How To Write A Leave Application? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

No matter your profession, there comes a time when you want to take a break from work for one reason or another. Whether you work remotely or from the office, your country’s law and institutional policies obligate your employer to grant you some time off whenever you need it.

A leave application gives your employer a heads-up of your imminent absence from work, for how long, and why. And that requires you to submit a written request to your superior for consideration. 

It is, therefore, critical to understand the structure and content of your leave application and how to go about the whole process. 

In this post, we take a look at the following:

  • How does taking leave benefit employees?
  • How do I write a good leave application?
  • How do I apply for leave in office?
  • What is the leave application format?
  • How do I write leave reasons?
  • How do I write a leave letter at work?
  • How do I write a leave application email?
  • Types of leave at the workplace (plus samples)
  • Why you need to put your leave application into writing
  • Leave application FAQs

How Does Taking Leave Benefit Employees?

Leave is part and parcel of any contracts that employees in any part of the world sign. 

So, why do employers include leave applications in their terms? Below we delve into the reasons why leave is vital to employees. 

1. Work-Life Balance 

Giving employees a break from work helps them focus on other aspects of life, away from the hustle and bustle that often results in burnout and work-related stress. 

As such, the employee gets a chance to strike a balance between work and their personal life. They can utilize their energy and time to attend to personal and professional commitments in equal measure. 

A healthy work/life balance is critical in keeping employees productive once they resume work from leave. 

2. Improved Focus at Work

Concentrating on work-related tasks after some time leads to a reduction in attention span. You’ll have difficulties focusing on a particular task for hours on end. 

But when you take a few days off, your mental clarity will be back on track, and you’ll be able to concentrate for long until you complete your assignments. You’ll also be able to handle complex tasks and the pressure they come with. 

3. Enhanced Employee Wellbeing

When employees know that their employer has policies that guarantee them time off work whenever they need it, they become motivated, engaged, and stay committed to realizing the organization’s objectives. 

Taking a break is also crucial in keeping employees healthy. Professions that require workers to sit for long hours or work nonstop make them susceptible to lifestyle diseases such as stroke and heart disease. However, leave enables employees to rest well and become more productive on their return to work. 

4. Improves Collaboration at Work

Before taking leave, there has to be a person who will cover for you while you’re on a break. You can negotiate with a colleague to help you out in your absence, or your supervisor can distribute your roles across the department. Also, while away, the supervisor or employer may require you to assist the rest of the team in one way or another. 

While that happens, you keep engaging several people, therefore enhancing the relationship amongst yourselves and improving teamwork in the department. This enables the team to work as one always and achieve targets with ease. 

Leave Application
Leave Application

How Do I Write a Good Leave Application?

When it comes to writing, how you express yourself is as important as the content of your piece.

Below are the key tips you should remember when writing your leave application.

  • Adhere to your organization’s leave policy – Before anything else, check your organization’s guidelines regarding leave application. Better yet, you can consult an officer in the human resource department so they can explain everything and what would be expected of you when you want to apply for leave.
  • Keep it short and simple – Go straight to the point and avoid including any unnecessary information. This will make it easy for the recipient to skim through your leave application and quickly understand what you’re communicating to them. 
  • Check for grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors – Proofread your leave application to ensure it has no mistakes. Also, double-check all the details you’ve included for accuracy. 
  • Use polite language – By writing a leave application, you are ideally making a request. And for your recipient to readily accept that request, you have to use polite words to express your intention. 

You can consider words like kindly, please, grateful, obliged, request, ask, and many more. 

  • Use a formal tone – Your choice of words and sentence structures should be formal throughout your leave application. 

A formal tone is straightforward, precise, and noteworthy. On the other hand, an informal tone sounds unprofessional, and it’s even worse when you’re addressing individuals in the corporate world. You should avoid using contractions, phrasal verbs, conversational language, slang, and anything that would make your leave application informal.

How Do I Apply for Leave in Office?

When you want some time off work, you must understand how to go about the whole process and maintain professionalism. 

Below is how you make your leave application

1. Find out your leave days balance – Make sure you know the number of leave days you’re remaining with to avoid any confusions that may arise with the HR department. 

2. Talk to your supervisor – Your supervisor is the person in charge of managing the department’s workload and distributing tasks accordingly. 

