7 Sick Day Email Templates to Get the Day Off

By Biron Clark


Misc Tips

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Writer & Career Coach

If you need to send a sick day email, then you’re in the right place. This article will show you what to put in your sick-day email… with word-for-word templates and samples that are ready to send. And if you prefer to call in sick to work, we’re also going to cover what to say (and NOT say) when you call in sick on the phone, too.

Let’s get started…

How to Write a Sick Day Email

Steps to follow when you write a sick day email:

  1. Begin by greeting your boss or manager by name
  2. Next, be clear and upfront, and immediately reveal that the purpose of your email is to inform them that you’re not feeling well and you’d like to use a sick day
  3. Be brief and concise; don’t provide excess information. You don’t need to say, “my stomach hurts and I have a fever of 101 degrees”. In fact, providing extra details sometimes makes it less convincing. So keep it simple and say that you’re ill or not feeling well.
  4. Tell them how you’ll be keeping in contact while sick (checking email, checking your cellphone, etc.)
  5. Thank them for understanding
  6. Sign off with your name

Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission: The best way to be convincing when calling or emailing for a sick day is to TELL them you’re ill and cannot come in, rather than asking if it’s okay. Any good boss and company should want you to stay home and recover if you’re sick. Forcing you into the workplace is just going to put other employees at risk of catching your illness.

So don’t leave the door open for them to “push back” by saying something like, “please let me know if this is okay.” It’s usually more effective to tell them that you want to take a sick day and make sure they know that’s not a request. As long as you have sick days to use, a good employer should have no problem with this.

Watch: How to Write a Sick Day Email

Know Your Employer’s/Company’s Absence Routine

Most employers have a specific policy concerning sick leave for employees. Some employers offer a set number of paid sick days that workers can take off each year, while others allow employees to take unpaid sick leave. Some companies prefer you call in sick to work, while others are fine with an email. You’ll want to follow your company’s policy when requesting a day off due to illness.

You should notify your employer as soon as possible when you’re sick — don’t wait until the last minute. That way, they know you won’t be coming in and can assign someone else to your tasks if necessary.

7 Sick Day Email Templates:

Sick Day Sample Email 1:

Hello <Manager Name>,

Unfortunately, I can’t make it in to work today. I have a <flu, cold, cough, etc.>, so I’m going to take the day to rest and recover.

I will be checking emails throughout the day and responding to anything urgent.

I can also be reached on my cell phone: 555-555-5555

Best regards,

Your Name

Sick Day Sample Email 2:

Hello <Boss Name>,

Unfortunately, I woke up feeling sick and I’m not going to be able to make it to work today.

I’ll be checking emails throughout the day and responding to anything urgent, and I can also be reached on my cellphone: 555-555-5555

Thank you for understanding,

Your Name

Sick Day Sample Email 3:

Dear <Supervisor Name>,

Unfortunately, I woke up feeling sick and will be unable to attend work today. I’d like to use a sick day to cover my absence.

I’ll check email throughout the day and continue to keep you updated on my status. Thank you for understanding!


Your Name

Sick Day Sample Email 4 (Paid Leave):

Hello ,

Unfortunately, I woke up this morning feeling very ill. I have symptoms, so I’d like to take the day off to recover and possibly visit the doctor. I plan to use 1 day of my sick leave.

I apologize for any disruption this causes for the team. I’ll check my emails during the day, and you can call me at if something arises that you need immediate help with.

Kind regards,

Sick Day Sample Email 5 (Unpaid Leave):

Hello ,

I’m afraid I’ll need to take today off. I woke up not feeling very well, and I’d like to take the day to rest and recover. I understand that this day will be unpaid per company policy.

You can contact me if an issue arises that you need help with at . 

Best regards,

Sick Day Sample Email 6 (Work Remotely):

Dear ,

Unfortunately, I woke up feeling under the weather today. I have a terrible cold and don’t want to risk getting anyone else sick at the office. Would you mind if I worked remotely rather than coming into the office? Kindly let me know.

