Having a hard time sending a sick leave email to your boss who only speaks Japanese?
It’s not easy to write a polite business message in Japanese, especially when you are not feeling well…
That’s why we have prepared some Japanese templates for you! You can change sentences according to your condition.
- How to tell your boss that you will be absent
- Template: sick leave email to your boss
How to tell your boss that you will be absent
Some companies (especially old ones) prefer phone calls to emails or texts
It would be wise to check your company’s rules beforehand. If a phone call is preferred, call 10 to 15 minutes before the start of working hours. You can also send an email before you make a phone call if it is hard to communicate in Japanese over the phone.
Make the title simple and clear
Write a short note in a title that you will be on sick leave so that the boss can easily identify what your email is about and so that it doesn’t get buried under other emails.
Literal translation: “Notification of leave due to health problems”
Literal translation: “Notification of sick leave”
Give a reason and how long you will be absent
Even though it is a personal matter, you are sometimes required to write why you are taking leave. (For example, 「風邪 [かぜ]」[“a cold”]), 「腹痛 [ふくつう]」[“stomach ache”], etc.) If you don’t want to tell the details because you feel it’s too personal, you can tell them that you feel sick by using a word 「体調不良（たいちょうふりょう）」[“bad health condition”].
When you have a contagious illness such as influenza, you need to take a few days off in a row based on your company’s rules or your doctor’s advice. In this case, you should also mention how many days you may need to be absent.
If there’s an urgent task, ask someone to take over
If you have a task that needs to be done urgently, ask your boss or colleagues to take over. I know it is hard to give instructions when you are not feeling well, but it is important so that they do not have to call you while you are resting. If possible, it is preferable to communicate directly with your colleague who can take over.
Template: sick leave email to your boss
[Your boss name here] (For example, 山田部長)
お疲れ様です。[Your name here] です。
[Your name here]
Notification of leave due to health problems
[Your boss name here] (For example, Manager Yamada)
Hello. This is [Your name here].
I have had a fever since last night, and it has not gone down this morning, so I would like to take a day off today. Just to be sure, I will see a doctor, and if it seems to take longer, I will contact you again accordingly.
I apologize for the late notice, and thank you for your understanding.
[Your name here]
I personally think there’s nothing you need to apologize for. However, as a custom, in Japanese business emails, we often write “I (We) apologize…” to express politeness.
Please refer to the following examples if you want to modify the highlighted phrases.
- In case you have abdominal pain (a stomachache or diarrhea):
Literal translation, “I have severe abdominal pain, so I would like to take a day off today.”
- In case you suffer from morning sickness:
Literal translation, “I suffer from morning sickness, so I would like to take a day off today.”
- In case you would not like to mention the details:
Literal translation, “My health condition is not good, so I would like to take a day off today.”
- In case you need to ask someone to take over
「[Project name here] の件は、直接[colleague’s name here] さんに引継ぎを依頼します。」
Literal translation, “Regarding [Project name here], I will communicate directly with [colleague’s name here].”
- In case you need to take leave for two or more days in a row
Literal translation, “I would like to take a day off again because I am not feeling well yet. I apologize for the continued absence. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding.”
*Please note that when you use the sentences, you need to delete 「当日の連絡となり申し訳ございませんが、よろしくお願いいたします。」part, too.
I hope these templates can help you out.
If there’s a Japanese expression you would like to know, please leave a comment.
Now, stay hydrated and get some rest! Hope you are feeling better soon 🙂