Top 5 ways to spend your garden leave that won’t put you in the dog house

Getting put on garden leave from a business you have been a loyal servant to can seem like a kick in the teeth. It’s a really difficult and stressful time and often takes a while to get your head around, whether you are leaving through choice or not, the way businesses deal with departing senior professionals and executives is hard to take.

Gardening Leave Employment Law Settlement Agreement

Here are some tips for surviving the trauma and, dare I say it, making the most of the time you have …

  1. Take a holiday, spend time with your kids/partner/parents/friends (delete as appropriate) or take up something you’ve always wanted to try but work has always got in the way of – I’m sure you will be the envy of many fellow professionals that you have this time so make the most of it: it won’t be long before you are back to the daily grind like the rest of us!
  2. Get good at something in your field of work – okay so you will already know your field of work pretty well but what I’m talking about is using the time, otherwise spent making money for your soon to be former employer by getting seriously, unequivocally engrossed in something that will make you the ‘go to’ expert in your line of work – the way to do this will vary but seminars, online resources and even certificated training courses are all possible options;
  3. Get social media savvy (if you aren’t already) – UK professionals in particular don’t seem to be taking social media seriously enough. According to a recent article, a survey undertaken by Scredible found that only 39% of UK professionals felt that social media would be important for their career in five years’ time, compared to 54% of Americans. The UK is clearly lagging behind its US counterparts in terms of realising the huge potential of social media in terms of the opportunities it presents for businesses and professionals;
  4. Get yourself an experienced employment lawyer – it’s possible you have had to do that anyway if you have been required to sign a Settlement Agreement (the new term for Compromise Agreement) but, if not, much as lawyers are berated, your employment lawyer can and often is the only person on your side (and importantly protecting your legal position) in an acrimonious ‘end of employment’ situation so make sure you have one;
  5. And finally, don’t disappear! Get networking - both online and in person - just because you are on garden leave and have restrictions on who you can and can’t contact in connection with your current employer, doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and network. Make sure you know the terms of your garden leave, which should be set out in your contract of employment or the letter you were given putting you on garden leave (if not, contact your employer and ask them to provide you with a clear list of dos and don’ts), and then get out there.

Get in touch

If you have questions related to gardening leave, then please contact a member of our employment team.