You might have started off by approving your team’s leave requests via text message, email, or even by relaying the good news to them in person.

But for something as important as annual leave, you need to get pretty organised. You need a set process for approving time off. Text messages and emails do a job, but they’re not standardised, and you have to write a new one each time someone asks for time off.

A good way to standardise things is to find a leave approval letter sample. This gives you a template to work from, so your holiday approval letters are solid and professional.

In this post, we’ll give you two things:

  1. An annual leave approval letter sample, plus;
  2. An annual leave approval email

But hang on a sec. Before you use these templates…

Managing staff leave through letters, emails, and spreadsheets is a pain in the backside. It consumes your time and energy, mistakes are easy to make, and it’s difficult to do last-minute changes. And as your team grows, it gets even harder to juggle everything.

So, if you’re currently writing approval emails and letters from scratch, the templates below will help you save a bit of time. But remember there are things they won’t help you with:

  • They won’t help you record people’s leave. To keep everyone’s balances updated, you’ll need a separate annual leave record somewhere. This might be a spreadsheet, but that soon gets messy and out-of-date.

  • They won’t give your team an easy way to request leave (or modify their request). People will have to send you an email, text, or fill out a leave request form. If they want to modify or cancel any part of their leave, they have to do it all over again.

  • They won’t actually save you that much time. Sure, your approval letter is mostly pre-written. But you still need to fill in all the key info (name, department, dates, etc.). And if you’re printing out a physical letter, that’s extra hassle.

  • They won’t keep the rest of your team informed. For this, you need an accurate and up-to-date time off calendar. Just another thing you need to keep track of.

If you just want the email and letter templates anyway, you can grab those below. But if you want to manage your annual leave in a smarter, faster, and easier way — spare a few minutes to read how using Timetastic gets rid of all the hassle from leave management.

Your free annual leave approval letter samples: 2 templates

Before we get into the benefits of using Timetastic, here are your free templates.

There’s not a whole lot to them. Only what you need — things like the number of days holiday, and the start date and end date. The email template is a bit simpler than the print-out letter because you don’t need to add the recipient name at the top.

Your annual leave approval letter template (print-out version)

[Recipient’s Name]

[Department/Store/Location]


Hi [Recipient’s Name], 


We have received your leave request for these dates: [DDMMYY-DDMMYY], totalling [INPUT TOTAL HRS/DAYS].


As of [TODAY’s DATE], your leave request is approved. 


Per your request, this time off will be marked as [SPECIFY LEAVE TYPE. HOLIDAY LEAVE, SICK LEAVE, ETC].


Thanks,


[SIGNATURE]


[YOUR NAME  + POSITION]


Here’s a completed sample:

Jane Doe

Customer Success Officer

Customer Service Department


Hi Jane Doe,


We have received your leave request for these dates: 27/10/24-29/10/24, totalling 3 days. 


As of 12/09/24, your leave request is approved. 


Per your request, this time off will be marked as holiday.


Thanks,



Simon Peters, Head of HR


Your annual leave approval email template

[Subject line]


Hi [Recipient’s Name], 


We have received your leave request for these dates: [DDMMYY-DDMMYY], totalling [INPUT TOTAL HRS/DAYS].


As of [TODAY’s DATE], your leave request is approved. 


Per your request, this time off will be marked as [SPECIFY LEAVE TYPE. HOLIDAY LEAVE, SICK LEAVE, ETC].


Thanks, 


[YOUR TYPED NAME + POSITION]


Here’s a completed sample:


Subject line: Leave approval for 27/10/24-29/10/24


Hi Jane Doe,


We have received your leave request for these dates: 27/10/24-29/10/24, totalling 3 days. 


As of 12/09/24, your leave request is approved. 


Per your request, this time off will be marked as holiday.


Thanks,


Simon Peters, Head of HR


While you’re here, you might like some of our other free leave management resources:

  • A free annual leave policy: A clear and detailed company policy minimises miscommunication and sets expectations. Our free policy template covers holiday entitlement, carryover policies, and much more.

