Where an employee is put on garden leave, is the employer entitled to ask the employee to return his or her company car and mobile phone?

Whether or not an employer is entitled to ask an employee on garden leave to return his or her company car and mobile phone depends on the purpose of the items and the terms of the contract. The starting point is that employees are entitled to full pay and benefits during periods of garden leave. However, an employer may be entitled to ask for the return of items such as a company car and mobile phone where they are purely tools of the job and provided for business use only.

Where the company car and mobile phone are contractual benefits for personal use too, the employer should not seek their return until the end of the garden leave period, unless there is a specific term in the contract of employment requiring the employee to return them during a period of garden leave.