Garden leave

Garden leave, also referred to as gardening leave is when an employer instructs an employee to not work their full, or part of their contracted notice period (this can also include employees who have been made redundant or dismissed).  

Why have I been put on garden leave?

Garden leave is used strategically by employers to protect their business’ interests when an employee leaves, typically when an employee is either going to work for a competitor, and prevent the loss or misuse of any valuable or transferrable assets such as data. 

Am I still classed as an employee while on garden leave?

Yes – until your contracted notice period ends, you are still classed as an employee with that employer. 

Will I be paid on garden leave?

Yes – as you are still classed as an employee, you must get paid as usual and have access to employee benefits until your notice period ends. 

Do I have to work while on garden leave?

No –while you are contractually still an employee, you will not be required to undertake any work, attend work, or communicate with any customers, clients or colleagues. 

Can I start a new job while on garden leave?

No – you won’t be allowed to work for anyone else during your notice period as you are expected to observe the implied duty of fidelity. 

If you do find employment elsewhere while on garden leave, this will be a breach of contract and your employer may seek legal action against you. 

Annual leave and garden leave

Whilst on garden leave, you will continue to accrue annual leave. Your employer may ask you to take any outstanding leave, or may pay it when your contract ends.  

Is garden leave bad?

Not necessarily – it is commonly used by employers to ensure that their business assets are safe, and typically doesn’t reflect badly on any employee who has been put on it. 

If you need help or advice, please contact us at or on 0800 389 6332.


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