How Do You Call Out of Work Last Minute: Examples and More

how do you call out of work last minute

Calling out of work at the last minute can be a stressful and daunting process.

Often, you’ll wrestle with how you are going to break the news to your employer that you can’t come in for your next shift.

Questions such as, ‘Will I look unprofessional?’, ‘Should I just go in anyway?, or even, ‘Will I lose my job because of this?’ may cross your mind. This is completely understandable, but you don’t need to worry.

While it is important to be a reliable and professional employee, unforeseen circumstances do arise. Mental and physical health are extremely important and so there are times when we all have completely justifiable excuses to call out of work.

When there are justifiable excuses to call out of work in advance, you need to do so in a thoughtful and professional manner. 

There are several factors to consider when calling out at the last minute. We recommend planning ahead when possible, so any work that needs to be done or delayed can be managed with advanced planning.

We also recommend being transparent and honest with your employer about your reasons for needing to take time off work. 

Generally, employers will be understanding when your reasons are genuine. Make sure you follow all the procedures set out in your contract for requesting sick leave, even last minute. This will ensure that everything is done correctly and the absence is dealt with according to company protocol.  

Reasons to Call Out of Work Last Minute

What are some of the most common reasons and excuses to call out of work at the last minute? Here, we list some of the most common reasons for last minute absences based on our experience: 


You can wake up in the morning with a cold, flu, severe migraine, or any number of illnesses that can happen out of the blue.

Common illnesses happen all the time and they can be serious enough to keep you off work. When this happens, it is important to rest and stay home both to prevent passing your illness onto coworkers and to ensure you rest and heal.

It may also be necessary given life’s continual stresses and strains to take a day off to recharge and allow your mental health to recover, so you can return to work energized and productive. Remember if your illness or condition persists, you might need to ask for longer sick leave.

Family Emergency

Family emergencies can occur when you need to provide immediate care or support to a family member, or receive the news of a loved one’s passing.

Depending on the circumstances of your family, the responsibility may fall on you to deal with these difficult situations, and in such circumstances calling out of work will be necessary.

Personal Emergency

There are other emergencies that can affect you directly, such as accidents or adverse weather conditions that impact your ability to get to work. Other common emergencies might include emergencies in your home, such as burglaries or floods. You can also request time off for these reasons.

Childcare Issues

If your child becomes ill and needs to stay home from school and you have no other immediate childcare options, you’ll have to call out of work at the last minute. 

Religious Observance

If your company allows for personal days off for holidays or religious observances, you might need to call out of work at the last minute for these reasons. Most employers are lenient with these accommodations, as they strive for greater diversity in the workplace.

Wrapping Up

There are a number of believable excuses for missing work at the last minute. Try to avoid calling out last-minute frequently, as this can impact your work performance.

However, it is important to prioritize your mental and physical health. Follow established procedures and provide an honest explanation for your absence–these details will help you maintain your professionalism.

Title: How Do You Call Out of Work Last Minute: Examples and More

Category: Career Resources

Co-Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.

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