20 Believable Excuses to Get Out of Work

We all have that one day where we need to find a believable excuse to get out of work. You might be seeking employment opportunities elsewhere, and can’t afford to let your boss know this. Therefore, you have to come up with an acceptable excuse to miss work. To make sure you are as convincing as possible, you must think about the following: Is your excuse believable? Does it sound like something someone would actually say? 

But first…

A Sneak Peek At Absurd Excuses to Miss Work 

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, the largest online job site in the U.S.,38% of US employees took refuge in lame excuses such as ‘being stuck under a bed,’ ‘grandmother poisoned them with ham,’ or ‘the universe was telling them to miss work.’

A few tried accurate explanations for missing work. For instance, 27% of workers reported they have an emergency doctor’s appointment.

What’s interesting is that an increasing percentage claimed they just ‘didn’t feel like working.’ Roughly 26% said they needed time to unwind and 21% claimed they needed to catch up on sleep. Moreover, 12% blamed bad weather, the survey noted.

Employers are taking note of worker’s questionable excuses and taking action. If you don’t want your boss to email you the pink slip then it’s time you resort to ‘believable’ excuses to get out of work.

best Excuses to Get Out of Work

Use a legitimate excuse to enjoy a resting day.

Acceptable Excuses for Skipping Work

Here are some genuine excuses to get out of work and impress your suspicious boss!  

Animal Care 

My dog just died. Dog deaths are usually quite tragic events and you can use this as an excuse to miss work on short notice. Most people would understand why someone would need time away from work; however, if you do not have a dog and your boss doesn’t know anyone who does, then this excuse would be highly suspicious!  

Family Emergency Excuses

I am going to visit my sick mother. If you are struggling with the decision of whether or not it is appropriate for you to take some leave, then compare what happens when someone requests time off because of an ill family member. Then think about how much sympathy they might receive compared to taking that same amount of leave because their uncle died suddenly after suffering a heart attack. 


Oh no…I broke both legs in a skiing accident – Whilst we can all appreciate why taking some time out and recovering somewhere quiet and peaceful could benefit us as patients, there has been too much media attention lately on people who have faked injuries to get time off work. This is a good enough reason if you are genuinely injured, but most employers will want proof before letting you take some time off.  

Family Issues 

I’m being held hostage by my family – Unfortunately, there isn’t much your employer can do about the situation if it were true! Even though it may be an extreme example of why you need some leave from work, having a relative who has taken their own life or is seriously ill with cancer would probably make for an extremely difficult explanation as well…and people often use these reasons more than kidnapping (which is actually quite rare).  

Car Trapped 

My car broke down on the way home last night, and I spent all day trying to get it fixed – When this happens to us, we just try and find a different way of getting home or waiting for help, but in the workplace, when you are expected at your post every day then having car trouble could be potentially disastrous. If you can’t find alternatives, maybe some time off is the only real option…but if not, make sure that whatever reason you use doesn’t sound suspicious or like something out of a novel! 

Mug Attack 

I was mugged/attacked on my way home last night, and I couldn’t do anything about it – Whilst people don’t usually describe themselves as “attacked” unless they really were, sometimes these things happen without warning, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent them. Suppose you have been in a similar situation, and it has made going about your usual business very difficult. In that case, this might possibly work as an excuse…but only if the attack wasn’t too severe or life-threatening. 

Rodent Invasion 

My house became infested with rats overnight, and I had to get rid of them. It’s always a good idea to check with your boss before you decide that this is the best reason as one of the excuses to get out of work. If they are used to these types of problems, then it might be okay, but if they have never had any rodent issues in the past…then maybe just take some leave instead! 

A Sick Day Email 

If you’re sick, it would be necessary to take time off from work for proper rest, quick recovery, and protect your colleagues if it is contagious. When you decide to take a sick day, you must reach out to your boss, colleagues and coworkers that you’ll be out of the office and discuss how to run things in your absence pending your return. Being bold with this information will show you off to everyone as responsible and, upon your return, show concerns and help ease your stress.

Other Possible Best Excuses to Get Out of Work

  1. Doctor’s appointment and not being able to cancel. 
  2. Food poisoning. 
  3. Dentists’ appointments for an extended period during the day. 
  4. Staying at home for cable service. 
  5. Staying home for a delivery that needs a signature. 
  6. Internet service outages, preventing you from working from home. 
  7. A veterinarian appointment for your pet could take the entire day.  
  8. A general emergency that requires your presence.  
  9. Running personal errands all day. 
  10. Needing to take sick leave day. 
  11. Need to be part of your volunteer work during the day. 
  12. Mental health check 

Bottom Line

It is important to realize that these are just examples of some of the reasons why you might need to take a sick day. They are not all legitimate excuses, so if any of them don’t sit right with you…then maybe think up something else! As long as your boss understands why you cannot come in for work, they will appreciate your honesty and hopefully understand.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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