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Employer question: What is 'gardening leave'?

#yourquestionsanswered What does it mean to put an employee on gardening leave, and do they have to agree?

Sad employee

Garden leave is when an employee retains their employment, receives full pay but does not report to work. Both the employer and the employee need to agree to this. This makes it different from being suspended on full pay. If an employee is suspended, their agreement to suspension does not have to be asked for.

Wanting to put an employee on garden leave?

Check whether this is an option in their employment agreement. If not, you should take advice around the risks associated with this in your specific circumstances.

When could you consider garden leave:

  • for an employee's notice period to help them search for another job

  • for an employee's to reduce distraction for other workers

  • to cover their restraint period

Other potential, although less common, situations might be:

  • if a permanent employee has no work to do

However, we'd recommend getting advice before doing this!

What are your obligations to your employee if they are on garden leave:

All the terms and conditions of the employment agreement still apply, as the employee is still employed. If you have any questions, queries or concerns, don’t be afraid to get in touch for some more free advice.


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