Opinion

Replace gardening leave with volunteering to help society

Following on from BusinessMan's blog about gardening leave today (16 May) and the issue of whether companies can enforce it even if it isn't in an employee's contract, it occurred to me that in the current circumstances, maybe we should be looking to completely change the concept of 'gardening leave'.

With Dave Cameron being such a keen advocate of volunteering and the Big Society, maybe companies should consider striking out their gardening leave clauses and replacing them with "volunteering" or "big society" clauses. That way, instead of paying someone to stay at home doing nothing for three or six months before moving to a job at a competitor, a company could pay the employee to do something useful for society.

From the employee's perspective, they will surely feel much more fulfilled giving back something to society instead of lolling around the house wondering what to do with their days until the new job starts. Admittedly, the volunteering wouldn't be quite as voluntary as it should be, but the employee would still have a choice as to which worthy cause to work for.

Sounds like a good idea to me. 

This was first published in March 2011

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