A formal excuse letter should contain the name and address of the person to whom the letter is addressed, a date of reference for the infraction and a detailed reason or excuse. Usually, a formal excuse letter is written when a student misses school or when an employee misses work or an important deadline.
One of the most common examples of a formal excuse letter is when a parent writes one for his or her child who misses school. These letters are quite informal, with a simple salutation, the date of absence and the reason. It is also a good idea to include contact information, such as a phone number or email, in case the school has any questions or needs further information.
Sometimes, a letter of excuse is used in a work environment. Some employers may request a formal letter if an employee is going to be on vacation or has unexpectedly been absent. These letters are a bit more formal than those written for school absences and should be addressed to the employee's immediate boss and copied to the human resources department. At times, there may be unanticipated circumstances that cause an employee to miss an important deadline. In cases like this, a formal excuse letter can be generated explaining the reason for missing the deadline and the actions the employee will take to complete the work in a timely manner.