Once More From the UK


Rounding out Across the Pond Day on GardenRant:  a recent news story describes a Citigroup banker’s fight over his "gardening leave."  What, you say?  Leave from your job to garden?  Time to start trolling the London Craigslist for jobs!

In fact, "garden leave" or "gardening leave" is a term used in the UK to describe a situation in which an employee is given notice that they will be fired (or placed on disciplinary leave), but are told to go home and simply collect their pay for the rest of the notice period.  The idea is to keep potentially disgruntled employees out of the office, and also to keep them from going to work immediately for a competitor.

If you told an American worker that they were being sent home on gardening leave, they would look at you with utter confusion and astonishment.  What would we call it here?  TV leave?  Xbox leave?  Mall leave?


  1. The way they’ve screwed things up at Citigroup, it wouldn’t be a surprise if quite a few employees had gardening in their future. Does that mean there’s a link between planting bulbs and sub-prime mortgages?

  2. I’m wondering if regularly scheduled gardening leave (in the literal, not the figurative British sense) could have kept me happy enough to have not just up and quit in the space of 30 minutes this August. It’s been lovely just puttering and planting ever since.

  3. I used to work for the British government, and “gardening leave” is also a term used in the civil service, in a less pejorative fashion, for employees waiting to take up a new post.

  4. I am known in my business to take “gardening leave” just because the weather looks good and I need the extra time. Everyone laughs at me, but it makes me happy and that makes me a happier employee.

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