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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50711
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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What are the restrictions on what my current employer can

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What are the restrictions on what my current employer can ask me to do while on gardening leave?
I have been placed on 3 months garden leave as I am moving to a direct competitor. I am no longer permitted to enter the office or speak to clients or current employees.
My employer now wants me to work from home completing work for a different part of the business, doing work that is not part of my current role. I am MD of the commercial content arm of a publisher. But the work they want me to now on gardening leave is junior tasks for the editorial department.
Can they insist I carry out this work as it is far outside my role at the company, for a different department, reporting to someone junior to me? I assumed I would be ‘providing information and support’ (as I believe the legal description is for garden leave) to the department I remain MD of.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

During garden leave the employer can request you not to attend work, but at the same time they cannot just change your role or job description and they must still adhere to your contract of employment. This means that if they wanted you to do any work during that period, they must ensure it follows your contract and what you can be expected to undertake under it. In essence that means still following your job description and duties. Whilst occasional additional work not specifically mentioned could be requested, that does not mean just introducing ongoing changes for the whole duration and if you think the current tasks do not conform to your contract, you can refuse to do them, or at least challenge the employer and remind them that you will only be doing the job description you are contracted to do. If they cannot do that as well, then you should either be allowed to do it, or simply be left without any work and free from any unrelated duties.

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