When you begin a new a job, you probably imagine yourself staying in that position until at least the end of the initial contract term.
However, no matter how good and straightforward your intentions are when you take on a position, you can’t anticipate how your life will play out.
If something comes up that prevents you from continuing to work in your current role, you don’t necessarily have to throw in the towel completely.
Many companies give their employees a variety of schemes under which to take temporary leave from the workplace.
Even if there isn’t a specific leave of absence for your particular situation, most employers will take a compassionate view of their employees need for time away from the workplace.
Maybe you need to temporarily resign from your position due to ill health, poor mental well-being, moving away, or family obligation.
Whatever your reason, you can put yourself in the best position to negotiate by following these essential steps to writing a temporary resignation letter.
How to write a temporary resignation letter
- Greet your employer, manager, or HR representative
- Express your desire to leave your job on a temporary basis
- Provide the reason for your departure
- State that you would like to return to the job
- Give the desired leaving date
- Give the desired date of return (approximate if necessary)
- Discuss the transfer of any unfinished projects
- Express your appreciation for your job
- State your gratitude for the opportunity to be able to return to your job
- Offer your best wishes or kind regards
- Sign your full name
Greet your employer, manager, or HR representative in the appropriate manner.
Ensure you know who you should be addressing your request to. Start your letter with the address “Dear…” and refer to the recipient by their preferred title.
Express your desire to leave your job on a temporary basis and begin with: “I am writing to state my intention…,” or another alternative way to say “just a heads up” professionally. Ensure that you express the temporary nature of your resignation the first time you mention it.
Provide the reason for your departure in a professional manner.
Do not become overfamiliar or go into the complex details of your personal life, especially if you are writing a resignation letter for a job you just started.
Identify what language people use speak about the difficulty or life change you are experiencing in a professional setting and use this.
State that you would like to return to the job, even if you have already made it clear that you are writing to resign temporarily.
Expressing in no uncertain terms that you would like to pick up where you left off when your circumstances return to normal will make your position as clear as possible.
Give the desired leaving date so that your employer knows what the timeframe for your absence is.
After all, their first thought will probably be about replacing you on a temporary basis. To be able to do this, they’ll need to know the period you need cover for.
Give the desired date of return (approximate if necessary) so that your employer is aware of when you would like to return to your position.
If you don’t have an exact date, you can provide an estimated date and inform your employer why the date is uncertain.
You can also let them know a date by when you will let them know the definitive date.
Discuss the transfer of any unfinished projects to your colleagues.
Mention the projects by name, inform your higher-up who will be taking them over, and discuss the timeframe for the transition of responsibility.
If you oversee too many projects to mention in your letter, or if your resignation is not the appropriate place to discuss what will happen to your ongoing work, request to schedule a meeting with your relevant superior.
Express your appreciation for your job so that your employer feels confident that you do intend to return to work after your period of absence.
State your gratitude for the opportunity to be able to return to your job and make sure you thank your employer for helping to facilitate your temporary leave.
Offer your best wishes or kind regards, choosing the sign-off most appropriate for your workplace and situation.
Sign your full name at the end of your letter, writing it exactly as it is written in your contract.
How to write a temporary resignation letter due to ill health
Whether you are currently struggling with a diagnosis or have been dealing with poor mental health, you may be forced to take a leave of absence from work.
Perhaps your medical appointments or treatments are not compatible with your current work schedule.
Or maybe you are not able to meet your professional obligations because you do not currently have the capacity to do so.
Whatever the reason for your health-related inability to work, you’ll know when things get too much for you.
One key thing to keep in mind when you are resigning from a position temporarily is that you will likely need a medical note from a doctor.
Depending on your contract and right to medical leave, you may be entitled to a certain period of paid time off work.
Make sure you review your contract to see what your rights are regarding taking time off because of an illness.
If you are confused about what you are entitled to, you can either seek independent legal counsel or meet with an HR representative from your company to figure out how to proceed.
Regardless of the particularities of your situation, following the steps outlined above when writing a temporary resignation letter will put you in an advantageous position.
This helpful guide on how to write a two weeks’ notice letter may also be useful.
It is also crucial that you make it clear you are not writing a resignation letter due to disappointment with your workplace. Express how much you enjoy your job to avoid any confusion.
Here is a sample temporary resignation letter due to ill health for you to refer to when writing your own.
Sample temporary resignation letter: health reasons
Dear Mr. Krakow,
I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning from my position at Hartford and Co. on a temporary basis due to a recent diagnosis of lung cancer.
I will be undergoing a course of chemotherapy, which will temporarily interfere with ability to perform my professional duties.
I hope to be able to return to my current role following the completion of a successful course of treatment. According to my oncologist, if all goes well, I should be fit to return to work in April 2024.
I will be handing over my open accounts to Mr. Gerhard and Ms. Brenner from my team. They have been fully briefed on the clients’ circumstances.
I have always enjoyed working at Hartford and Co. and am grateful for the generous terms of the leave of absence you offer for those undergoing serious courses of treatment.
I look forward to working with you again once this difficult period is over.
How to write a temporary resignation letter due to relocation
There are any number of reasons why you might have to relocate for a limited amount of time.
Perhaps a family member who lives far away from you needs someone to care for them, and you are the person best positioned to do it.
Maybe one of your children has been offered a unique opportunity to pursue an artistic passion in a state on the other side of the country.
Or maybe your partner is moving for work, and you have decided to go with them on a temporary basis to assess whether you could make the move permanently.
