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20+ Good Excuses to Leave Work Early and Go Home

Inside: Looking for good excuses to leave work early? This guide will show you how to get out of work now.

In today’s 24/7 work culture, it can be tough to find the time to take a break.

We are expected to answer emails after hours, participate in conference calls on weekends, and check our work voicemails from vacation.

It’s no wonder that so many of us feel burned out all the time.

But what if I told you that there is a way to get away with leaving work early? And not just once in a while, but every day?

Sure, you might have to be a little sneaky about it.

But with these 20+ good excuses, you’ll be able to leave work early and go home without anyone being the wiser.

Another option is to look for early morning jobs to get paid early and leave.

Is your work schedule driving you crazy? Are you always feeling rushed and stressed out? If so, it might be time to take a look at these good excuses to leave work early. This guide will show you how to create a more balanced and stress-free work schedule.

What is a good excuse to leave work early?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best excuse to leave work early will vary depending on individual circumstances.

However, some possible excuses include needing to pick up a child from school, feeling sick or unwell, or having a personal emergency.

Most employers will accept reasonable reasons related to you or your family’s health and well-being.

Why it’s important to plan early leaves?

Picture of a person wondering why it is important to plan early leaves.

The better idea to plan ahead when you want to leave early is paramount for a number of reasons.

Planning early gives your employer ample time to prepare for your absence. This allows them to take measures to ensure continuity of productivity and efficiency.

Giving at least one day’s notice is courteous and allows your employer to plan accordingly.

By doing so, you attract the respect of your employer and demonstrate professional and responsible behavior.

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How do I tell my boss I want to leave early?

Picture of a converstation between boss and employee on how do I tell my boss I want to leave early.

If you want to tell your boss you want to leave work early, it is important to consider the following steps:

  1. Know why you want to leave early. Make sure you have a clear understanding of why you need to leave, so you can make a strong case for your request.
  2. Confirm company policy. Before you make the request, double-check company policy to make sure your reason for leaving early is supported.
  3. Reflect on your work history. Think about how often you’ve asked for time off, the quality of your work, and the potential impact of your absence on other team members.
  4. Ask as soon as possible. Giving your boss plenty of notice will increase the chances of your request being approved.
  5. Be polite but direct. Explain your situation in a professional manner and provide any necessary details.

How can I leave work early without getting in trouble?

Picture of man exited about how can I leave work early without getting in trouble.

The best way to leave work early without getting in trouble is to ask your boss for permission.

If you have a good reason for wanting to leave early, such as an appointment, your boss is likely to be understanding.

It’s always best to be upfront and honest with your boss about your intentions.

Also, if you are not a salaried worker, then you will not be paid for your time off.

Be careful or you may have to use one of the best excuse to quit a job no notice.

What is a good excuse to leave work early?

Picture of someone sick for a good excuse to leave work early.

I’m feeling sick and need to go home.

The best excuses to leave work early and go home

Picture of a lady with a clock wanting to know the best excuses to leave work early.

With the rise of more hybrid work arrangements, it is becoming more and more understandable that we don’t have to stick to strict working hours, and

There are plenty of good excuses to leave work early without your boss or colleagues thinking you aren’t committed to your job.

Here are some of the most common and appropriate reasons to ask to leave work early:

1. Medical Reasons

Medical reasons or emergencies are some of the most common and valid excuses to leave work early.

If you or a family member needs to see a doctor or medical professional, it is important to inform your employer and ask for permission to leave work.

Employers are usually understanding if you need to take care of your health or the health of your loved ones and will often allow you to leave work early to do so.

  • If you have a recurring medical appointment, it is best to discuss possible accommodations with your employer and establish when you can leave early. This will ensure that work is completed on time and that your absence is minimized.
  • In the event of an unexpected medical emergency, it is important to update your employer when you can to let them know when you can resume your normal work schedule.

For medical reasons or emergencies, it is best to ask for permission to leave work early as soon as possible as you may be distracted with what is going on anyway.

2. Home Emergencies Like a Burst Pipe

Dealing with home emergencies can be a stressful and time-consuming situation.

