If you need expert legal advice in relation to garden leave, Slater and Gordon Lawyers are here to help.
Garden leave (or gardening leave as it’s sometimes known) is a term used to describe the period when an employee spends part or all of their notice period away from the workplace. This sometimes happens when an employee hands in their resignation, or is asked to leave by their employer, who prefers that they stay away from the office. It is different to being suspended from duty pending an investigation, although in both cases, you remain employed during this period.
People who are put on garden leave by their employers usually continue to receive pay and benefits as normal, but they are generally also subject to certain additional restrictions. For example, they may be forbidden to contact colleagues, suppliers or clients, and also usually asked to return company property such as phones, computer equipment and company vehicles.
To some, garden leave may seem a little unnecessary, since it is paying people not to do any work. After all, why not simply let a person who’s resigned work their notice and then leave? However, some employers have very good reasons for wanting to keep a person on the payroll but away from the office. Common scenarios for using garden leave include:
If it’s against the company’s interests to have an employee work their full notice period, the company can protect itself by putting the employee on garden leave.
Your rights in relation to garden leave will very much be affected by the exact terms of your contract of employment. Anyone who’s placed on garden leave can expect pay and benefits as normal, but they’ll also need to abide by the restrictions placed on them - for example, not contacting clients, returning company devices and property - by their employer.
As an employee of the company, you’re still bound by the restrictions of your employment contract while on garden leave. This means that although you’re not likely to be expected to work - although you may be called back to work at any time - you may need to be available to be contacted by your employer and cannot accept another offer of employment. However, you can still look for other jobs if you wish.
Garden leave isn’t always straightforward, especially when it comes to your rights as an employee. Examples of complexities that can arise in relation to garden leave include the following:
If you have a query about garden leave, believe your rights as an employee are not being upheld or wish to pursue legal action, please don’t hesitate to contact Slater and Gordon’s employment law team on freephone 0808 175 8000. You can also contact us online.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers is industry-renowned for our expertise in the field of employment law. We have a large team of employment lawyers based in our offices throughout the UK, so we’re able to offer the services of our highly skilled, experienced solicitors to as many people as possible.
Our aim in every employment law case is to provide honest, reliable and straightforward advice, to help employees make the best decisions and to achieve the right solutions.
If you need legal advice in relation to garden leave or another employment law issue, please get in touch with Slater and Gordon’s employment law team.
Contact us online to ask a question or to arrange a consultation or callback. You can also call freephone on 0808 175 8000 - this line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need our help, we won’t let you down.