Garden Leave: A Break Before You Go

Garden Leave: A Break Before You Go
The term “garden leave” might conjure up images of relaxing in a flowerbed, but in the world of work, it has a different meaning. Let’s explore what garden leave is and why it’s used.

Taking a Break Before Moving On

Garden leave refers to a period of time when an employee who is leaving a job is required to stay away from the workplace. This can happen when someone resigns, or even if they are laid off. During garden leave, the employee is still considered employed by the company and receives their normal pay and benefits. However, they are not expected to work or perform any job duties.

Why the Pause?

There are a few reasons why companies might put someone on garden leave:

  • Protecting Confidential Information: The company might want to prevent the employee from taking sensitive information with them to a new employer. This is especially common if the employee is going to work for a competitor.
  • Ensuring a Smooth Transition: The company might need time to find a replacement for the departing employee. Garden leave allows for a handover period to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Avoiding Disruption: If the employee’s departure is due to conflict or other issues, garden leave can give things a chance to cool down before they start a new job.

The Length of Leave

The length of garden leave can vary depending on the employee’s contract and the company’s policies. It’s typically a few weeks, but it could be longer for senior positions

So, what can the employee do on garden leave?

While they can’t work for their current employer, they are free to use this time for other activities. This could be:

  • Taking a vacation
  • Focusing on personal projects
  • Preparing for their new job (if allowed by their contract)

Garden leave can be a welcome break for some employees, while others might find it frustrating. It’s important to understand the company’s policy and use the time productively.