These types of issues can include a flooded bathroom, broken boiler, gas leak, house fire, HVAC issues, or major appliance malfunctions. If you are faced with one of these unexpected events, you may need to take time off work to address it.

If you need to leave work early due to a home emergency, it’s best to inform your boss as soon as possible.

They are likely to understand why you need to leave to take care of the issue. In many cases, you may need to make arrangements for someone else to be present, such as a delivery or home inspection.

3. Sick Child

If you need to pick up a child from school or daycare due to illness, this is a valid excuse for leaving work early.

Most employers will understand that caring for a sick child takes priority, and will accept this as an acceptable excuse.

In some cases, you can even use it after you’ve already started your workday if you explain that nobody else is available to care for your child. This can be especially useful for single parents who are solely responsible for the care of their children.

4. Babysitter/Daycare Emergency

Parents can also use the excuse the babysitter or daycare has an issue with leaving work early with little notice.

All it takes is for you to say, “I’m so sorry, but my daughter’s day care was evacuated because of a gas leak. They are asking everyone to pick up their children.”

Obviously, you would need to back up any claim like this with evidence.

5. Car Problems

You can tell your boss that you had unexpected car troubles and need to take it to a shop, or that the mechanic had some availability open up at the last minute.

Unfortunately, with the rise of stolen cars and fender benders, dealing with a car repair or investigation takes a lot of time! 1

It’s also acceptable to say that you’ve been concerned about your car recently and don’t want to miss any more work due to ongoing car trouble.

If you are having issues getting into the office, such as your car breaking down or a public transport strike, this can be used as an excuse work remotely for the day.

6. Family Issues

Family issues that may cause a person to leave work early can be varied and often unexpected.

Unexpected family emergency excuses such as illnesses, injuries, or the death of a loved one require immediate attention and may necessitate leaving work early.

You need to weigh the consequences of leaving early with the emergent need of the situation that arises.

7. Home Invasion or Break-in Security Alarm

This is the last thing you want to happen as it will destroy confidence in the place you call home.

Your boss should understand that you need to leave immediately to check if your home and family are safe. Make sure your employer understands the severity of the situation, and why you need to address the problem as soon as possible.

8. Work Injury

Work injuries can be both distracting and painful, often hindering productivity and increasing the risk of further injury.

First and foremost, if you experience an injury at work, you should be familiar with the workers’ compensation policy and any relevant paperwork you may need to fill out. Your employer may require a doctor’s note or other proof that your absence is medically advised in order to leave early, which you can attain from your medical attendant.

If a work injury requires you to rest or seek medical treatment, your employer may be willing to make accommodations so that you can leave work early and focus on your recovery.

Leaving work early due to work injuries can be a necessary and appropriate course of action.

9. Pet Care

Having a sick pet can be stressful and worrying, but it is best to take the necessary steps to make sure they get the care they need.

If you need to leave work early to take care of your pet, make sure you have a valid excuse and provide solutions when possible.

When it comes to leaving work early due to pet care, it is essential, to be honest with your employer. Remember, leaving work early isn’t something that should be taken lightly.

10. Unexpected Out of Town Guests

When you get that unexpected text telling you that out-of-town family is arriving sooner than you thought.

So, you have two ways to handle this:

  1. Leave work early
  2. Send your visitors to check out a local attraction while you finish working.

This is something you must decide whether or not it is a valid excuse to leave work early.

11. Installation Appointment

This could apply to a variety of situations, such as internet or cable installation, or even having a package delivered that requires a signature.

While they are highly annoying, it is important to let your supervisor know a few days in advance to ensure that business operations are not impacted.

If you need to leave for an installation appointment, make sure you explain that it is important and that you must be present when the workers arrive. Your supervisor may ask you questions about the appointment, such as what is being installed, so be prepared to answer them.

12. Appliance Delivery

Just like needing to leave for a contractor or another appointment, this falls under the same realm.

It’s important to be present when the delivery is made, so you can inspect the appliances. Plus someone over the age of 18 must sign for them.

And it is impossible ninety-nine percent of the time to get an appointment that does not conflict with working hours.

