Sometimes, a family emergency can appear out of nowhere. When this happens, we need to call our workplace and let them know we won’t be available to work today. However, there are plenty of useful alternatives out there to replace “family emergency” that this article will look into.
What Can I Say Instead Of “Family Emergency” To My Boss?
There are a few good alternatives we can use to replace “family emergency” when calling your boss. Here are some of the best ones:
- Family matter
- Family business
- Family problems
- Family crisis
- Family troubles
- Domestic problems
- Domestic issues
- Domestic situation
- Household issue
- Problems with the family
The preferred version is “family matter.” It’s still simple enough to be understood by your boss, and it usually does not require further explanation. Many bosses will be more than happy to take this as a reasonable excuse for why you cannot come to work.
“Family matter” is the best way to replace “family emergency” when you are dealing with something. It takes away the danger of the “emergency,” which can often panic or worry your employer. However, “matter” is still relevant enough to give you a full day off if you need to.
When you say “family emergency,” people will expect the worst. If you and your boss are close, they may worry about you if you say it. That’s why “family matter” is a little more useful since it won’t cause any unnecessary worry.
Here are some great examples of how it works:
- Sorry, sir, but I have an urgent family matter that I need to attend to right away.
- I’m really sorry, but there is a family matter that’s a little too important for me to turn away from.
- I have a family matter that’s come up. I won’t be able to come to work today.
“Family business” is another great phrase we can use. Referring to it as “business” is a great way to tell your boss that the matter is private and that they should not ask for any more information on it.
Unless your boss doesn’t understand what “family business” means, they should not need to ask you for more information. Many people will accept that you can’t come in based on that alone, and they will not pester you further.
Here are some useful examples for this:
- Sorry, but some family business has popped up, and I can’t make it in today.
- Sorry, ma’am. I will not be able to come to work today because of some family business.
- Some family business has popped up, and it requires my attention.
“Family problems” is another useful way to use “family” in the phrase. However, “problems” isn’t always your best choice. If your boss is generous, they’ll usually let you say something like this without further questions. But, you should be prepared to explain the “problems” if need be.
Here are some examples:
- I’m having a few family problems that need sorting before I come in.
- There are a few family problems that I have to deal with before I can start today.
- I will have to take the whole day off for family problems, I’m afraid.
“Family crisis” uses “family” to talk about a serious issue at home. A “crisis” is something that often takes our full attention, and it could be a life-changing incident if left alone. That’s why it can work well to use this phrase, and people will often not ask further questions.
Check out these examples:
- We’re having a full-blown family crisis, sir! I can’t come in.
- This is a serious family crisis, and I don’t know how I’ll make it in today.
- I’m sorry, Mr. Smith. There’s a family crisis going on that I simply cannot ignore.
“Family troubles” is the last way we can use “family” in a call. It’s not the most effective way, as “troubles” is often too general to be acceptable. Many bosses will require further information to find out what is going on and why you cannot come to work.
While it’s not the most desirable option available to us, we can still use it as follows:
- There are a few too many family troubles at the moment for me to be able to think about work.
- I’m having family troubles, I’m afraid.
- Sorry, but my family troubles will always come before work!
“Domestic problems” is another way to refer to “family matters” entirely. We can replace “family” with “domestic,” which implies that something is happening within our household, and we need to give it our full attention to make sure we can remedy the situation.
Here are some examples of how it might work:
- There are a few domestic problems that I need to sort out, so I might be a little late.
- I’m sorry, but my domestic problems are a little too much.
- I’m having domestic problems, sir. I’m so sorry I can’t be of more help.
“Domestic issues” is another way we can refer to a “domestic” problem. It shows that something is going wrong in our house and that we need to do something to address the problem. Many bosses will accept an excuse like this with no further questions.
Check out these examples to see how it works:
- Sorry, ma’am. I have a few domestic issues, so I won’t be able to come in today.
- Sorry, but my domestic issues are taking priority today. I will complete my scheduled hours sometime next week.
- I’m sorry, but I have a few domestic issues that require my attention.
A “domestic situation” is another way to talk about a family matter. We use it when we want to show that something “domestic” is occurring, and it needs our urgent attention. You may sometimes need to be a little more specific with a phrase like this, though.
Here are some useful examples to help you understand it:
- I’m going through some serious domestic situations right now, and they all need my full attention.
- I’m sorry, Joe. I won’t be able to come to the office today because of this domestic situation I’m going through.
- I have a domestic situation. I do not expect you to understand, but I’m going to need to take the full day off work!
A “household issue” is something that we do not need to clarify. It can refer to your family as a whole or one specific person within your household. Usually, we do not need to elaborate further, and many people will allow us to take the day off for something like this.
These examples will help you understand more about how it works:
- Sorry, but I’m experiencing some really bad household issues right now. I will not be able to come in today.
- My household issues have gotten a little out of hand. I’ll have to reschedule that meeting you had set with me today.
- Sorry, but I can’t make it to work now. A household issue has come up out of nowhere.
Problems With The Family
“Problems with the family” is one of the simpler phrases we can use. Instead of a two-word phrase, we give a statement to explain our situation. This is sometimes not enough, and your boss might want you to divulge more information before granting your leave.
It’s not always ideal to use this. However, if you can’t think of a better way to phrase your current problem, it may be worth using.
Here are some examples to help you understand when it works:
- Sorry, sir. I’m having problems with the family at the moment, so I won’t’ be able to make it in.
- Sorry, but the problems with my family are almost a bit too much for me to handle at the minute. I cannot leave my house.
- Sorry, ma’am. I’m having serious problems with the family, so I would appreciate it if you could give me the day off to sort them out.
What Is Considered A “Family Emergency”?
Now that we’ve seen all the best alternatives, it’s time to look into a “family emergency” some more. It might help you to know what a “family emergency” is.
A “family emergency” can vary based on who is calling up. It can be something as simple as your child not having a way to get home from school, or it could be that one of your parents has been hurried to the hospital after they have collapsed.
Usually, when we say there is a family emergency on the phone to our boss, we do not need to elaborate. Any decent human being would be happy to take that excuse as a reason why you can’t make it to work today.
Your boss might wish you well, even if they don’t know the full extent of your emergency. After all, it doesn’t have to be a life-threatening situation every time. They are just trying to be kind to you and help you through it as best they can.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.