As I sit here on Garden Leave, I am somewhat amused by my predicament and hope you lovely people can offer some sage counsel.
I gave notice at my current company I requested to terminate my employment at the end of March, ( this is roughly in line with the employment contract which states a minimum of 4 weeks but does not have any restrictions in regards to length) Though the second paragraph below this does say the employer can terminate an employees contract with 4 weeks notice ( based on length of service)
I gave this extended notice as a courtesy as I designed, wrote many systems used across the business and wanted them to have the opportunity for me to train up new people.
I was called to a meeting with my line manager and a VP, who asked me why I wanted to leave, I laid out my reasons effectively not challenged the business technology is archaic and my skills will rust if stay any longer. this exchange lasted 10 minutes at one point I asked them if they wanted me to bring my notice forward they both said no.
I then returned to work until about 4.30pm ( 4 hours later) I was then sat with HR and line manager and same VP who told me i was being put on garden leave but that my notice was now effective February ( shortly after escorted for the desk clear and out the door)
I was asked about some talks I had hosted ( open conferences) and engagement with competitors of which I have had none and clearly stated. this interaction lasted about 10 minutes. I said I would seek counsel on the bring forward of my termination date to February HR asserted they have the contractual right ( refer to clause i mentioned above)
Now all my documentation they have given me says they accept my notice and simply implies I requested to leave on that date and the clause for 4 weeks dismissal requires reasoning to be applied ( plus is not referenced in the letter i was given in this meeting)
I go home and reflect for 24 hours get some advice, so i then send a polite email to the three people involved so far , requesting justification for bringing my notice forward, one day later i get a recorded delivery of a letter that says that date is final and i am on garden leave because I have been in my words doing work for a competitor, (I most certainly have not do not intend to and expressly never said this)
I send an email expressing this and requesting to raise a grievance I also copy in the Director of HR, this is ignored a week and a half I send a follow-up and this is not even acknowledged also I then telephone HR directly and get a written acknolwdgement of seeing those emails. I am told i will get a response this week, but Friday is coming up. In my follow up i said if my grievance is not acknowledged or actioned ( put into action) I will take further action this Monday ( i intend to end contract and push for constructive dismissal for failing to honor there commitments grievance policy) since my garden leave ends on the 9th i believe i have given them ample time to respond.
I also found out the VP told the office the details of my garden leave, said it was for working with a competitor and told them the payment terms which I find inappropriate. especially as I initiated this by giving notice
So as you see a lot of odds and ends with this one would appreciate your thoughts!