13. Networking Events or Training Workshops

You may be interested in attending workshops, networking events, or training courses that take place during work hours. Discussing the benefits of these events to your job-related skills and productivity with your employer may be a good way to get permission to leave early.

When needing to leave work early for something like this, it is best, to be honest, and explain exactly why you are leaving.

As long as you ask for permission beforehand and provide a valid reason, you will likely have no problem getting the time off that you need.

14. Wedding

Most employers understand the importance of these events and will allow you to take the necessary time off as they don’t happen all the time.

Attending a wedding of a family member or close friend is often a valid and important reason to leave work early.

It is important to communicate your request to your employer in advance and to provide them with the necessary details.

  • For weddings, make sure to let your employer know who is getting married and why you need to at a certain time.

15. Death of a Loved One or Funeral

The death of a loved one is an extremely difficult time, and taking time off work to grieve is necessary. Most companies have a bereavement policy that allows employees to take a few days off if a loved one passes away.

If a loved one passes away suddenly, nobody would blame you for leaving work early to attend to the situation.

You should explain the situation to your employer but don’t feel obligated to go into further detail if you don’t want to.

Most bosses are understanding and will allow you to take some time off to mourn or make funeral arrangements.

The death of someone close to us will inevitably mean that we are not focused at all on work. Whether the end is near, or they have already passed, people need time to process and come to terms with such a life changing event.

16. Locked out of the House/Car

Yep, my husband had to leave work early to bring us the extra spare key for our car. Our sweet daughter locked the keys in the car.

This was an unfortunate emergency.

While you may be gone for only an hour or two, you should evaluate going back to work.

17. Family Events

Family events, even those that happen during work hours, are important and you should be in attendance whenever possible.

Ultimately, these family events should be planned in advance so you can ask for time off. However, sometimes the unexpected nature of such events or changing of dates will cause you to leave work early.

When making the request, it is important to be honest and discrete.

Though it can be difficult to balance work and family, it is necessary to make sure that family events that occur during work hours are attended to when feasible.

18. Religious Obligation

Religious observances are a valid reason for missing work as employers are required to give reasonable accommodations for religious beliefs.

If you have a religious obligation such as an upcoming holiday, you may need to request time off to prepare or observe the event.

More than likely, the need to leave work early shouldn’t be a surprise request. It may mean changing your schedule regularly.

For example, Seventh-Day Adventists tend to observe the Sabbath starting at sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday. In this case, an employer may require a written request to modify the work schedule in order to accommodate the absence.

19. Undisclosed Personal Issues

Sometimes, personal issues arise that require one to take time away from work. These issues may be too sensitive or embarrassing to discuss with your employer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an excuse when you need to miss work.

In such scenarios, you can put on a sad face and say you have a personal problem. People will understand and feel uncomfortable about prying into your personal matters.

Do not explain yourself further, as it is only necessary to give the necessary details when providing a good excuse to miss work.

20. Unexplained Emergency

If you need to leave quickly and with a sense of urgency, one of the best excuses is to just leave and say you don’t have time to explain what is going on.

This will leave everyone questioning what is happening.

While it will give you extra time to come up with a bulletproof excuse, you need to make sure you can back up your claim to just leave. Especially if you do not want to be fired.

Quick Excuses To Use With Little Explanation:

*Unexplained Illness or oncoming cold
*Headache or migraine
*Back pain
*Stomach issue
*Menstrual cramps
*Severe toothache
*COVID diagnosis in your household
*Doctor’s appointment
*Food poisoning
*Vaccinne appointment

Bad Excuse Not to Go to Work

Picture of someone grappling with bad excuses

Don’t use any of these bad excuses:

  • Errands
  • Dog Poop
  • Pissing Content
  • No Feeling the Productivity
  • Package Delivery like amazon
  • The weather is Nice Outside

That is just a case of I don’t want to go to work.

What is an emergency excuse for leaving work early?

Picture of an emergency

An emergency excuse for leaving work early is one that pertains to an unexpected and urgent event.

This could be anything from a family member who is sick or injured, to a problem with your home or car.

