I am quoting one of the termination conditions on my offer letter which I am unable to understand. Can anyone please help. The condition is as follows:

The Company may, at its discretion, choose to pay your salary in lieu of such notice. Alternatively, the Company may require that you do not attend the workplace during the notice period.

The notice period is 2 months.

  • 3
    Which part don't you understand? Although the condition seems fairly clear and unambiguous (given a firm understanding of the language used). If you're having trouble understanding the language, that would probably be better suited to a site dedicated to English language as opposed to a workplace site. Jul 1 '21 at 21:52
  • 2
    What country is this?
    – Karen
    Jul 1 '21 at 21:55

They can choose to pay you out instead of you working the notice period OR they can put you on “gardening leave” during the notice period such that they do not have you on site.

Some employees have been known to cause damage while working their notice period so companies now tend to avoid the possibility.

  • 3
    I've only ever heard this called "garden leave," but I just googled it and apparently it's morphed into "gardening leave."
    – shoover
    Jul 2 '21 at 5:10

Just to expand on Solar Mike’s succinct answer:

You give 2 months notice.

You then keep working for 2 months and finally leave.

The conditions let the company do a couple of other things if they want.

Either pay you for the 2 months’ work upfront and you stop working immediately.

Or they ‘employ’ you for 2 months, but you don’t actually do anything. Just stay out of the office and don’t log in to any work systems.

This is commonly referred to as ‘gardening leave’.

  • 11
    @Jor_El The notice period when you hand in your resignation is designed to give the company enough time to find and onboard a replacement for you. If you choose to hand in your notice and not serve the notice period, that's a breach of contract Jul 1 '21 at 12:37
  • 1
    @Jor_El : that’s another question, the notice period is basically there to allow your company to replace you. If you do not serve your notice period, you’re doing harm to your employer, which you may have to compensate in one way or another.
    – breversa
    Jul 1 '21 at 12:38
  • 4
    @jor_el Not serving your notice period is breach of contract, which the company could sue you for, and will absolutely destroy your professional reputation. I don’t recommend it.
    – Kaz
    Jul 1 '21 at 13:17
  • 11
    And to add to Dan's comment: if you are put on gardening leave instead, you are still employed. That usually means you can't work for someone else as well. Jul 1 '21 at 14:19
  • 3
    @Andrew Leach that is, in fact, the entire point of gardening leave :)
    – Kaz
    Jul 1 '21 at 15:40

Companies are worried about bad transitions. They don't like it when employees sabotage stuff on their way out the door, or just do a poor job because they don't care.

And when they are hiring you, they don't know you. So they cannot say at hire time what they'll feel safe doing. So they write it into the contract that it is the company's option. The contract gives the company the discretion to either:

  • have you work until your very last day, training your replacement, documenting, etc.
  • Cancel your entry badge and logins for security reasons, but have you obliged to be "on call" in case the company needs you for any questions, training, crises etc. (they would have you come in effectively as a guest for security purposes).
  • Cancel your badge and logins, and pay your notice wages immediately and release you to seek other work with other companies. This is actually the kindest option, since it allows you to "double-earn" during the notice period. It's also the best with a potentially disgruntled employee, as their access will be cut off, and you hope they will fixate on finding a new job.

This last option can be turbocharged by adding a substantial bonus with a time delay. The bonus, of course, is conditional on their good behavior.

  • 1
    I don't see how the last option (paying the employee out, releasing them immediately) is compatible with offering a bonus at all. Possibly you meant to write "first option" rather than "last option"?
    – B. Ithica
    Jul 2 '21 at 9:55
  • @B.Ithica I meant "last". It's like when you have to evict a tenant. You have very reasonable reason to fear them kicking out all the drywall and busting water pipes on their way out the door. Sometimes it's best to offer them, say, $2000 bonus and good reference for a clean, no-nonsense exit. You win, and they feel like they won. Win/win. Jul 2 '21 at 15:07
  • Generally, the kicking out of drywall and busting of water pipes is prevented by a security guard whose task it is to escort them out of the building, which is part and parcel of "cancel their badge".
    – B. Ithica
    Jul 5 '21 at 9:17
  • I think you lost the thread there @B.Ithica... Jul 5 '21 at 13:54

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