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Restrictive Covenants and Garden Leave

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Is the absence of a garden leave set-off clause fatal to a non-compete clause?

No, held the High Court (QBD) in Square Global Limited v Leonard.

The Caimant purported to resign on 19th November 2019 with immediate effect as he claimed the circumstances amounted to a constructive dismissal. The Court accepted the Respondents case that he was in breach of a six month notice period which would have expired on 19 May 2020 during which it had the discretion to require him not to perform any services. A non-compete clause then applied for a further six months.

The absence of any provision stipulating that there should be a set-off between any period of garden leave and the period of time during which any non-compete covenant would apply did not point (on the facts of the case before the Court) to the unreasonableness of the six-month non-compete clause.

Thanks to Tim Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers for preparing this case summary.