Reference the emergency excuses above.

How to make your excuse believable

Picture of a lady crafting how to make your excuse believable.

When making an excuse, be as believable as possible.

This means having an excuse that is short, sweet, and to the point.

If your story is too complicated or far-fetched, the person you’re making the excuse to will likely see right through it.

Step 1: Plan your request strategically.

Make sure you have a valid reason for wanting to leave early and be prepared to explain it.

Consider your choice of words.

When making an excuse, it can help to frame it in a more open-ended way. Instead of asking for permission to leave early, try phrases like “I need to tend to something important” or “I have a situation I need to take care of.”

Step 2: Share your reason for leaving early

Clearly explain why you need to leave work early. Let your boss know the specific reason and the circumstances that require you to leave.

Make sure you give a legitimate reason for your request.

Step 3: Emphasize the importance of your activity

Emphasizing the importance of the activity you are going to leave work early for can make your excuse more believable.

By communicating the value of the activity and why it is important to you, your employer will be more likely to understand and respect your decision.

Furthermore, if your activity is beneficial to your professional development, it can demonstrate your commitment to the company, which will help you maintain a good relationship with your employer.

Step 4: Offer Alternatives

If you can, offer an alternative solution to leaving early.

For example, suggest you could come in early the next day in order to accommodate the situation.

Step 5: Avoid using the same excuse too often

Decide which excuse you want to use. Consider the creativity of the excuse, its believability, whether it’s morally wrong, and how easy it is to execute.

If you use the same excuse too often, your boss may become frustrated and think you are unreliable.

Ultimately, this will lead to you getting fired.

Step 6: Be concise

You don’t need to provide too much detail.

Be direct, brief, and concise in your explanation.

Remain factual and on point when you explain why you need to leave for the day. Avoid going off on tangents.

Step 7: Be Honest

Finally, always be honest. Lying about your reasons for leaving early can be damaging to your credibility and can affect your ability to leave work early in the future.

Use language that is polite and respectful when requesting to leave.


The most obvious con is that leaving work early could affect your work performance and productivity. Your employer may not be comfortable with you leaving early if it affects the quality of your work.

Additionally, there is the possibility that leaving early could reflect negatively on your reliability and dedication.

Another con is that leaving work early could affect the morale of other employees. If your employer allows you to leave early but doesn’t grant the same privilege to other employees, this could create resentment and tension in the workplace.

Some health-related reasons for leaving work early include feeling dizzy, nauseous or ill, migraine headache, doctor’s appointment, dental emergency, sickness or injury, menstrual cramping, anxiety or panic attacks, migraines, diarrhea, pregnancy symptoms, lack of sleep, and mental health issues.

Yes, it is ok to email your supervisor to explain why you need to leave work early.

Email is a convenient way to make your request, as it can be sent quickly and easily. Plus it keeps written documentation of your request.

Keep in mind that some bosses feel that email communication is rude and, at best, impersonal.

Employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who need to leave work early due to an emergency or illness.

Additionally, the employer cannot discriminate against an employee based on the reasons they provide for needing to leave work early.

Therefore employees need to be mindful and honest when providing an excuse for leaving work early.

What is your reason to leave work early?

Picture of a lady for what is your reason to leave work early.

By following these steps, you can make sure your explanation for leaving work early is believable and your boss will understand the situation.

However, you must be wary of leaving work too often as it will hurt your ability to earn a paycheck.

  • If you are thinking I don’t want to work anymore, then you need to start taking steps to make that happen.
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your work schedule, it’s important to take a step back and assess your situation.

There are several ways to create a more balanced and stress-free work schedule.

You may need to start with one of these good excuses to leave work early, to focus on what you need. Then, you can make the necessary changes to your work schedule and improve your overall work-life balance.

Or start looking for a low stress job that pays a lot.


  1. Forbes. “Pandemic Or Not, Vehicle Thefts Are Skyrocketing In These Parts Of The Country.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2022/09/01/pandemic-or-not-vehicle-thefts-are-skyrocketing-in-these-parts-of-the-country/?sh=647b3434793b. Accessed December 20, 2023.

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