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Formal letter of apology to employer

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Formal letter of apology to employer
June 02, 2019 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 5 comments

This Apology Letter for Misconduct can be downloaded here. When working in a company or business as an employee you may fail to control.

Formal apology letter to boss is a letter sent quite common, since all of us who work make mistake, and when you realize you made mistake you should apologize. However writing apology letter to boss is a tricky and challenging task, because you have to decide what is proper for this letter.

One thing is sure, disregarding the violation you have made / caused, writing apology to your boss will help you to make things right in a long term, and restore the communication to the set before the infraction.  Since not all mistakes are equally serious for a business, the time and effort you are going to invest in drafting apology letter to boss varies,

In the below we have provided you a sample formal apology letter to boss for a poor performance. Sending this letter to your supervisor may save your job, and therefore feel free to use this letter if necessary and adjust it to your business environment.


Dear Mr. [BOSS]


With this letter I hereby wish to apologize for my poor performance at work lately. I am aware that I have been arriving to work often late, failing to complete my work duly. For this I am truly sorry and I take full responsibility.

 About 20 days ago my daughter was involved in an awful car accident and she had to be hospitalized for 3 weeks. While she is doing better now things have been very stressful between dealing with the doctors, the insurance provider and others (like family and friends). Now that my daughter has settled back in at home things could calm down hopefully. We have the help that we need for she while I am at work and I am ready to give commit myself to my duties fully. I will strive to do only my best work from this point forward.

I highly appreciate your understanding during this difficult time. I am grateful for your leniency over the past couple of weeks and I promise that you will not regret it. Please accept my most sincere apologies for my decreased performance during this time.

Sincerely Yours,



Here are some of the tips to write an apology letter to boss. In a formal apology letter you do not have to prove how good you are at one language like English.

Apology Letter to Boss for Mistake

formal letter of apology to employer

When it comes to apology letter writing, we can broadly divide the apology letters into two major sections. The first type is personal apology letter, which is written to a friend or relative or someone close to heart. The other kind is Professional Apology Letter which has generally been written by the professionals. For example, an employee should write apology letter or apologize letter to the management, HR manager or team leader or even business owner, if he has been found to be seriously guilty for some reasons.

Formal Business Apology Letter

Formal business apology letters are generally written by employees addressing employers, asking employers to apologize for the mistakes that have been committed by employees. It can also be written by one business owner to another business owner.

Formal Apology Letter Format

Formal apology letter should be well structured and properly written. Tone of writing is the most important thing. You can use this sample for writing a formal apology letter.

Formal and Informal Apology Letter

This is a template that can be used for writing both formal and informal apology letters. Available in PDF format, this template is easy downloadable. You have to download it first and then print it for using it.

Formal Refund Apology Letter

Formal Letter of Apology for Missed Interview

Formal Apology Letter to Client

Formal Personal Apology Letter

Sample Formal Apology Letter

Uses and Purposes of Formal Apology Letters

Depending upon the situation or scenario, uses or purposes of apology letters can vary. Generally, a business apology is a formal apology that an employee owes to his or her employer or higher management. An employee may commit some mistakes that are financially or physically harmful for an organization or company.

In that case, the employee owes an apology to the management or company owner. In case of any disrespectful behavior by an employee, the company can issue show cause notice to that employee. Employees should write Business Apology Letters, if they have genuinely committed the mistakes. Professional apology letter can also be written to colleagues in some cases.

Who Should use the Formal Apology Letter Samples?

Formal Apology Letter Sample should be used when you have decided to make a formal apology to your employer or higher management or team leader. Writing apology letter is necessary, when you have intentionally or unintentionally make a mistake that can be costly for the company.

Typically, in an apology letter, you need to write about your mistakes and possible justification those mistakes. Justifications should look like overdone. If you know you have committed a mistake, without giving any justification you should ask for an apology. You can write why you deserve an apology from your employer or senior management. To write apology letter, use online samples.

How to Write Formal Apology Letter?

When you have made a mistake in professional field, you know that there is slim chance for getting a second chance. However, second chances do come, when you write a formal apology letter, stating your sincerity for the company and assuring no repetition of errors in future. Sample Apology Letter should include the possible reasons why employer should apologize your.

