This is sometimes called 'garden leave'. If notice of termination of employment is given by either the employee or the employer, the employer may ask the employee to stay at home whilst working out their notice.
The employee continues to receive his or her normal wages and other contractual benefits during the notice period.
Garden leave is often used where employees are in sales roles – because the employer wants to protect its customer base by making sure the employee cannot join a competitor straightaway.
Usually – although not always – an employer will need to be able to point to an express (written) contract term in order to insist on garden leave.
That contract term will often include rules about issues such as:
- limiting contact with customers and suppliers;
- participating in a handover of work;
- returning company equipment; and
It is important to follow these rules, especially to avoid putting any redundancy pay or other termination payment in jeopardy.