Gardening Leave Redundancy: Employment Law advice from KLG Law
The purpose of garden leave is to allow the employer to protect their business and business interests by keeping the employee away from the business.
If reasons for dismissal are such that the remaining period of employment may cause an issue, garden leave may be required. The strategy can be used when an employee is made redundant.
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What is garden leave?
Garden leave is the term used to describe the process where an employee stays away from
the business for the duration of their notice period. An individual on garden leave will have
minimal contact with the business. They are deliberately kept away from the business, and
the employee will not be required to perform duties, complete any work, attend work, or
communicate with colleagues and clients. By doing this for the final period of their contract, the employer is reducing the risk of losing clients, colleagues, and useful information to competitors.
Gardening Leave and Redundancy – Redundancy Legal Advice
KLG Law specialise in employment law, and our team of employment law specialists can
advise on the next steps to take should you be placed on garden leave and require legal
Advice. Contact us on 0330 221 0684 or [email protected].
How does garden leave work?
During garden leave the individual will be retained as an employee during their notice period and their implied and express contractual terms continue, including the right to receive a salary and any benefits. This also means that employees will be required to abide by any restrictive covenants that are within their contract. If the employee breaches their contract, the employer may be entitled to take further action, such as dismissal without notice.
If you are placed on garden leave, you may be asked to:
- Stay away from the business premises;
- Have minimal to no contact with colleagues and clients; and
- Not use company equipment such as laptops or mobile phones.
When might you be placed on garden leave?
Garden leave occurs specifically when an employee is leaving the business and they are required to fulfil their notice period. Garden leave will only be a viable option where an employee has resigned and needs to see out their notice period, or they have been dismissed with notice. An example of where an employee can be dismissed with notice is during redundancy, where you are required to work your notice period before your last date of service.
How long is garden leave?
The length of the garden leave period will depend on the length of the employee’s notice period. Garden leave is usually for more senior employees, who are likely to have a longer notice period than the statutory minimum. Therefore, this period of garden leave could be for a few weeks or few months depending on the employee’s contractual notice period.
Can I request garden leave?
If you have handed in your notice or you have been dismissed with notice you may wish to request garden leave. This would be most appropriate in senior roles where there has been a breakdown in relationships within the role which would make it difficult for you to complete your job duties. We would suggest seeking legal advice on your specific situation before making this request.
Can you start a new job on garden leave?
During garden leave you remain as an employee at the business. This means you will be unable to start a new role until your last date of service as you remain bound by your contract of employment. You may also be bound by restrictive covenants that will impact who you can work for post-termination (e.g. a restrictive covenant to prevent you working for a competing business).
What are the pros and cons of garden leave?
Pros of garden leave
- You will continue to receive your usual salary without having to work.
- You will also continue to receive their benefits without having to work. The specific benefits will depend on your circumstances and they may include: health insurance, a company car, a
- company phone, a company laptop, etc.
- Holidays continue to accrue during garden leave.
Cons of garden leave
- You will be unable to start a new role until the end of their garden leave. This could be incredibly frustrating for an employee as you will be unable to have a fresh start or you may lose job opportunities.
- On garden leave, you may feel isolated without being able to contact colleagues.
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