Once you tell your boss of your intention to take leave, they’ll be in a position to plan how the department will accomplish all the necessary tasks in your absence. You may also 

3. Make the request formal – Should your supervisor agree to your request, apply for your leave in writing addressed to the HR department or the organization’s head. Use whichever channel your organization has put in place when employees what to apply for leave. 

4. Wait for feedback – Your recipient can accept or reject your leave application. If they approve, you can proceed on your leave. Otherwise, they’ll give you a reason if they decline your request. 

What is the Leave Application Format?

When writing any document – whether official or unofficial –it’s always important to follow the set structure and include all the necessary information to ensure you pass on your message well to the intended recipient and that they understand whatever it is you’re telling them.

Regardless of the channel your company uses to receive leave requests, the leave application format is more or less the same. 

Organizations typically use any of the following channels:

  • Letter
  • Email
  • An online portal
  • Organizational leave form

In this digital era, email leave application continues to gain more popularity than a letter. However, an employee can still write their leave application letter and send a soft copy to the person responsible via email or fill in a portal or leave form.

Here is what a typical leave application format looks like:

  1. Address – Write your address as you would in any other official letter. State your full name, title, department, company, and mailing address.
  2. Date – Write the date that you’re applying for leave. 
  3. Addressee – This is the address of the person you’re writing your letter to, usually an officer in the human resource department. Like in your address, write their full name, title, department, company, and mailing address. 
  4. Salutation – Your salutation should be professional since the leave application is an official request. The most common salutation is Dear…, followed by the title of your recipient, then their last name.
  5. Subject – Your subject should indicate the purpose of your writing. 
  6. Body – State that you’re applying for leave, mention the type of leave, the reason for your application, the period you’ll be away from work (start date and end date), the date you’ll return to work, and the name of the colleague who’ll cover for you in your absence.
  7. Contact Provide your contact information – your cell phone number and email address – which your employer can use to reach you whenever necessary while on your leave. These contact details need not necessarily be those you usually use for work-related purposes, more so the email address.
  8. Gratitude – Thank your recipient for taking their time to go through your leave application. 
  9. Closing – Conclude your leave application warmly. For email, you can sign off using phrases like Regards, Best Regards, Kind Regards, Warm Regards, Best Wishes, Respectfully, With Gratitude, and Cordially while for letters, you can use Sincerely, Yours Sincerely, Yours Faithfully, among others. After that, sign directly below that, then write your full name. 

When writing your leave application, only pick what applies to you, depending on the channel your employer uses. For example, the address, date, and addressee sections aren’t necessary when applying via email.

If there’s any supporting documentation, attach it to your application to add credence to your request and make it easier for your employer to accept it than when applying for your leave without any attachments. Supporting documents include a wedding invitation, medic’s note, obituary, etc. 

How Do I Write Leave Reasons?

When you think of taking a break from work, you must already have a reason in mind.

The reason why you want to proceed on leave must be solid enough to convince your supervisor or employer to allow you to take some time off. 

Your company policy or your country’s laws should be able to guide you on the different types of leave, which will determine the kind of reason you include in your leave application. If those two don’t give you sufficient information, consult the HR department on what you need to do for them to grant you leave. 

There are many reasons why an employee may want to go on leave. Some of them include:

  • Personal reasons
  • Other work commitments 
  • Medical appointments
  • Emergencies 
  • Sickness or serious injuries
  • Bereavement 
  • Education purposes 

After identifying your reason, write it clearly for your recipient to understand and take swift action. 

How Do I Write a Leave Letter at Work?

A leave letter takes the format of any formal letter, the only difference being the content. 

Below is the template you can use to write your leave letter at work:

[Your Full Name]

[Your Job Title]

[Your Department]

[Organization Name]

[Your Mailing Address]


[Your Recipient’s Full Name]

[Your Recipient’s Job Title]

[Your Recipient’s Department]

[Organization Name]

[Your Recipient’s Mailing Address]

Dear (Your Recipient’s Title and Last Name) 


First paragraph: State that you’re writing to apply for leave, specify the type of leave, and indicate the start and end dates.

Second paragraph: Provide details about why you would like to proceed on leave, who will fill in for you in your absence, and any other work-related information.

Third paragraph: Include the contact you’ll be using while on leave and thank your recipient for their attention. If you’re attaching any documents to support your reason for taking the break, indicate so.


