Garden leave (or "gardening leave") [ficar na geladeira?] describes the practice whereby an employee who is leaving a job (having resigned or otherwise had their employment terminated) is instructed to stay away from work during their notice period [aviso prévio], while still remaining on the payroll. This practice is often used to prevent employees from taking with them up-to-date (and perhaps sensitive) information when they leave their current employer, especially when they are leaving to join a competitor.
Employees continue to receive their normal pay during garden leave and are covered by any contractual duties, such as confidentiality agreements, until their notice period expires.
The term can also be used when an employee is sent home whilst subject to disciplinary proceedings, when they are between projects, or where, as a result of publicity, their presence at work is considered counter-productive. [suspensão remunerada]
The term is frequently used in Formula One motor racing to describe what happens when valued technical staff choose to move between teams. In an attempt to prevent proprietary information about performance and design falling into competitors' hands, the engineer in question is placed on garden leave, sometimes for many months, to ensure that when he is finally able to join his new employer his knowledge is no longer current (or useful).