Sorting out annual leave when you have been placed on gardening leave

I handed my notice in and was put on gardening leave. I already had five days holiday booked within my gardening leave. Do they need to be holiday or should I be paid for these ?

Annual Leave


Annual leave/holidays and gardening leave have a number of different ways they can work:

Whether or not it is possible for an employee to use up all their outstanding annual holiday entitlement during gardening leave will depend on the length of the gardening leave that the employer has instructed the employee to take in relation to the length of outstanding holiday entitlement.

If the former is not long enough to allow for the notice period for the holiday plus the period of holiday leave, it will not be possible for the employer to ask the employee to use up all their holiday in this way.

The employee would then be entitled to be paid for any holiday leave for the current holiday year that had not been taken before the date of termination of their employment.

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The above relates to the 5.6 weeks’ statutory minimum annual holiday that employers must grant all workers under the Working Time Regulations 1998. If an employer grants employees more than the 5.6 weeks’ holiday entitlement, the position with regard to any additional holiday will depend on the terms of the employee’s contract or any contractual policy on the timing of holiday that the employer has in force.

Ultimately, if you use the holiday as holiday then it will be deducted from the final outstanding amount of holiday which can be paid or be used, or if it has then all been used then you will not be due anything ie if you keep the holiday booked then it won’t be paid. It can be paid or taken.

Comments [17]

  • Coco says:

    Hey, I was recently placed on one month garden leave after I handed in my notice. They stated in their response that they’d ask me to take my remaining holiday allowance within this time period. We didn’t agree how many days or when this would be taken. Can they now enforce this and not pay me the holiday days as I didn’t agree to take them and they did specify how many I should take?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi, On gardening leave, you will continue to accrue holiday. Your employer may ask you to take any outstanding holiday within the notice period or they may pay it when your contract ends. Check whether there is a ‘gardening leave’ clause in your contract of employment. If you need further advice please write in to [email protected].

  • cheryl says:

    i was put on 4 weeks gardening leave, should i have accrued annual leave

  • Jim says:

    I have been told to take accrued holiday as part of my gardening leave.

    I have 8 days accrued and they have given me enough notice.

    However they haven’t told me when to take it within my gardening leave.

    As they haven’t confirmed dates does this mean I can asked to be paid it in lieu at the end of gardening leave?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      This will need to be negotiated with your employer as they have given the correct notice and specified that you should take the leave in gardening leave.

  • Gary says:

    I was on annual leave when I was dismissed. I still have 3 weeks left of holiday but have been told this will be garden leave. Is this fair ?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi, The article outlines the position legally in relation to gardening and annual leave. To some extent it depends on what your contract and associated policies are in your company. If you require further legal advice, please write to [email protected] with more details on those issues.

  • Kevin Banks says:

    Hi there I recently handed in my notice 02/07/2021 and I am required to give 1 month’s notice. They told me I have to work one week and the remainder 3 weeks will be garden leave. I have 10 days of holiday to use and will accumulate another 2 days this month. They have told me I need to take the 12 days of holiday as part of my garden leave. However looking online, it says they need to give twice the amount of days notice (24 days I assume?) in order for them to pay my holiday as part of garden leave. There is nothing contractually saying they can waiver this, so can I dispute this and ask them to pay my accrued holiday pay separately?

    • Kevin Banks says:

      *apologies it states, “they may request you to take some or all of any outstanding holiday entitlement during your notice period by giving the required notice”

    • Mandy Garner says:

      This is what our expert says. Do you get the statutory 28 days leave [for full timers] or does your employer provide additional leave on top of that? If so, is there anything in the employer’s annual leave policy about what happens in this instance?

  • Mike Fitzgerald says:

    I booked 2 weeks holiday before they made me redundent
    After I was made redundent they authorised them and are now not willing to pay them as I should have cancelled them.

  • nancy says:

    I intend to hand my notice in after maternity and still have 23 days holiday remaining from last year. If I resign immediately I know they’ll put me on garden leave. Does this mean that I will lose the 23 days holiday as this will be included in my garden leave?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      You need to check your contract. If it says that annual leave can be taken during the notice period this can be imposed. If there is no such contractual right you cannot be forced to take any of the garden leave period as annual leave. Also, you continue to accrue annual leave during maternity and gardening leave.

    • Gemma says:

      I had 2 weeks holiday already previously agreed before I handed in my notice. When I handed in my notice I was prepared to work my 1 months notice. I was immediately put on gardening leave. I received nothing in writing or confirmation and therefore assumed that my month’s notice was gardening leave and then I would be paid my holiday entitlement in addition. I have received my final pay and they have paid my holiday pay as part of my gardening leave running concurrent instead of in addition. Can they do this and what are my rights?

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