[Your Signature]

[Your Full Name]

Leave Application Email
Leave Application Email

How Do I Write a Leave Application Email?

If your company requires you to send your leave application via email, you only need your recipient(s) email address, while the subject of your email will be the same as the reference in a leave letter. The rest of the content remains the same. 

Here’s the template for writing a leave application email. 

To: [Email Address of the Recipient]

Cc: [Email Address of Other Concerned Person(s), if any]

Subject: Request for [Type of Leave]

Dear (Recipient’s Title then Last Name),

First paragraph: State that you’re writing to apply for leave, specify the type of leave, and indicate the start and end dates.

Second paragraph: Provide details about why you would like to proceed on leave, who will fill in for you in your absence, and any other work-related information.

Third paragraph: Include the contact you’ll be using while on leave and thank your recipient for their attention. If you’re attaching any documents to support your reason for taking a break, indicate so.


[Your Full Name]

[Your Designation]

Types of Leave at the Workplace (plus Samples)

The reason why an employee wants to take a break from work informs the type of leave they apply for. 

Here are nine types of leave that employees can take, plus samples for each:

1. Annual Leave

This is the most common type of leave in workplaces around the world.

After working continuously for an extended period, it’s normal to suffer burnout and experience a drop in work performance. That’s why employers usually grant their employees paid off days every financial or calendar year.

The idea is to allow you some time off to refresh and recharge so that by the time you resume your duties, you’ll be feeling lively once more, ready to continue where you left off and take up new challenges with zeal. 

During your annual leave, you are free to use the time to do anything you like. Whether it’s staying at home to rest, engaging in personal ventures, going for a vacation, participating in some enjoyable activities, spending quality time with your loved ones, visiting tourist attractions, or anything else, it’s entirely up to you. 

Most employers offer around 30 annual leave days per year. You can utilize your leave days all at once or in proportions, depending on the agreement with your employer.

Annual Leave Application Sample 

Dear Dr. Ranveer, 

I am writing to inform you of my intention to take my annual leave for 20 days from 4th to 29th September, 2023. My return date will be 2nd August, 2023.

I feel exhausted since I have been working for six months straight. Please approve my leave application so I can go and rest.

While on leave, Senior Office Administrator Mr. Rajesh Khan will take up my responsibilities and ensure the department continues to run smoothly. He filled in for me a while back, and can do my work better than anyone else.

Should anything come up, you can reach me at 959-492-1502 or

Thank you for your time.

Best regards,

Steph Khalid

Office Administrator

2. Maternity Leave

Pregnancy comes with its share of vulnerability for female workers. They require special attention during this period and even after giving birth to ensure they’re in good shape with their babies. 

Employers ordinarily give pregnant employees ample time away from work to prepare for delivery, nurse and bond with their babies, recover, and adjust back to their everyday lives.

The duration of maternity leave differs from organization to organization, but it’s often at least three months. During that period, most laws require the employer to pay the employee their full salary plus any other benefits they’re entitled to. 

Maternity Leave Application Sample

Dear Mrs. Lisa,

My doctor has advised me to take a maternity break from 30th October, 2023 to 29th January, 2024. I hope to resume duty effective 30th January, 2024.

During the three-month period that I will be away, my colleague Shazzy Hines will assist in the execution of my tasks, given that our roles are almost similar.

See attached a note from my doctor proposing maternity leave.

While on the break, you can reach me at 318-042-0515 or 546-063-0569 any day if you need to talk to me.

Thank you for reading to this end, and I hope you consider my request.


Maya Aditi

Records Management Officer

3. Paternity Leave 

Like female employees, some employers allow their male employees to be away from work when their legal wives give birth.

Paternity leave helps new fathers to:

  • Be available in the life of the baby right from the get-go
  • Establish a tight long-life relationship with their kids
  • Give support to their wives in caring for the baby
  • Strengthen the family bond 

The period for paternity leave is usually shorter than that of maternity leave – often two weeks – but some employers offer more off days. 

Paternity Leave Application Sample

Dear Ms. Guteress,

I am writing to inform you that my spouse is in the last trimester of her pregnancy and is due to deliver anytime from next week. 

An ultrasound scan confirmed that we are expecting twins, and caring for two babies will surely overwhelm my wife.

I am, therefore, requesting a three-week break from 1st to 18th August, 2023 to be with my wife when she delivers and assist her with caring for the babies. The paternity leave will also allow me to experience the thrill of being a first-time father and establish a bond with the newborns.