  • A free holiday entitlement calculator: With our calculator, you can calculate holidays for a full year or get a pro-rata value for any part of the year. (Note: UK-specific.)

  • A free one-month trial of Timetastic: With a Timetastic free trial, you can easily manage time off requests, keep an accurate record of everyone’s leave balances, get access to a real-time holiday calendar, and more. No credit card required.

How to manage leave requests without using pieces of paper or letter templates

The problem is that although letter and email templates will help you standardise your leave approvals, they won’t help you with much else.

So next, we’ll show you how to avoid the hassle of managing annual leave manually.

Introducing Timetastic: Our time off management software

When you use Timetastic, you get a simple way to manage time off requests. One where you’re not responsible for filling anything out, and you don’t have to worry about checking your team’s time off calendar or someone’s annual leave balance before making a decision.

How does it work?

1. First, your team books their time off request in Timetastic.

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They pick the dates they want, select what type of leave they’re taking (holiday leave, sick leave, bereavement, or something else), and submit their request.

FYI: They can do this on their computer, or through our iPhone/Android mobile app.

2. Then, the request gets sent to the right person who can approve their leave.

You can get your team’s leave requests emailed to you or sent to you via Slack or MS Teams. You can approve or decline the request right from there — without logging into Timetastic.

Sophie Jones has requested time off: Mon 16th August through Fri 20th August

Once you respond to a request, your team member is automatically updated. And so is your team’s Wallchart, which keeps an accurate record of everyone’s annual leave.

Timetastic's Wallchart shows you all employees who have time off coming up.

Recap: Without having to fill out and send any emails or letters, and without having to check and update any calendars or spreadsheets, your employee was able to book their leave request, you were able to quickly approve it, and everyone’s records — including the company time off calendar — were automatically updated.

That’s a hassle-free approval process.

But there are two more big benefits to using Timetastic:

1. You can let Timetastic respond to leave requests for you

With Timetastic, you can customise your staffing levels to avoid any holiday overbooking, calendar clashes, or short-staffed departments.

  • Maximum absent levels tells Timetastic how many people can have the same day off. You can set these levels across the entire company or by specific department.

  • You can lock key dates where you don’t want someone taking a day off. You can lock dates across the entire company, for specific departments, or for individual employees.

Some of our customers have Timetastic automatically respond to time off requests. (We also do this at Timetastic HQ, because it’s super convenient and saves us loads of time.)

This isn’t as scary as it sounds: By setting maximum absent levels and locking key dates, you’re giving Timetastic the info it needs to approve or decline requests as they come in.

2. You’ll never forget when someone has leave coming up

Unlike using paper forms, spreadsheets, and calendars, Timetastic will always keep you and your team updated on when someone takes a leave of absence.

  • You can get absence summaries sent to you directly via email, Slack, or MS Teams. These summaries tell you who’s away and who has time off coming up in the week.

  • You can sync your team’s Timetastic account with your shared calendar (such as Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, iCal). Now everyone on your team can look at the calendar they use on a daily basis to see if anyone is out on leave.

  • Plus, you’ll always have your Wallchart. With the Timetastic Wallchart, you can create different departments or look at the entire company at once. If you’re a manager, then you’ll see not only who is off but a colour-coded icon explaining why they’re off (holiday leave, sick leave, paternity leave/maternity leave, etc).

By using Timetastic, you get rid of the need to use outdated and tedious approval letters. You get an easy-to-use leave management system that handles every piece of the puzzle for you.

Here’s a side-by-side table below that goes over the key differences.

Using approval letters vs. using Timetastic: A direct comparison


Approval Letters

Timetastic

Paperless 

X

Alerts you to calendar clashes before you approve a request

X

Automatically updates your company calendar

X

Keeps an accurate record of your team’s leave balances

X

Lets your team request time off via an app

X

You can set up an automatic approval process

X


If you’re ready to start using Timetastic, start your one-month free trial today.