Best regards,

Sick Day Sample Email 7 (Indefinite Leave):

Hello ,

Unfortunately, I received a diagnosis yesterday from my doctor. I won’t be able to come into the office until I’ve fully recovered to avoid infecting anyone else.

I will keep you posted and let you know when the doctor clears me to return to work. If anything comes up that you need assistance with, please don’t hesitate to call me at . 

Best regards,

When to Send the Email

Aim to send your sick day email as early as possible in the morning on the day of your work shift. Always send the email before the start of normal working hours, and before your shift was scheduled to start. By letting your supervisor know as soon as possible, they can plan and adjust for your absence. This will make your absence less of a hassle for your boss, which they will appreciate. You should never send a sick day email after your shift was scheduled to begin (unless you absolutely cannot help it).

What to Say When You Call in Sick on the Phone

If you prefer to call in sick rather than send an email, you should ask to speak with your direct supervisor. Once you’re speaking with them on the phone, be clear and direct, and tell them that you’re feeling sick and would like to use a sick day. Then, tell them if/how you’ll be available throughout the day (phone, email, etc.). It’s also a nice gesture to say, “I’ll keep you updated and let you know how I’m feeling before the end of the day.” This makes you seem a lot more responsible and reliable.

Finally, thank them for their understanding.

Less is More: Don’t Feel the Need to Share Every Detail When Calling in Sick

It’s often more convincing to just say you’re feeling ill and are not able to come into the office. You don’t need to say, “I’m calling in sick because I’ve been throwing up, my stomach hurts, and I have a fever of 101.” You can include one or two major details if you want (like, “I have flu-like symptoms”) but leave it at that.

Don’t do any fake coughing on the phone, either. 

It’s tempting to overthink things, especially if you’re not really ill and want the day off for a job interview, etc. But you’re always better off keeping it brief and just providing the essential information.

Don’t Be Shy About Using Your Sick Time

If your employer provides sick days, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about using them. By staying home and recovering, you’re going to be more productive when you return to work. And you’ll avoid the risk of infecting other people in the office with your illness. So you’re doing what’s best for the company when you stay home. Don’t be intimidating about missing work for an illness; it’s normal and natural. It happens.

Just make sure you know your company’s policies and what they allow.

9 More Excuses to Get Out of Work

If you’re not comfortable calling in sick, or you’ve used this excuse too much in the past, then there are other excuses you can use to get out of work.

Here are some of the most effective ideas you can use:

  • Car trouble
  • Needing to be home for an important delivery, repair person, or other crucial one-time events
  • A household emergency such as a burst pipe
  • A family emergency
  • Doctor’s appointment
  • Jury duty
  • Migraine headache
  • Root canal or other necessary dental procedure
  • Taking a mental health day

What To Do Before Returning to Work

Now you know how to call in sick or send an email to get the day off, and you also know plenty of other legitimate reasons for missing work (see the section above if you skipped to the bottom). So enjoy your time off, but be ready to catch up fast when you are back in the office. This is the best way to impress your boss and make them quickly forget about your absence.

By doing great work when you return, you’ll make your boss quickly forget about your brief absence from the business, and you’ll make them much more likely to quickly agree and say, “no problem,” next time you ask for a day off!

It’s also a good idea to reply to one or two emails while you’re absent. Doing this shows that you’re reliable and attentive. So check your emails at night and reply to one or two internal emails if appropriate. That way, your coworkers will see that you were active and involved.

Biron Clark

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1 thought on “7 Sick Day Email Templates to Get the Day Off”

  1. Probably, such formal letters are necessary for big companies. I’ll keep that in mind.
    I’ve never used emails to alert you of illness. Most of the time, I call my boss and tell him in person. But I guess I’m just lucky that in many of the companies where I worked I had not exactly formal relationships with bosses and colleagues.

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