Regarding my duties, I have talked to the Communication Officer, Ms. Kristi Laila, who has agreed to help execute them before I return on 21st August, 2023. I will be available on phone and work email to assist the team whenever possible.

I will be grateful if you consider my leave application.

Thank you.

Yours Faithfully,

Joe Doe

Communication Assistant

Leave Application

4. Sick Leave 

Whenever an employee falls sick or gets injured, it’s the duty of the employer to temporarily relieve them of their duties to seek medical attention

But before the employer grants sick leave, the employee needs a medical report from a qualified healthcare provider or provide proof indicating they cannot carry out their day-to-day tasks. 

Many employers provide medical cover for their employees, which takes care of their treatment costs whenever they fall sick. The employee may as well subscribe to another insurance plan if the employer doesn’t offer them medical coverage.

If employees maximize their health insurance plan, they’ll have to pay for any extra amount from their pocket.

Sick Leave Application Sample

Dear Hon. Aisha,

I wish to let you know that I will be undergoing ear surgery on Monday next week, which my doctor says will take two weeks to heal. I have a problem with my left ear and cannot hear well unless the person talking to me shouts.

I am requesting that you grant me sick leave from 7th to 18th August, 2023, so I go for the surgery and then stay at home nursing the wound. I am hoping to be back to work on 21st August, 2023.

My immediate supervisor, Mrs. Latifa Loks, has agreed to cover for me during my absence, and I have assured her that I will offer any support required. I will keep my communication channels open in case of anything. 

I pray that you allow me time off to go for the surgery.

I will appreciate any help you can provide.


Jakob Gibbs

Human Resource Officer I

5. Compassionate Leave

Life is unpredictable, and a misfortune can strike anytime and result in devastating repercussions.

Whenever an employee encounters an unplanned family emergency or a sensitive issue that needs their attention, employers show compassion by giving them time off – paid on not – to join their loved ones and deal with their distress.

Some of the occurrences that warrant compassionate leave include: 

  • When a dependent becomes sick, incapacitated, or seriously injured
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Serious accident
  • Traumatic incident
  • Stillbirth or miscarriage in the immediate family
  • Marital problem
  • House eviction
  • Arson

Due to the impromptu nature of these incidences, whenever an employee applies for compassionate leave, the organization has to improvise to keep things running in their absence.

But the employee has to inform the employer how much time they require away from work. The company policy should spell this out clearly. In some instances, though, depending on the misfortune, it’s difficult to predict when they’ll return to work.

Some employers may require evidence before granting their employees compassionate leave, for example, a statutory declaration, court papers, proof of death, etc. 

If an employee wants to apply for compassionate leave when they’re already on a different type of leave, say annual leave, they are free to utilize the compassionate leave instead of the other leave. 

Compassionate Leave Application Sample

Dear Prof. Shyla,

With immense sadness, I am writing to notify you of my brother’s death, who has been ill for a while now. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year and had been undergoing treatment until he passed on yesterday.

In that regard, I am requesting time off next week to join my family in mourning and resting my brother.

I have talked to my supervisor, Mr. Suolo Ali, and he has informed the team that the rest of the team in the department will take care of the current workload since there is not much going on.

I will be available on my mobile phone number, 252-541-0483, should anything that needs my attention arise.

Thank you.

Mohammed Amin


6. Unpaid Leave

From its name, unpaid or job-protected leave is where an employee proceeds on leave and retains their position but doesn’t get any salary. They might, however, get other company benefits.

Unpaid leave can be voluntary or mandatory.

Voluntary unpaid leave is where an employee applies for extra off days after their paid leave is over or when they want to engage in something non-work related. That can include to:

  • Take a career break
  • Go for further studies
  • Seek medical attention
  • Deal with a family upheaval
  • Care for a dependent
  • Undertake community service
  • Carry out other public responsibilities as is the case for magistrates
  • Move house
  • Have/Adopt a child
  • Cope with the loss of a loved one

On the other hand, mandatory unpaid leave is where the employer forces an employee to proceed on leave for reasons related to the company. They include: 

  • When the workload is low, so the employer asks an employee to stay at home until the situation improves
  • When the employer becomes broke and can’t afford to pay salaries for all employees
  • When an employee is involved in malpractice, and there’s an imminent investigation into the matter
  • When a company is restructuring and is considering layoffs 

Once the unpaid leave is over, the employee can return to work and continue executing their responsibilities as usual.

