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6 Templates for How to Ask Your Employer for Bereavement Leave

6 Templates for How to Ask Your Employer for Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave might be a common excuse for seeking an absence from work. It is also one of the safest and most popular ways to ask for time off. However, it doesn’t make it easy to make the request.

The question of how to ask for bereavement leave is in many employees’ minds. If you’re currently wondering how to ask for bereavement leave from your boss or HR manager, we have a few solutions for you below.


Some things to note before asking for bereavement leave:


01Your employers’ known position on bereavement leave.
Some forms of absence are known to be common and easily approved in the workplace, such as a leave of absence due to injury or illness.
Other types of reasons are not always tolerated. In some businesses, bereavement leave is considered among the reasons that are not easily accepted.
If you must seek bereavement leave officially, you should find out if your company even allows it. It helps to know if you’ll get permission to take time off before you embarrass yourself by asking.
If the company rules on bereavement leave are restrictive, then you should tweak the content of your request speech or letter to increase your chances of success.


man wearing black blazer sitting at desk with papers
Photo by Johanna Buguet on unsplash


02Who exactly will you be talking to?
In most companies, you have to approach the human resources’ department to seek approval for a leave of absence.
On the other hand, smaller companies tend to require the boss to handle such matters.
So, you should find out who the boss or HR person is, before making your request. You will want to ask the following questions:
Is the person understanding?
Or, is the person authoritarian on such issues?
Knowing who you’ll be asking should help you frame your request in a better way. 


03Have evidence of your reason for bereavement leave.
Much like requests for sick days, some employers require evidence of loss of your recently deceased ”relative” before they will grant you a few days off.
Assuming that you truly have a funeral to attend, you should have some evidence to show your employer, should he/she request it.
Note that some employers might also have specific requirements as to how close the deceased family member is to you.
You should identify any other excuses that your employer may use to refuse your request. Then, you’ll want to prepare responses for them in advance.


kaoru bag white yuri beaded formal bag

Photo by momo105 on photo-ac


04What is the current situation at work?
Most companies have very busy moments at particular times of the year.
For this reason, you’ll need to read the current situation in your workplace before making your request. If it’s a busy time for the company, your bereavement leave request may be denied by a more profit-minded employer.
Even a less authoritarian employer may refuse your request for a few days off. You can avoid all of this by understanding the current situation and tweaking your leave request.
Choosing a better moment can dramatically improve your chances of getting the needed time off.


05Consider your priorities.
On a personal level, you should consider your priorities before making your request public to your boss or the HR person. You should ask yourself if it is better to take bereavement leave or to stay at work.
You should make your choice based on which priority is bigger at the moment, and you should also think about what option is going to cost you the least (in terms of consequences or lost wages).
In some cases, the window for attending the funeral is very small. Some funerals are held on another continent, and it could require you to do some extensive traveling on very short notice. Sometimes, going to a funeral can be very expensive for your budget as well.
On the other hand, your presence at work could help a major deal go through or help the business get through a difficult time. It could even score you a promotion.
For this reason, you’ll need to think through all of the possible outcomes before making the decision to ask for bereavement leave.


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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on unsplash


How to ask for bereavement leave: when asking the boss


01Mr. Powell, I am here to request three days off for bereavement leave. I know how busy the company is at the moment, but I can’t find a way around this situation.
My family carries out a series of ceremonies for the dead as per our culture, and I cannot be absent from them.


01 man and woman in black funeral clothes

Photo by buri on photo-ac


02Hello boss, I don’t mean to bother you, but is it possible to get two days off of work? It’s for bereavement leave for a very complicated situation.
A relative that I am very close to has died, and I’ve got to be there for the burial in New Jersey. I’d really be grateful if you could give me a few days off for this.


03I hope you’re not too busy right now, sir.
In the wake of the recent tragedy with my sister and her family, I am humbly requesting for some time off to attend to the burial duties.
It is also important that I be there during this difficult time with my family. We are all grieving at the moment.
I won’t stay away too long, and I hope it’s not too much of an inconvenience for me to be absent for just a few days.



04Mr. Andrews, I am here to formally seek bereavement leave for two days. I am here because I’ve spoken to HR, and the representative told me to speak to you about the situation so that you may make the final decision.
Only a few days would be necessary for this, and I’ll be back to my desk in no time, sir. I promise.


04 woman in gray blazer smiling on woman in black while holding pen
Photo by buri on photo-ac


05Sir, I am sorry to call you so suddenly, but I really need your help. I am on my way to Ohio because of a relative’s sudden passing. I’d like to request for official bereavement leave from you, even though I’m already on the road.
I wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. I know this will cause an inconvenience for you, so I intend to get back to work as quickly as I can.


06Sir, thank you for seeing me. I just wanted to seek your approval and get your signature for a few days of bereavement leave.
My family is holding a funeral tomorrow in Juneau, Alaska. It’s for a treasured relative, and I have to be there for my family.
It’s also a bit of a drive, so I’ll need to head out as quickly as possible. Your approval is all I need before I leave.


empty road with trees on the side and mountain at the front

Photo by Joris Beugels on unsplash


How to ask for bereavement leave: when asking HR


07Miss Latham, I am here to formally request a short leave of absence to attend my father’s funeral this weekend.
I understand that the company allows employees to have some time off in case of such emergencies, and I’d like to make use of that privilege now. Thank you in advance.


businessman stressed holding his head sitting

Photo by acworks on photo-ac


08Mr. Bernard, good morning sir. This is Amy Georges from accounting. I am calling to make a formal request for a few days of bereavement leave.
Sadly, my foster mother passed on last night from complications due to breast cancer, and I need some time off to grieve with my family. I intend to update my department manager as well. Thank you in advance for understanding.


09Mr. Allen, I have received some bad news. My grandfather, with whom I was very close, has died at the Mount Gregory Medical Hospital.
I am here to request a three-day bereavement leave to attend his funeral and take care of other family duties. Would it be possible to get this request for time off approved?


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Photo by Jonathan Borba under pexels license


10Mr. Hunt, I’m wondering if you could tell me what I need to do to apply for bereavement leave?
I’m asking because I’ve lost someone very close to me, and I would like some time off to process the loss. I also need to deal with the last rites’ ceremonies. Do I need to file some paperwork before leaving the office today?



11Dear Madam Green, I am writing to make a very delicate request. I’m not in the office at the moment, which is why I am writing you instead of coming to your office directly to speak with you about this.
I am in Syracuse, NY. I came here over the weekend to visit a relative who was unwell.
Unfortunately, this relative passed on a few hours ago. Therefore, I am requesting that you give me a few days off to deal with this situation.
I will complete any necessary paperwork when I come back to the office next week. Thank you in advance.


man using his macbook on the desk near the window
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator under pexels license


12Sir, I need a few days off of work to attend a funeral back home.
I understand that these are busy times for the company, so I won’t be away too long. If you need me to provide any evidence or paperwork, I am can do that immediately.



Getting bereavement leave may seem easy, but it’s not always the case. Firstly, you need to understand the situation at work before you make a request. Then, you need to tread accordingly.
Then, you have to know how to ask for bereavement leave as effectively as possible, which isn’t easy for everyone.
For your next attempt, you can learn how to ask for bereavement leave like a professional by using some of the samples described above.