If your dismissal or resignation is on notice, for the duration of your notice period, your employer may require you to stay at home and not come into or do any work – hence the name ‘garden leave’.
If your contract of employment or service agreement gives your employer the right to put you on garden leave there is probably nothing you can do to avoid it because you will be under a contractual obligation to stay at home. However, if your employer does not have this contractual right the issue is negotiable.
Garden leave is often used to stop an employee from moving to a new employer immediately so that the employer’s customer or client connections are protected.
Whilst on garden leave you must be paid your normal salary or pay and continue to receive all contractual fringe benefits, including, for example, the continued use of your company car.
You may be subject to various restrictions during your garden leave, for example, not to contact any customers or any other work colleagues. Access to your work emails may also be turned off.