However, the company may advise otherwise depending on circumstances and why the employee took the unpaid leave.

For example, if it’s an issue with reduced revenue, the company might lay off the staff they sent on unpaid leave.

Unpaid Leave Application Sample

Dear Mr. Guerero,

I am delighted to inform you that following a rigorous assessment, I have been selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship program that will take place in the United States of America from 2nd October to 13th November, 2023.

I am requesting an unpaid leave to undertake the program. It will undoubtedly be a great addition to my portfolio and help me secure other future opportunities. It will also provide me with an excellent opportunity to meet, interact and establish relationships with people from different continents worldwide.

For the six weeks that I will be away, I have asked the intern in our department, Mr. Josh Kim, to cover for me. I will as well give him the necessary support should he need it. 

Since I will be in a foreign country, you can reach me via email at or on my WhatsApp number 974-040-4095.

Kindly consider my leave application.

Thank you.


Han Monroe

Chief ICT Officer

7. Terminal Leave

This is the type of leave where employees aren’t required to return to work after the leave period elapses.

It often comprises the accumulated unutilized leave days when the individual has been in active service.

An employee can take terminal leave just before retirement, or if it’s a military officer, just before discharge from the armed forces.

Discharge from the military can be due to various reasons, which include leaving by consent after completing service obligations, improper conduct, medical issues, failure to complete training, poor performance, insubordination, physical unfitness, conviction, alcohol and drug abuse, desertion, fraud, murder, sexual assault, security breaches, among others. 

Terminal Leave Application Sample

Dear Dr. Tej,

I was engaged as a Supply Chain Management Officer on 10th September, 2020 for three years. My service period is approaching an end, and I have accumulated 45 leave days, which I intend to take.

I have also grown weary due to the intensity of my work, especially in the past year, considering I didn’t take any breaks.

Please allow me to take 30 days off from 28th July, 2023. The Deputy Director, Mr. Hobbs Jansen, will take over my responsibilities when I am away. 

You can reach me on my phone number, 310-049-4695, or work email at

I hope you consider my terminal leave application.

Best regards,

Deken Cena

Senior Administrator 

8. One-Day Leave

As the name suggests, this is where an employee requests a day off to take care of something non-work related such as an emergency, a personal issue, a medical appointment, a festival, a job interview, or any other valid reason.

One-Day Leave Application Sample 


I wish to notify you that I will be attending a parents’ meeting at my son’s school, Zandeer Academy, tomorrow, 23rd November, 2023.

My team and I have hit the targets we set for ourselves this week. That means there is little that requires my attention now, and we have already set new targets for the coming week.

I hope you grant me the one-day off for the above purpose. I will be a call away should you need to talk to me.

Thank you.

Martha Reeves

Principal Research, Policy & Planning Officer

Leave Application

9. Half-Day Leave

This is the type of leave where an employee requests absence from work for several hours to attend to something that doesn’t require full-day attention. That can mean going for a family meeting/outing, visiting a sick loved one in the hospital, attending a religious event, attending to a personal matter, and whatnot. 

When you take a half-day leave, you can report to work early in the morning and leave at midday or utilize the morning hours to attend to other commitments and then report for duty in the afternoon. 

Half-Day Leave Application Sample 

Dear Ms. Trisha,

Last week I was feeling unwell and went for a check-up on Friday, where I was informed that I had contracted a bacterial infection.

The doctor prescribed some medication for me, which I have since finished. He asked me to go for a follow-up check-up after one week.

I am requesting that you allow me to seek further medical examination in the afternoon. I will report to work in the morning and do as much work as possible before taking a break.

I have attached my diagnosis and the medication the doctor prescribed during my last appointment.

Yours Faithfully,

Roman Reynolds

Finance Manager

10. Short Leave 

This is where an employee request absence from work for a period shorter than half a day. It can mean reporting to work late, leaving a little early, or taking a break between working hours.

An employee can apply for a short leave when something that requires urgent attention comes up, such as a health emergency, floods, or an urgent school meeting, or even a preplanned activity that wouldn’t require much time, such as a brief medical appointment, moving house, or a conference. 