Whatever is taking you away from the place you work, you should look into whether your contract gives you the right to a career break or sabbatical.
If it does, you can cite your contractual rights when stating your intention to resign temporarily.
If you aren’t entitled to take temporary leave, but you think your employer would be open to the idea, you can phrase your letter as a request.
In this case, you’ll want to provide compelling background information that will encourage your employer to empathize with you.
If you are writing a resignation letter due to a better opportunity, you should not state that you intend to return just to keep your options open.
Your employer may be making hiring decisions based on your intention to return, so saying that you will if you don’t plan to puts them in an unfair position.
You can also cite your excellent work record to show them that they should want you to return to their workplace.
Not quite sure how to do this? Here are two sample temporary resignation letters to look at before you resign due to relocation.
Sample temporary resignation letter due to relocation with a right to a sabbatical
Dear Ms. Gerard,
I am writing to inform you of my intention to take sabbatical leave for the 2023/2024 academic year. As per the conditions stipulated in my contract, I will return to work after twelve months have passed, in this case at the start of the 2024/2025 academic year.
I have very much enjoyed the last seventeen years at Smithfield Academy and look forward to my return. I appreciate the opportunity to take this time off.
Sample letter requesting a temporary leave of absence due to relocation
Dear Dr. Brenner,
I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as a nursing assistant at Brenner Family Practice. My mother was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, and I will be returning to live in my hometown on a temporary basis in order to care for her.
Ideally, I would like to resign on a temporary basis and to return to work when my circumstances allow for it. However, for the time being you may consider this my two weeks’ notice.
I have greatly enjoyed being part of the nursing team and would consider myself lucky to be re-hired by your practice in the future.
How to write a temporary resignation letter due to continuing education
Most employers encourage those in their workforce to improve their credentials by enrolling in continuing education programs.
After all, it is as much a credit to a company for an employee to gain a qualification as it is for that employee themselves.
Ultimately, employee and employer both gain from an additional seal of approval from a higher education institution.
Whether you have been given an opportunity to enroll in a further education course by your employer or have sourced it yourself, you should feel no shame in resigning temporarily.
You need to take the time necessary to further your professional proficiency and level up career-wise.
Employers would generally rather re-hire previous employees with more advanced qualifications that hire new recruits with those qualifications.
After all, anyone trained in how a workplace functions is already ready to begin making a company money.
New employees have to be trained and will generally take a bit of time to adapt to their surroundings.
Here is how to inform your employer that you will be dipping back into the world of academia to earn a new degree and enhance your employability.
Even if you didn’t express your desire to return following your graduation, they would probably ask if they could reach out to you when you are done to offer you your old job back.
To show that your commitment to your workplace will continue, you can use the phrase, “Please don’t hesitate to contact me…” to let your employer know that you are still happy to help out, even after you leave.
Phrasing your intention to leave in such positive terms will make it easier for your boss to respond to a resignation letter.
Sample letter requesting a temporary leave of absence due to continuing education
Dear Mr. Paul,
Given the conversation we had last week, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I am handing in my notice at Slievemount High School. I will be returning to university this time to pursue a Ph.D. in Literature. I will be examining the pagan influence on syntax in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
I will be leaving Slievemount at the end of the academic year. I have greatly enjoyed my time teaching at the institution and would be honored to return following the successful completion of my doctorate, in two years’ time.
If you would like to meet to discuss the matter of my resignation, I would be more than happy to do so.
How to write a temporary resignation letter due to personal reasons
Life can be extremely complicated. We’re all familiar (at least in theoretical terms) with the difficulty that accompanies marriage breakdowns, family troubles, the loss of a loved one, and any number of other unexpected bumps in the road.
Whatever your intentions were when you signed your contract, it may be that due to circumstances beyond your control, you can no longer meet your professional obligations.
If you know that you will overcome this difficulty and regain the ability to work as normal, you can write to your employer and request to resign temporarily.
Not all companies allow employees to take leave on a temporary basis on personal grounds, but most will have discretionary policies in place.
It is generally in a business’s interests to recognize the importance of training and development for employees and to keep those with a great performance record on its books.
If you know you are an asset to your company, you can request that your contract be put on pause rather than terminated for good.
If you are resigning for personal reasons, whether on a temporary or a fixed basis, you do not have to go into detail about why you are choosing to leave.
After all, you are completely entitled to your privacy and should feel under no obligation to share information with your employer if it would make you feel uncomfortable to do so.
To make sure that you don’t burn bridges and that you maintain a good relationship with your employer during your absence, you can include the line “it has been a pleasure working with you,” or an alternative.
Not sure how to inform you employer that you are resigning for personal reasons and ask to be able to return once things have settled down?
Check out this sample temporary resignation letter, which might just give you the guidance you need when drafting your own letter.
Sample letter requesting a temporary leave of absence due to personal reasons
Dear Mrs. Foster,
Please consider this my formal resignation from my position as a cashier at Welsh’s Groceries Inc. I am handing in my two weeks’ notice for personal reasons.
In an ideal world, I would only like to resign on a temporary basis. I would be highly interested in returning to my role at your Hampstead store in several months’ time. Please let me know whether this is an option.
I have enjoyed the excellent workplace atmosphere in the Hampstead branch and appreciate the opportunity I was given to join the staff last September.
I would be more than happy to discuss the options for a temporary leave of absence in person.
I look forward to your response.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.