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Garden leave, or gardening leave, describes the practice whereby an employee leaving a job—having resigned or otherwise had their employment terminated—is instructed to stay away from work during the notice period, while still remaining on the payroll. This is used when an employee position is no longer needed during the notice period. To maintain the employee's non-compete clause, this practice is often used to prevent an employee from taking with them up-to-date (and perhaps sensitive) information when they leave their current employer, especially when they are very likely leaving to join a competitor. The term is in common use in banking and other financial employment in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Sometimes, the practice is used to avoid lackadaisical work or sabotage by an uninterested or disaffected employee.
The term can also refer to the case of an employee sent home pending disciplinary proceeding, when they are between projects, or when, as a result of publicity, their presence at work is considered counter-productive. It has also been used in British football.Employees continue to receive their normal pay during garden leave and must adhere to their conditions of employment, such as confidentiality and non-compete clause, at least until their notice period expires. A similar practice applies in the United States where an employee (typically a high-ranking executive) that is immediately relieved of responsibilities usually remains with the company as a consultant (special adviser) for the remainder of their contract, continuing to receive a salary and office during that period.

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