Short Leave Application Sample 

Dear Ms. Flora,

The apartment I live in has started developing cracks, and the owner has instructed that we move out within the shortest time possible to prevent loss of life and property should it collapse. 

I am requesting about three hours off tomorrow at 2 pm so I can make arrangements to move house. I promise to take care of all pending tasks before then. 

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards, 

Kim Jon 

11. Leave of Absence 

In this type of leave, an employer grants an employee an extended period off work when they’re undergoing some unusual circumstances. The time off can be up to 12 weeks in a financial or calendar year. 

During your leave of absence, you may be eligible for pay and company benefits depending on your reason for taking a leave of absence or your agreement with your employer.

It can be mandatory or voluntary

A mandatory leave of absence is anchored on a specific country’s laws, which spell out the circumstances under which an employer can grant an employee a break. Some of the reasons that qualify one for a leave of absence include jury duty or military service. 

A voluntary leave of absence is where a worker requests time off to take care of personal endeavors such as completing graduate school, adopting or fostering a child, addressing a critical health condition, taking a sabbatical, and recovering from work-related stress, among other reasons. 

Leave of Absence Application Sample 

Dear Sir, 

From the conversation we had yesterday, I am writing to request a one-year leave of absence from 2nd October, 2023 to 1st October, 2024 to undertake a Master of Science Degree in Advanced Computer Science at Oxford University. 

After applying for a spot and undergoing extensive assessments, the university granted me the opportunity to study there full-time. They will take care of my tuition fees, accommodation, and upkeep. 

I am requesting that you allow me to take up this rare chance, and I will be back to work as soon as I return to the country. 

I have talked to my supervisor, and she has agreed to segregate my duties across the department when I am away. I have also promised to help the team virtually whenever need arises. 

Thank you for your time. 

Kind regards, 

Sahel Muna

ICT Officer I 

Why You Need to Put Your Leave Application into Writing

Someone who’s freshly employed or hasn’t been in formal employment long enough may not be aware that everything needs to be formalized, including leave application, unless the company is so small and there’s no documentation done there.

Putting your leave application into writing is critical for the following reasons: 

  • Evidence/Documentation purposes – Should there be any problems in the future at the workplace, your leave application will legitimize your absence from work and absolve you of any wrongdoing. 
  • Makes the process smooth – More often than not, your leave application will pass through more than one person for approval: your supervisor, the human resources department, and the head of the institution. Moving a written piece from one office to another is easier than through word of mouth.
  • A written leave application contains a date that shows that you applied for your leave within the required timeframe.

If your employer doesn’t give information about how to formalize your leave application, make a point to ask yourself so you’re sure about what to do.

Leave Application FAQs

Can my leave application get rejected?

Yes, your employer can reject your leave application due to various reasons. You could have submitted your leave request on short notice, or you didn’t have a conversation first with your colleagues about your plan to proceed on leave, or you are yet to deliver on an assignment, or there’s too much work to be done, or there could be no one to fill in for you should you take a break. In a nutshell, your employer has to give you a valid reason for rejecting your leave application. 

Can I cancel my leave application?

Yes. If you have a change of mind regarding your plan to take leave, you can formally request your employer to cancel your leave application until some other time.

When can I apply for leave after securing a new job?

This is usually contained in the contract you sign and differs from organization to organization. Most employers, however, require their employees to serve continuously for at least three months before considering taking leave.

What happens if I fail to utilize my leave days?

Depending on why you didn’t utilize your leave days, your employer may or may not pay you in lieu of the unutilized leave days. So, unless the situation doesn’t permit you to go on leave, apply for your much-needed break.

Can I carry forward my unused leave days?

Most employers allow carrying over part of the unused leave days into the following calendar or financial year. This is because you may be unable to utilize all your leave days due to different reasons. Your job may be too demanding, or your organization is understaffed, and your absence will affect productivity at the workplace.

Your employment contract should state clearly whether it’s possible to carry forward unutilized leave days. Contact the human resource department for clarification if it’s not captured in the contract.

Can I reschedule my leave days in case something comes up at work?

Some employers allow rescheduling leave days. Find out from the human resource department if this is possible at your workplace.

Is it a must I apply for leave whenever I want to be away from work?

It’s good practice always to do so. Your employer/supervisor should know where you are or why you’re not at work when others are working. You’ll also be adhering to the company policies and be on the safe side. 

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