Your apology message should sound genuine. The writing tone of the letter should be formal as well as professional. You should also follow professional or standardized structures for writing the letters. Use templates that are available online to craft your apology letter with perfection.

Apology letters must be simple and well written. Formal apology letter should be completely different from personal apology letters. In formal apology letter, professional tone must be maintained. There should be lesser emotions. The Formal Letter should be precise and logically written. Follow online samples to write such letters in professional style.

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Assignment Point - Solution for Best Assignment Paper

formal letter of apology to employer

It is common to be asked to write an IELTS apology letter for General Training writing task 1. You might be given a formal or informal apology letter. You must use the correct style and tone to get a high band score. Always decide what type of letter you must write before you start planning. Students taking the academic test, do not write letters for task 1 writing.

Below you will find:

  • an informal apology letter: question and model answer
  • a formal apology letter: question and model answer
  • link to essential tips for IELTS letter writing

Note the difference in tone, content and also language between formal and informal apology letters.

IELTS Informal Apology Letter

This letter was in the IELTS test, October 2017.

Write a letter to a friend. You have borrowed something from your friend and it got damaged.

  1. Apologize for damaging the product
  2. Explain what happened
  3. Say how are you going to fix the issue

IELTS Model Answer Apology Letter – Informal

Dear Emily,

Sorry it’s taken me so long to write to you but at last I put pen to paper to explain why I haven’t returned that DIY book I borrowed from you.

To be honest, I’ve been feeling so guilty that I delayed writing to you. I have to own up that I damaged the book accidentally. I’m so very sorry. I know how important that book is to you as it was passed down from your late father.

What happened is that I had been reading up on the chapter about DIY plumbing when I knocked over my cup of coffee which splashed all over the book. Most of the stain is on the pages that were open at the time.

I’ve sent the book away to be repaired. I didn’t realise that was even possible until I researched it. Anyway, it should be as good as new when I get it back next week and then I’ll send it on to you.

Again, I’m so sorry for the delay in telling you. I hope you can forgive me.

Best wishes


IELTS Formal Apology Letter

Write a letter to your boss apologising for the recent meeting you missed at work.

  1. Apologise for missing the meeting.
  2. Explain what happened.
  3. Say what you will do to compensate.

Model Answer for an IELTS Formal Apology Letter

Dear Mr Drummond,

I am writing to apologise for the meeting I missed on October 20th about development plans for the company.

I am sincerely sorry for not being able to attend this meeting. I am aware of the importance of the meeting but, unfortunately, my absence was unavoidable.

The reason for not attending this meeting was that I had a car accident on the way to work that day. Although the accident was not serious, I was taken to hospital for a check up and not allowed to leave until I had been given the all clear from a doctor.

I understand how crucial this meeting was and, therefore, I have asked one of my colleagues, Sandra Brown, to review the meeting with me after work today. We will go over all development plans and also people’s roles and responsibilities. By the end of today, I will be up to speed with all plans.

I hope you will forgive my absence and be assured of my commitment to this company and its future.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Brollend

Useful Link

You can find essential tips for IELTS letters on this page: IELTS GT Letter Writing Tips


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How to write a meaningful and sincere apology letter to your boss for any wrong doing An apology in writing is a formal and very respectful way of dealing with.

Apology letter for missing an event

formal letter of apology to employer

Making mistakes is part of human nature, but some mistakes in the workplace can be detrimental to your reputation and, indeed, your job.

Instead of trying to cover your tracks and brush your mistakes under the carpet, or spend too much time dwelling on your slip-ups, you should always take the honest path by first admitting and then apologising for your error of judgement.

If you’re not sure how to fess up, simply follow this step-by-step guide on how to apologise for making a mistake at work - we’ve even included sample letters you can follow to make everything right again!

Steps to Follow

Whether you’re planning a verbal explanation or a written apology, you should follow the steps listed below to ensure you’re taking the correct measures.

1. Acknowledge Your Mistake

The first thing you need to do is take ownership for your mistake and admit that you were in the wrong.

2. Apologise

Once you’ve admitted that you were in the wrong, you need to apologise for your mistake, but be honest when you’re apologising! Don’t just say ‘sorry’ because it’s the right thing to do!

