Garden leave is the period preceding the employment termination during which the employee is paid without being required to attend the workplace and to perform the job attributions.
Garden leave is not regulated under Romanian law. Nevertheless, it is often met in practice in case of dismissal for reasons not related to the employee or termination of employment by mutual agreement.
Once it was decided that an employee’s contract will be terminated, regardless of whether it is dismissal or mutual termination, employer may consider to place the employee on garden leave, especially in case of management positions, for various reasons, such as: to cut off employee’s access to company’s information, to prevent employee’s access to computer networks, to limit the contact with company’s clients and business partners, to limit the contact with other employees, to avoid an uncomfortable work environment for remaining employees, etc.
In case of mutual termination, the garden leave period (if any) is mutually agreed upon.
If the employee is dismissed, usually the garden leave period coincides with the prior notice period to which the employee is entitled to, but a shorter period of garden leave may be also considered. Attention must be paid to the wording of the relevant documents providing the garden leave, as the employee preserves the legal right to work during the notice period and in principle employer may not unilaterally impose garden leave.