Garden leave after termination

I recently heard from a colleague of mine that he had been made redundant from his permanent position and immediately released from his duties. With a notice period of 6 months, he can now take his time and reorientate himself. For the company, however, this means having to pay a skilled worker for another 6 months without any corresponding added value.

Does this approach really make sense? Here are a few thoughts.


What does garden leave mean in the event of termination?

A leave of absence in the context of a dismissal means that an employee is released from the obligation to perform their work. This usually occurs after the notice of termination has been given while the contractual notice period is still running. The employee remains employed, but receives their salary during this time without being actively involved in the company.


For the employee:

The garden leave gives the employee the opportunity to concentrate on looking for a new job, further training or organising personal matters during the remaining notice period. The employee remains financially secure as they continue to receive their salary.


For the company:

For the company, the garden leave opens up the opportunity to organise a smoother transition after the termination. Open questions and handovers can be clarified without the employee being actively involved in day-to-day business. This can help to minimise potential conflicts and ensure an orderly process until the end of the employment relationship.


My opinion

Garden leave has traditionally been applied to employment relationships that involve a certain degree of confidentiality or sensitive information. This ensured, for example, that a sales manager did not speak ill of his employer to customers. The employee is still contractually bound to confidentiality, but without being involved in day-to-day business (regular contact with customers). However, each company must decide for itself to what extent this also makes sense for positions without intensive customer contact.
A dismissal should also always be fair. A garden leave suggests to the employee that the company no longer has confidence in them and doubts their loyalty. Worse still, the company doubts its legal obligation to act in good faith. If an employee has to leave the company on the same day (possibly even escorted), this also leaves psychological traces.
This negative impression must be avoided at all costs. Transparent communication and clear agreements can avoid potential conflicts and make the transition easier (fair) for everyone involved.


Interim Management and garden leave

Interim Management is characterised by simple recruitment and termination processes that are significantly more flexible than traditional employment relationships.
As Interim Managers are hired for specific projects or periods of time, their work usually ends when the project is completed. There are no lengthy termination processes or release phases, which makes the exit from the collaboration uncomplicated and cost-optimised.