off for personal reasons you can sit down with your employer and tell them some details of why you need time off, without going into too much detail about it, and usually your illness or injury may not fall into this category.

Why is this blog about a list of reasons for taking annual leave important?

We could think about the reasons for taking annual leave and they are all valid.

Whether you need to spend more time with your family or you just simply want to go to your favorite holiday destination and lay on the beach, make sure you leave the “I need time for myself” mentality on, no matter what.

Especially if you keep making excuses not to go and postponing it all the time.

However, deciding you need time off work to yourself and following through is the hardest part for people who love their jobs and keep postponing it.

If you have decided to go that way, make sure you read and research about your company’s policies and procedures on how you should request time off.

This will reduce the chance of having a rejection. In addition, plan in advance and give plenty of notice.  

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about a list of reasons for taking annual leave

What are the reasons for taking leave?

There are many reasons for taking leave but let’s talk about 8 of the totally justifiable:

– Family commitments.

– If you are taking care of your health.

– Taking advantage of the good weather.

– You are feeling stressed out.

– Vacation/holiday time.

– Taking care of your family or home.

– You are feeling depressed.

– Due to the death of a loved one.

Why taking annual leave is important?

Annual leave is extremely important for workers because it can help them reduce stress and increase happiness, which subsequently, means an increase in their productivity, reduced staff turnover and reduced absenteeism due to being sick (sick leave).

Can I take my annual leave when I want?

Employers usually have rules and procedures about when and how you can take leave.

Your employer can tell you when to take your leave but your employer needs to give you at least a few days’ notice (usually 2 days)  for every day they want you to take.

You would also need to ask for your annual leave with a few days’ notice so your employer can make the necessary arrangements.

How much annual leave can you take at once?

There is no minimum or maximum amount of annual leave that you can take at once or at the same time.

If you and your employer agree, you can take half a day, one day or some days/weeks off.

You don’t have to take all your annual leave at once but the amount available to you will depend on the time you have been working for your employer.

What are good reasons to not work?

Good reasons to take time off work include:

– Being sick or needing time for recovery.

– Having a family emergency or a sick relative.

– Home emergency or car trouble.

– The death of a loved one.

– Feeling stressed.

– Being unsatisfied with your job.

– Poor planning.

References “Annual Leave: why holidays are important for employees” “Annual Leave: What you need to know”