Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Learning a New Term

First, the quote, from this month's Ansible:
Publishers and Sinners. A Games Workshop mole reports sweeping cuts in their publishing arm after a poor Christmas for games sales. Marc Gascoigne, founder of the imprints Solaris (sf/fantasy) and Black Library (game ties), is now on 'gardening leave' with redundancy expected to follow. BL seems safe but the future of Solaris is less certain.
(Credit Where It's Due: I saw the quote first when Rose Fox quoted it.)

I'd never heard of "gardening leave" before, so I had to Google it to see if it was a widely known term -- and it seems that it is. The wikipedia definition sounds a bit more final than Ansible's bit -- "expected to follow" implies that the termination hasn't happened yet, and that there's a chance that it might not happen -- but that may just be Dave Langford being hopeful. (I'd rather be hopeful myself; Marc's a good guy and smart about books, so I'd rather believe he has a chance until it's definitively proved otherwise.)

I do have two points to mull on.

First, it's so damn typical of modern conglomerates to make "sweeping cuts in their publishing arm after a poor Christmas for games sales." (Emphasis mine.) And they never seem to see what idiots they're being when they lay off Peter because Paul had a rotten year.

Second, something very much like "gardening leave" is common in the US, though it tends to happen in cases of layoffs -- not when an individual employee goes to a competitor or is fired for cause. From the references I googled up, it looks like this kind of leave is very common in the UK after all kinds of separations. On this side of the pond, though, it seems to be more a case of common practice than of employment contracts -- since those contracts are pretty rare over here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nah, Marc's gone. Heard it from somebody who knows. They're confident he'll "land on his feet."

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