HR Glossary
Garden Leave

Garden Leave

Updated on:
August 22, 2022


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What is Garden Leave?

Garden leave is a type of absence where an employer requests that an employee, upon submitting their notice, not return to the office. This is a period of time where the employee is asked not to work during their notice period, in anticipation of their departure, while still being kept on the payroll.

While garden leave refers to unpaid leave given to an employee, in legal terms, it is used to mean a leave of absence.

When an employer issues garden leave, it waives the employment contract of an employee, giving the employee permission to take time off work.

Common reasons an employer may issue garden leave include:

  1. The employee is leaving the company due to performance problems
  2. The employee is being transferred to another location
  3. The employee needs to take care of a sick family member
  4. The employee is experiencing sexual harassment at work
  5. The employee has entered into a separation agreement

Garden leave is when an employee is asked to stay away from work for a period of time, usually after handing in their notice. The purpose of garden leave is to protect the company's interests, such as keeping confidential information secret or to prevent the employee from working for a competitor. It can also be used as a way to smooth over the transition period before the employee leaves.