gardening leave uk

Gardening Leave UK: A Guide For Employees And Employers

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Are you planning to leave your job? Has your employer decided to terminate your job in the UK? If so, then your employer may ask you for gardening leave.

Garden leave or gardening leave UK means you will still be an employee of the Company but will not perform any work-related tasks during that leave. You cannot join any new company or work for any new employer during the garden leave period.

The article discusses gardening leave UK and its pros and cons. You can read this article to learn more about it.

What Is Gardening Leave UK?

gardening leave uk
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Employees who leave a company work in the office during their notice period. However, employers in UK workplaces may give you gardening leave during such a period.

Now, what is this gardening leave UK? It is a transition period when you are not allowed to come to the office or do any work-related activities for your employer. You will get your full salary during this period.

But you cannot join any other firm or workplace during the gardening leave period. You are not even allowed to communicate with the clients and colleagues of the Company you are currently working for.

Gardening leave is usually given to senior employees who have access to the Company’s sensitive information.

Why Is It Called Gardening Leave?

The employers are not allowed to do any work-related activities for the firm. They are not even allowed to join any new firm or any workplace. In such cases, they can engage their time in hobbies like gardening.

How Long Is Gardening Leave In the UK?

Most Companies give their employee gardening leave for six months. However, it depends on what is written in the employment contract. The garden leave clause will be clearly explained in the employment contract.

Reasons For Implementing Gardening Leave

gardening leave uk
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Employers provide gardening leave to their employees to safeguard their Company’s vital data and confidential information. Consider an example to understand it better.

1. Consider a scenario in which a senior executive working in a firm decides to resign. He knows about the upcoming product that the Company will launch. The executive is well acquainted with the Company’s market tactics and other strategies.

If the executive joins the rival Company immediately, there is a chance of sharing all the confidential details with that Company. That’s why the original employer puts the executive on gardening leave.

It ensures the original employer that the product will be out in the market when the executive joins any rival company. Gardening leave thus reduces the risk of sharing confidential information with rival companies.

2. A top analyst working in the financial sector must have good knowledge about the clients and the investment strategies. If he resigns and joins a competing bank or financial institution immediately, he may sway clients to move with him.

The above examples illustrate the importance of gardening leave in an organization.

Pros And Cons Of Gardening Leave UK

gardening leave uk
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Gardening leave may sound rewarding. However, it has various advantages and disadvantages for employees and employers. Let’s discuss them below.

Benefits For Employers

  • One of the employers’ biggest concerns is safeguarding their vital information, trading confidential, and clients. Gardening leaves ensures that a departing employee cannot access all these things. It is because they will no longer be involved in projects.
  • It keeps the employee away from the marketplace and prevents the employee from working for any organization atleast till the end of the notice period.Hence the departing employee cannot share any vital information with the rival company.
  • Gardening leaves create a time for the firm to find a replacement for the departing employee.
  • It prevents the departing employee from contacting his colleagues or clients.

Employee Benefits

  • Gardening leave offers financial security to the employer during the job-changing phase. The departing employee will get a full salary and other benefits. This will help a departing employee to focus on personal commitments. He will not have much financial pressure at that time.
  • The departing employer will get other benefits like holiday entitlement and health insurance and can use the car given by the Company for private purposes throughout the gardening leave period.
  • It provides a departing employee enough time to develop new skills or hobbies like gardening.

Drawbacks For Employer

The departing employee will remain on full pay during the gardening leave period but will not do any work for the Company. So the Company will not get any work productivity in return.

Drawbacks For Employee

  • The gardening leave UK restricts from joining any other company during that period. If the departing employee gets a nice job offer during that period, he cannot join it.
  • The departing employee will be away for an extended period. He may lose his skills in such a period. It may become difficult for the departing employer to get a new job.
  • Inability to work in an organization can be boring and frustrating for some departing employers.


Gardening leave is a common practice in the UK. However, the concept is slowly becoming popular in other countries. For example, in the United States, it is gaining traction. Massachusetts passed a law in 2018 about placing employees on gardening leave.

But gardening leave is a double-edged sword. Both employers and employees should understand the pros and cons.

The employers should weigh the benefits of gardening leave the UK against the cost and other benefits provided to the employer. Similarly, the employer should be aware of the rights and utilize that time properly to avoid problems during job haunting.

Happy gardening leave!

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