3. Accept Responsibility

Now that you’ve apologised, you should accept responsibility for your wrongdoings. This is where you will explain what happened and identify the wrong actions that you took which led to your mistake.

4. Offer an Explanation

You can offer an explanation and insight into your thought process, but make sure that it isn’t just a pile of lame excuses. Reflect on the situation and explain where you think it went wrong and how you could have reacted differently.

5. Take Action

Now that you’ve accepted your mistakes, explain how you will take action to ensure that you won’t repeat them. For example, if you shouted at a colleague, say that you’ve started practising mindfulness to help you be calmer.

6. Express Your Regret

Once again, express how sorry you are and ask for forgiveness. This shows that you take your position seriously and that you want to do all you can to improve and grow as a professional.

7. Promise it Won’t Happen Again

At the end of your letter, promise that you won’t make the same mistake again. Apologising for a mistake is one thing but demonstrating that you intend to learn from it makes it easier for a manager to rebuild their trust in you.

How to Structure an Apology Letter

As with any formal letter in the workplace, you need to follow basic formatting conventions to ensure your letter.

Below is an overview of the structure your letter should follow.

  • Sender’s address: If you’re writing a formal apology letter, you should start with your address listed in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  • Date: The date should be written underneath the address of the letterhead, but if you’re writing an email, skip this step.
  • Subject: You don’t need to go into too much detail here; something as simple as ‘Apology Letter’ can do the trick.
  • On-arrival notice (optional): If you want to ensure the letter doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, you can include a notation that the letter is personal. If you do, ensure that it’s written in uppercase like so: ‘PERSONAL’ or ‘CONFIDENTIAL’.
  • Salutation: As this is a formal letter, you need to address the reader properly. So, even if you are on a first-name basis with your colleague or HR manager, it’s proper etiquette to open your letter with ‘Dear Becky’ or ‘Dear Ms Bennett’.
  • Opening paragraph: Start your letter by apologising for your mistake.
  • Body: In the body, give a debrief of the events and acknowledge where you went wrong, and advise on what you could have done differently. For example, if you got angry with a customer and said something that you shouldn’t have, here is the place to mention it.
  • Final paragraph: Explain what you’re doing to rectify your mistake and ensure you don’t do it again. For example, you could say that you’ve read over the company's employee handbook and enrolled in a customer service course to learn how to deal with difficult situations.
  • Closing: Offer a second apology before signing off and ask for any assistance you may need.
  • Your name and signature: As with any formal letter or email, sign off with your name, handwritten signature (for written letters) and contact information.

Sample Letters

Check out the following letter examples for inspiration when writing your own.

Sample Letter from Employee

Sample Letter from Manager

Sample Letter to Client

Things to Remember

When writing your letter, make sure to keep the following points in mind.

1. Be Sincere

There’s no point apologising if you don’t mean it. In fact, it’s even more disrespectful to give a false apology. If you’re not honest and genuine in your delivery, you may end up in a worse place than you were to begin with.

2. Be Empathetic

Although you may feel that you’re not entirely to blame, you must be empathetic to other people’s feelings. Put yourself in your colleague or manager’s shoes and try to see how your actions have affected them on both a professional and a personal level. This will help you form a genuine apology and make sure that you won’t slip up again in the future.

3. Don’t Make Excuses

It’s easy to dodge the blame and come up with excuses for our actions, but excuses don’t justify our actions. For example, instead of saying your dog ate your homework, offer a truthful reason like ‘I didn’t do my homework because I didn’t understand it’.

While it certainly doesn’t validate the mistake, it is helpful when explaining your answer. That said, there’s a fine line between justification and excuses, so if you’re not sure, it’s probably better to not give a reason at all.

4. Learn from it and Move On

We all mess up at some point; it’s part of the learning process. But instead of dwelling on what you did and letting it knock your confidence, you just need to learn from it and move on. Naturally, you’ll be more aware and mindful of your actions and the impact that they can have.

After you turn your letter in, all that there is left to do is wait until your boss decides how to handle the situation. You have taken all the right steps to let them know exactly how much your job means to you, and they will take your explanation into consideration as they determine what to do next.

Have you ever written a letter to apologise for a mistake you made at work? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below.


This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 31 August 2015.


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formal letter of apology to employer
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