Requesting compassionate leave is never easy, and we truly hope that you never have to apply for the same. But the harsh reality is that mishaps happen, and when they do, these leaves can be very helpful.

To make this process a little easier, we bring this article for you. Read on to discover compassionate leave meaning, sample letters, and tips to apply.

Compassionate leave meaning

Compassionate leaves are applied in the rare case of family emergencies like the illness of a family member, death, and tragic events of the same degree.

These leaves should be applied only in extreme cases since companies provide them to make your life easier during difficult times.

While many confuse compassionate leave with bereavement leave, the two are very different. Bereavement leave is applied after the death of a near or dear one to mourn the loss, while the compassionate leave is a special leave of absence that you can use to take care of an ailing family member.

Like other office leaves, companies are not legally required to include compassionate leaves in their policies but given, the nature of these leaves, organizations with good company culture will allow them.

Compassionate leave sample letters

Here are samples to help you apply for compassionate leaves.

Sample letter 1- Compassionate leave for death

Sub: Request to approve compassionate leaves

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

I regret to inform you that my grandfather (relative) passed away earlier this morning (date/time).

I have just been informed about it and will have to leave immediately to be with my family for the last rights and the funeral.

Request you to please grant me compassionate leaves for the next two weeks (duration of leave).

I apologize for any inconvenience caused due to my absence in this unforeseeable situation and thank you in advance for your kind consideration.

(Your name)

Sample letter 2- Compassionate leave for illness of a family member

Sub: Compassionate leave application

Dear (Name of supervisor),

I am writing to inform you that I am applying for compassionate leave starting tomorrow owing to my sister’s (relative’s name) knee surgery (ailment).

I am requesting leaves for five days (duration of leave) to take care of her post-surgery and will try to join back by 30th January (Date of joining).

I will be available on call for anything urgent, and in my absence, I have asked Mr. Kumar (Point of contact in absence) to attend to my clients.

Kindly please approve the leaves at the earliest.
Your’s Sincerely,

Sample letter 3- Compassionate leave for general medical reasons

Sub: Application of compassionate leave- 15 January to 25 January

Hi (Manager Name),

I am writing to you to request 10 days off starting from 15th January to 25th January. My wife is 24 weeks pregnant and due to some complications, needs to be on bed rest for some time.

The doctor has advised constant care, owing to which, I am requesting this leave of absence. I will be available on my cell at all times in case of any emergency.

Please consider my request and approve the leaves for this duration.
Thank you in advance!


How to write compassionate leave- tips and tricks

1. Inform your boss at the earliest

Since compassionate leaves are for medical emergencies, they cannot be planned. Since informing in advance is not an option here, make sure you inform your boss and apply for leaves at the earliest possible minute.

2. Address the letter/email to all concerned people

While applying for compassionate leaves, keep everyone in the loop about your leave of absence. Some people you must inform include immediate supervisors, colleagues, HR manager.

3. Write a short but detailed letter

Sparing too much time to draft a compassionate leave letter is not going to be possible. So, keep it short and provide all the necessary information. Some things to include are:

  • Duration of leave
  • Reason for applying for compassionate leave
  • Date of rejoining
  • Plan of action (if any) in your absence.
  • Contact details if someone needs to reach out


The thought of having to write a compassionate leave letter Is gut-wrenching. But in a rare situation where you need to draft one, we hope you will find these sample letters useful.


  1. How to request compassionate leave?
    Approach your employer or HR department with sensitivity and respect. Clearly explain the circumstances requiring compassionate leave, such as a family member's illness or death. Provide any necessary documentation, such as a death certificate or medical records. Follow your company's procedures for requesting leave and offer to discuss any necessary arrangements for covering your workload during your absence.

  2. What is an example of compassionate leave?
    An example of compassionate leave could be requesting time off from work to care for a terminally ill family member, attend a funeral or memorial service, or support loved ones during a difficult time. It's typically granted to employees to deal with personal emergencies or family crises.

  3. How to apply for compassionate leave?
    Notify your employer or HR department as soon as possible about the compassionate circumstances requiring leave. Provide details about the situation, such as the nature of the emergency or illness, and specify the dates you'll need to be absent. Be prepared to provide documentation, such as a doctor's note or death certificate, if required. Follow your company's leave request procedures and offer to discuss any necessary arrangements during your absence.

  4. How to apply for leave for relative death?
    Approach your employer or HR department with sensitivity and respect. Inform them about the death of your relative and the need for time off to attend the funeral or handle family matters. Provide any necessary documentation, such as a death certificate or funeral invitation. Follow your company's procedures for requesting leave and offer to discuss any necessary arrangements for covering your workload during your absence.

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