Sabbatical Leave Letter Sample

What is a sabbatical leave?

A sabbatical leave is a special type of leave that involves a long period absence from the work. Sabbatical leaves are usually granted to university professors and doctors after a certain period of continues service, but it is entirely possible for other type of professions to ask for one if the reasons are valid.

When can you apply for sabbatical leave?

  • If it is part of your contract. Professors and physicians may have a clause in their contract that permits them to leave work for up to one year following seven years of service.
  • If you have worked for a very long time for a company, typically 20+
  • If you have a valid reason (more on the that below)
  • If you are indispensable, then it is very difficult for your employers to reject.
  • If the sabbatical leave supports your work somehow, for example, to attain a higher degree.

Valid reasons to request for a sabbatical leave:

If it is not part of your contract, then you need to present a convincing reason for leaving the office for a very long time. Some of these may include:
  • Illness: depending on the medical condition, staying away from work for treatment or recovery might be required, which makes for a very solid argument especially if you are valuable to the company.

  • Study: many organizations welcome the idea of their staff taking a year off to attain a higher degree to expand their knowledge and expertise. This can be easily justified since learning and development benefits the company.

  • Pregnancy and maternity: there are already laws that give mothers the right to leave pre- and post-delivery, but should you feel you need more time then it is a perfectly good reason. Also, we are still lacking when it comes to the father’s right for a sabbatical. If you are a father, then staying next to your newly born child or pregnant women comprises a sensible argument for extended leaves.

  • Leisure: you may feel that you really need to stay away from work just for the sole purpose of relaxation and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Factors that may affect your request being considered:

    • Your status at the company. Are you indispensable? Are you a valuable asset? If yes, then that is good.

    • How long have you been working for the company? If it is less than ten years, then your request might not be approved.

    • Have you been under a lot of stress for a very long period of time? If yes, then you might be granted a sabbatical as a reward.

    • Have you accomplished something significant for the organization or completed a megaproject? If yes, then there is a good chance that your request will be approved.

    • e. Research, a common reason used by usually by professors and physicians


Sabbatical request checklist

Not down the following information before you begin drafting your letter:
  • Leave start date
  • Expected leave end date
  • Reason for the leave
  • The name and the position of the person who is going to cover for you during your absence
  • Workflow handling in your absence
  • Supporting documents (illness certificate, university acceptance, etc...)

How to write a sabbatical leave request step by step:

  • Introduce yourself and the purpose of the letter
  • Provide a valid reason if needed (if not part of the contract)
  • Present arguments and facts to support your case.
  • Highlight the benefits of the sabbatical to the company. Even there are no direct benefits for the organization, your well-being and dedication are usually enough.
  • Ensure to the company the work will not be affected during your absence.
  • Name the person or group of people who will handle your responsibilities and provide an outline of how work will be conducted while you are away.
  • Show appreciation.

Sample letter for requesting a sabbatical for study

Dear [Recipient Name],

My name is [John Smith] and I have been working in the finance department for the last nine years. I have recently found myself stuck in a loop, doing the same things over and over again. My learning process stopped and I haven’t improved for a while now.

Feeling the need for self-development, I would like to request for an extended leave, a sabbatical, in order to continue my studies and earn an MBA degree. I am committed to [company name] and I am happy to work here. I am planning to resume my work at [company name] once I earn my degree, by then, I will be more knowledgeable, motivated, experienced, and more committed.

I do believe that this move is beneficial for both me and the organization. I am planning to enroll in late September. The whole program takes no longer than nine months, so I should be back by May. I have already spoken to the head of the department and he assured me that coverage is available and that workflow will not be affected much.

I kindly ask you consider my request and I am hopeful that will approve it. Attached with this letter are the program acceptance letter and other related documents for your reference.

Thank you very much.

Best Regards


See Also Leave Letter


Sabbatical Leave Letter Sample