Blog: Leaving ‘gifts’ from employees

Simon Martin, Specialist Employment Lawyer at Menzies Law

We learned that in the early hours of Friday, 3 November something remarkable happened. Donald Trump’s twitter feed was “deactivated” for 11 minutes. Some wags have said that it rendered the President uncharacteristically mute for a short period. After some initial flannelling by Twitter it emerged that Trump’s account had been deliberately deactivated as a parting shot by an employee at Twitter during their final day of employment.

We often have to advise companies about employees who are departing and who may want to cause difficulties on their way out.  The key is to try to anticipate problems in advance rather than having to mitigate them afterwards.

A very good weapon in an employer’s armoury is the Garden Leave provision.  If you have concerns that a disgruntled employee may try to cause you some problems before they leave then it is a good idea to invoke the clause. You need to balance the desire/need to have your employees work up until the last minute so that they are earning their money, against reducing the risk for them creating problems. The other advantage of a garden leave clause is that they are a much more effective way of preventing an employee from competing with your company than post termination restrictive covenants.

I imagine that over the last two weeks there has been a post mortem carried out at Twitter and some red faces which could possibly have been avoided by a judicious use of a garden leave clause, or for that matter by the making of a payment in lieu of notice.

For advice on your options so you don’t find yourself in a similar position to Twitter you should give us a call, or tweet us if you prefer. Unlike the US President’s, ours works.

Simon Martin
Partner

email Simon or call 0117 325 0929

Simon Martin, Specialist Employment Lawyer at Menzies Law