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Sabbatical request letter

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This template is used by employees to formally request a sabbatical leave, providing details about the purpose, duration, and any relevant arrangements or commitments.

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10 mins
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What is a Sabbatical request letter?

The purpose of a Sabbatical Request Letter is to formally communicate to an employer or organisation the intention of an employee to take a sabbatical, which is an extended period of time off work for personal, professional, or academic pursuits. The letter serves as a formal request for approval and outlines the details of the proposed sabbatical, including the duration, purpose, and any arrangements made for coverage during the employee's absence.

The key purposes of a Sabbatical Request Letter are:

  1. Formal Notification: The letter serves as a formal notification to the employer or organisation about the employee's intention to take a sabbatical. It ensures that the request is documented and officially acknowledged.

  2. Request for Approval: The letter explicitly requests approval for the sabbatical, seeking the employer's understanding and support for the proposed time off. It allows the employer to review the request and make an informed decision based on the organisation's policies and the employee's eligibility.

  3. Explanation of Purpose: The letter provides an opportunity for the employee to explain the purpose and benefits of the sabbatical. It may include personal or professional development goals, educational pursuits, or other reasons that align with the employee's growth and well-being.

  4. Planning and Arrangements: The letter outlines the planned duration of the sabbatical, including start and end dates. It may also mention any arrangements made for work coverage during the employee's absence, such as identifying a temporary replacement, redistributing responsibilities, or suggesting strategies to ensure minimal disruption to the organisation's operations.

  5. Assurance and Commitment: The letter demonstrates the employee's commitment to the organisation and assures the employer that appropriate measures will be taken to ensure a smooth transition before and after the sabbatical. It may mention the employee's willingness to provide updates, prepare necessary documentation, or participate in any required preparations before leaving.

Overall, a Sabbatical Request Letter serves as a professional and respectful communication tool to initiate a conversation with the employer or organisation about taking a sabbatical. It allows both parties to engage in a discussion, consider the employee's request, and reach a mutually beneficial agreement regarding the terms and conditions of the sabbatical.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
Ideally, no less than your contracted notice period.
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this letter, and to whom?
The Employee to the Employer (you)
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this letter be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom

There are several UK employment law considerations that employers and employees should be aware of when it comes to sabbaticals.

Firstly, there is no legal right to take a sabbatical, and whether or not an employee can take one will depend on the terms of their employment contract and any company policies in place.

If an employee does take a sabbatical, their employment contract may need to be amended to reflect the terms of the sabbatical, such as the length of time off and whether or not it will be paid.

Employers may also need to consider issues such as how the employee's workload will be covered during their absence, and what arrangements will be made for the employee's return to work.

In addition, employees may have rights to certain benefits during their sabbatical, such as pension contributions, and employers will need to ensure that these are maintained during the period of absence.

It is important for employers and employees to communicate clearly and agree on the terms of the sabbatical before it begins, to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Sabbatical request [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],

I am writing to formally request a sabbatical from my position as [Your Position] at [Company Name], effective [Start Date] until [End Date]. The purpose of my sabbatical is to [insert reason for sabbatical, e.g. pursue further education, travel and gain cultural experiences, spend more time with family, etc.]

During my absence, I will not be performing any work for the company, and my position will remain vacant. I understand that my absence will require the company to make appropriate arrangements to ensure that my responsibilities are properly delegated or covered by other team members. I am willing to assist in the transition process prior to my departure, to ensure that the necessary arrangements are in place.

[As per our company policy, I have accumulated [insert number] of paid sabbatical days that I would like to use for this purpose. ]If necessary, I would be willing to take additional unpaid time off in order to complete my sabbatical.

In exchange for the sabbatical, I agree to fulfill certain obligations upon my return to work, including [insert conditions, e.g. returning to my position for a minimum of 6 months, presenting a report on my sabbatical experiences, etc.]. I understand that if I do not fulfill these obligations, the company may require me to reimburse the cost of my sabbatical.

I appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to the opportunity to return to work with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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Sabbatical request letter template
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Sabbatical agreement letter template

Our Sabbatical Agreement Letter template formalises sabbatical terms, providing clarity and structure for employees and the company during extended leaves.

Sabbatical request letter
sabbatical request letter