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Gardening leave

NEW CHAPTER: Published January 2024

This chapter explains what gardening leave is and when you can place an employee on gardening leave.

What is gardening leave?

Definition: Gardening Leave

Gardening leave occurs when an employee who has resigned or been given notice of termination of employment is required to serve all or part of their notice period without performing any of their normal duties in the workplace. This is commonly used to keep company information confidential when an employee is moving to a competitor company.
Example

John has been dismissed with 8 weeks’ notice. He is very bitter about his dismissal, and management is concerned his attitude will negatively affect the other employees in the workplace.

To avoid this, management asks John to serve his notice period on gardening leave. The business continues to pay him through his notice period as if he were at work although he is at home and essentially suspended from the workplace.

What is the purpose of gardening leave?

Gardening leave seeks to provide an employer’s business with greater protection. This is because the employee remains employed during the gardening leave period; therefore, they have more comprehensive obligations to fulfil than if they were in a post-employment arrangement.

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