What Is Garden Leave?

‘Garden leave’ describes a period when employees are serving out their notice period but are not required to attend work; either because there is no work for them to do or because you the employer is concerned that their presence at work could cause problems.

Whilst on garden leave, the individual remains an employee and is therefore still entitled to their basic pay and contractual benefits even though they may not be required to undertake any work. The employer may however recall the employee back to work if necessary. Garden leave can only commence once the employee has been given formal notice of dismissal or has served notice of their resignation.

121 HR Solutions can create a garden leave clause for employment contracts to protect your business, which allows you also to:

  • Require the employee not to attend the business premises
  • Prohibit the employee from contacting clients or colleagues
  • Require the employee to gain prior permission before accepting alternative work.

If you do not have or wish to have a garden leave clause, you may prefer to provide some form of work for the individual(s) to do. This will protect you from a breach of contract claim.

Garden leave can, in certain cases, be enforced even where there is no contractual right, however, we would still advise that it is still preferable to leave your options open and include a garden leave clause in your contracts for those to whom you may wish it to apply. If you are concerned about the possible ‘poaching’ of clients/customers or staff, then an alternative would be to have robust restrictive covenants.

121 HR Solutions can assist in the training of managers in areas of Equality in the Workplace, simply contact us and we will be happy to discuss.

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