Best Reasons for an Emergency Leave (Top 9)

In this blog entry, we will be discussing how an Emergency Leave is defined, the best reasons for taking emergency leaves, common excuses, the worst reasons, and we will also be answering other frequently asked questions regarding the subject matter.

Best Reasons for an Emergency Leave

What makes a reason for an Emergency Leave good? When it is valid! And by that, it means your reason for wanting or having to take an emergency leave should be legal, acceptable to your employer, and legitimate for honesty’s sake. Here are the nine best valid and legal reasons for taking an emergency leave:

  • illness or injury
  • medical appointments
  • death
  • burial and funeral
  • marriage
  • family
  • religious observances
  • actual emergency
  • crime

Taking an emergency leave is something every employee has the right to do. Nobody can prevent emergencies from happening because everybody will find themselves in unexpected situations, whether they like it or not, superiors and subordinates alike. These situations can be personal or professional.

What is an Emergency Leave?

Emergency Leave is when “An employee is entitled to a leave of absence without pay because of a personal illness, injury or medical emergency or the death, illness, injury or medical emergency of an individual (i.e. – spouse or family member) or an urgent matter that concerns an individual,” as is defined by the Ontario Employment Standards Act.

In other words, this means being excused from work because of lawful reasons and not getting oneself in trouble for your absence except with the presupposition of not getting paid. Even if the last thing that one who has experienced an emergency would want is more bad news, this is the only way to keep things fair for an employer who has already lost productivity hours from their employee. It may not be your fault, but your missing work may significantly affect the company workflow, so it is reasonable. Some employers are still willing to pay their employees despite their absence, although it is subject to discretion.

The usual reasons why a personal emergency leave may be taken could be because of:

·        a medical emergency such as an injury or a personal illness, or,

·        a death, or an urgent matter related to the spouse and family members, i.e., a parent, a child, a grandparent, a grandchild, a brother, a sister, or a dependent relative.

We will now go into detail on the previously mentioned best reasons for taking an emergency leave:

Illness or Injury

We may catch a common cold or get the flu, but the matter of fact is we all get sick. We may have unknowingly exposed ourselves to a virus, or we just might have overworked our bodies. Stress and stressors can contribute to sickness, too. And we can get this at the workplace or even in our own homes.

Or, we may be fond of doing physical work. We probably find ourselves doing some hammering during the weekend only to end up crushing one of our fingers because we may have slipped in the middle of our repetitive pounding. Or we may be just too adventurous, and we climbed and had fallen off a too tall enough of a tree. Come the weekday, and we suddenly have an injury.

Medical Appointments

What do we do when we fall ill or injured? Besides resting or medicating to heal, we seek medical advice or help! And it starts with setting medical appointments with a doctor and eventually going to them for medical checkups. But if your teeth are involved, it would be dental appointments and dental checkups with a dentist, then. Taking care of our bodies and prioritizing our health is very important. We do not only need them to continue living, but we need them to get back into working, which is what puts food on our families’ tables in the first place.


Death is inevitable as it comes for all of us. The heartrending thing about it is we do not know when it arrives to take us. For the working class who have parents who are aged or the schoolchildren who have grandparents who are frail, the approach is more expectedly imminent. It is the best worst reason to get hold of an Emergency Leave. With someone in our immediate family deceased, we unquestionably need to grieve.


As life goes before death, burial comes after it. It is the binding action of the unanticipated event that makes it a conventional cause for an Emergency Leave or an extension of it. May it be an in-ground burial or a cremation due to personal or religious reasons, the obtainability of the right to take leave should be all the same. Prior to the actual disposition of the deceased, the employee may also want to observe funerary customs relating to their respective beliefs, hence it should be an acceptable reason for the need to take longer leaves.


On the brighter side of reasons for taking emergency leaves, we have not only the socially but also the legally sanctioned and culturally recognized matter of marriage. You may have been in a relationship long before being an employee of your current company or you may actually be in a newfangled one nonetheless you and your partner have decided to tie the knot, a reason as such is universally accepted. As long as it is you personally getting married, asking for leave should be appropriate.


