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Reasons for half day leave (9 best reasons)

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In this blog post, we are going to discuss reasons for half-day leave, factors that may help or hurt your chances of getting a half-day leave, and some good and bad reasons to take a half-day leave.

What are some reasons to take a half-day leave?

Below are some common reasons that you can use to take a half-day leave:

  • Personal reasons
  • Religious events
  • Doctor’s appointment 
  • Family emergencies 
  • Work commitments
  • Parental duties
  • Death in the family or loss of a loved one
  • House emergency 
  • Personal illness or injury 

Factors that affect your chances of leaving early

Getting out of work early is normal when you have valid reasons. But certain circumstances can make it easier or harder for you to get your manager’s approval. Here’s why:

  • The culture at the workplace – Your company culture is a very important factor. You may want to prove your commitment to work by being on time every day and meeting all the deadlines. At the same time, you must also maintain your mental well-being and work-life balance. This factor depends on your work environment.
  • Company Policy – You should acquaint yourself with your company’s leave policies and confirm with your hiring manager before applying for a leave. Based on this you can decide if you want a half-day leave or not.
  • Your relationship with your boss – It is easier to persuade your boss if you get along well with them. You can build a healthy relationship by fostering trust and proving to be reliable and honest. If you don’t get along with your boss it might be difficult to convince them to grant you half-day leave.
  • Your working pattern – If you are one of those employees who take frequent leaves, are always late, and leave early without a valid reason then you will likely have more difficulty while getting a leave.

If you fail to meet the requirements, then your chances of getting a half-day leave are going to be tough. Employees who work hard and have a good reputation at work are favoured by their supervisors.

Best excuses for half-day leave

Personal reasons

Sometimes, you may have to leave early from work and might not be comfortable sharing the reason behind it. You can write a formal letter to your boss stating that you want to take a half-day leave for personal reasons. You should mention that you will cover up your pending work.

You must request politely, and chances are that your boss might understand and agree.

Religious events

You might have an upcoming festival, for which you want to attend all your religious events. You can discuss this with your hiring manager and tell them that you want to make arrangements and prepare for your religious events, for which you’d like to leave early from work. 

Make sure that you complete all your tasks before taking a half-day leave.

Doctor’s appointment

You have a scheduled appointment with a doctor, which might require you to leave early from work. Generally, employers do agree if you have a medical visit. You can discuss your medical condition with your employer and make arrangements if you need to frequently visit the doctor.

Family emergencies

A family member may have gotten into an accident or someone in the family may be severely ill and you need to go visit them. Taking care of your spouse or children can also be considered a family emergency. Depending on the severity of the situation and your employer’s policy, you might be able to take a half-day leave.

Work commitments

Sometimes, you may have to travel for work-related projects or attend a workshop. Your employer may consider granting you a half-day leave to prepare for your presentation, or that you get enough rest before the big day. 

Parental Duties

You may have to pick up your child from school someday or attend a parent-teacher meeting. And which is why you’d like to take a half-day leave, this is a valid reason to tell your boss. There are hardly any chances of your boss denying you a half-day leave for this purpose.

Death in the family or loss of a loved one

Bereavement leaves are granted when there is a death in the family or you have lost a loved one and you need to perform final rites or attend their funeral and most importantly grieve. You will have to send your employer a formal letter for the same.

House emergency

It is possible that there could be a short circuit in the house, your spouse or your kid started a small fire by mistake while cooking, or during monsoon, your area or house might get flooded, and in many more such cases, you may have to rush back home. You can inform your supervisor/employer about the emergency and finish formalities accordingly.

Personal illness or injury

If you have an injury or an illness that allows you to work only limited hours per day then you may require a half-day leave so that you go back and rest well. Although, you must check your company’s leave policies and discuss with your hiring manager to work out an arrangement for the same.

How can I request a half-day leave?

Start by giving a genuine reason to leave work early. Excuses can be both good or bad, and you need to be careful about what reasons you’re giving. If you give a good enough reason to take a half-day leave, not only does it increase your chances to get the desired response but it also looks good on the professional side.

Giving a bad excuse can affect your work reputation.

Speak to your manager or supervisor directly, and figure out a way that works best for both. If you discuss it with your employer, they will be able to make arrangements to cover for you while you’re gone or you can finish all your pending work and then leave or give an option of working remotely. 

Make sure that your tone is very professional and courteous when you make a request. Chances are that your boss will agree to it if you’re polite enough and consider things from their point of view as well.

Write a formal application for half-day leave. This makes it easier for your HR to keep a record of all your leaves. The easier you make it for them, the easier they make things for you.

Don’t take undue advantage, if you take frequent leaves, your boss is not going to like it. This may seriously affect your career at the company.

Some good and bad reasons for half-day leave

Below are some good reasons to request a half-day leave:

  • Religious reasons
  • Community project related work
  • Client-related obligations
  • Professional development activities
  • Family reasons
  • Personal reasons
  • Sudden emergencies

Below are some bad reasons to request a half-day leave:

  • Feeling bored or lazy
  • Hangover
  • You want to hang out with friends
  • Getting into an argument with a colleague
  • Receiving bad news at work
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Going to watch a game
  • Minor personal issues
  • Non-urgent errands


In this brief guide, we discussed reasons for half-day leave, factors that may help or hurt your chances of getting a half-day leave, some good and bad reasons to take a half-day leave, and how to request leave.

I tried to sum up most in this article, and I hope these points help you draft your half-day leave application. 

What are some other good reasons or bad reasons for taking half-day leave?

Let me know in the comment section!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Reasons for half-day leave

How do I ask my boss for a half-day off?

You can make a polite request, provide a formal letter, and give a genuine reason. For more tips check out this blog.

How do you ask for a day off at the last minute?

Tell them as soon as you know you have to leave and allow room for discussion later. Make sure to have a courteous tone, and give them as much as information possible. Assure them that you will cover up all the pending work.

What is a good reason for not showing up at work?

Some good reasons to not show up at work can include last-minute emergencies, medical reasons, mental health reasons, etc. Refer to this blog post to know more about some good reasons as well as bad reasons for not showing up at work.

What’s a good family emergency excuse?

Parental duties and health emergencies in the family can be used as an excuse for a family emergency. In most cases, employers understand these circumstances and will grant you leave.

Can my employer ask what my family emergency is?

Yes, your employer can ask you what your family emergency is. They will want you to mention it in your absence letter, and if you are not comfortable with sharing it in writing you may still have to explain it to them in person.


Good and bad excuses to leave work early. (n.d.). Balance Careers.

Valid reasons for requesting half day leave. (n.d.). Indeed Career Guide.

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