We all belong to families related by blood or adoption in one way or another, and more often than not, we live our everyday lives with them. With that said, our existence is interweaved with every member of our respective families and if anything happens to any one of the other members, we ourselves are inevitably affected whether we like it or not. Even if Aristotle said that “The family is the association established by nature for the supply of men’s everyday wants,” needs show up everyday just as often. And sometimes, there are just necessities in the home which require our prompt attention while we are smack dab in the middle of work. Depending on the gravity of the situation, emergency leaves may be endorsed.

Religious Observances

All of us have different religious beliefs, but most of us believing in particular religions or belonging to major denominations, practice specific rituals or attend certain ceremonies. Asking for leave due to this reason is tolerated unless one is with lesser-known or more minor sects.

Actual Emergency

The definition alone of emergency being serious, unexpected, and often dangerous is more than enough to warrant an–you guessed it–emergency leave. In fact, it is the best-qualified reason for you to take leaves! A child in school may have gotten into trouble with classmates or schoolmates, or maybe you happen to out of the blue, receive an email letting you know of your successful application for some work-related or personal endeavor that requires you to report immediately. Maybe you also get informed by your neighbor of a leakage happening in the house, but your dependable plumber has somehow taken a vacation, so you have to go home and do the fixing job yourself. As long as the circumstance constitutes what makes an actual emergency, then your asking for leave should be trouble-free.


If there is any better reason which calls for a leave than having an actual emergency, then it is the instance of crime and having to deal with its aftermath. You may have learned at work from friends how something terrible has happened to your loved ones because of a miscreant who showed up in the neighborhood, so you unquestionably have to get back to your family. This reason, without question, is an excuse that should be authorized by default.

FAQ: Best Reasons for an Emergency Leave

Here are five Frequently Asked Questions regarding the subject matter of Emergency Leaves:

How do I ask for an Emergency Leave?

As with other things you do as an employee in your workplace, you should be professional in asking for an emergency leave. When requesting leave, ask your boss properly by being polite. Let your direct supervisor know sooner and not later so responsibilities can be delegated during your absence. Make sure you let them know which tasks need to be attended while you are away, and if you are to do any work while not being in the office, let your manager know of the extent of work you will be able to perform.

Do not forget to be courteous when asking your employer. Do not present your need as a demand but rather a request, and you will more likely receive a sympathetic response. Be honest about your reason for asking to be excused, and remember you are not required to disclose details you are uncomfortable with, such as those involving sickness or family.

Can emergency leaves be denied?

Yes, emergency leaves can be denied for military service members especially when they are deployed. But for other employees in the general sense, no. Employers should not refuse valid requests for emergency leaves. Depending on your situation, you may need to provide proof to your supervisor to show the validity of your request. As mentioned above, your reason for taking an emergency leave should be legal, acceptable, and legitimate.

Can an employer ask what my emergency is?

Yes, an employer can ask about what your emergency is. As a matter of fact, it is your employer’s right to know, and you should know this as an employee. You may set limits upon yourself on the information to disclose, but knowing the subject of your emergency is the business of your employer.

What are the common excuses for missing work?

According to a report and survey, the most common excuses for missing work are:

  1. Traffic
  2. Oversleeping
  3. Bad Weather
  4. Tiredness
  5. Forgetfulness

with traffic accounting for 51%, oversleeping for 31%, bad weather for 28%, tiredness for 23%, and forgetfulness for 13%.

What are the worst reasons for an emergency leave?

The worst reasons for missing work can be true at times, but they are downright bad excuses. Laziness could be the worst excuse among the rest, and even if it were in actuality true, it is a pitiful reason. Having problems with your vehicle may have passed as a valid reason in the past, but with the availability of various ways to commute nowadays, it has almost become an unacceptable excuse. Being hungover or feeling tired is just uncalled-for, and an acquaintance needing you to be there for them because they are going through a heartbreak is just ludicrous.


Right now, you should know more about the subject of Emergency Leave, its lawful definition, the best reasons for taking them, their common excuses, the worst reasons to have them, and the answers to frequently asked questions about the matter. If you have any questions or comments, then just enter them into the comment section below and let us get back to you!

In this brief article, we provided the best reasons for taking an emergency leave and explained each reason in-depth as well as covered how to ask for an emergency leave.


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Doyle, A. 2020, Good and Bad Excuses for Missing Work, accessed 21 January 2021, <>

Indeed 2020, The Best Excuses to Leave Work Early, accessed 21 January 2021, <>

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