Re: Not Blackmail?
I've witnessed it a lot.
The phrase you're looking for is probably "garden leave" - this is a way to "pay" someone their regular salary to serve out their notice at home (i.e. no obligation to come into work). In other words "I owe you three months, take it and get out and leave your access card with reception".
Now, usually there's a bit more warning, but such warning is often informal and not recorded on their HR profile. It's a "go quietly, and you can have 3 months of paid job-hunting at home", as opposed to fighting through tribunals, involving HR and lawyers, having to state explicit reasons, etc.
Quite often they are announced to staff as "by mutual agreement", i.e. we would gladly pay for them to go away , and they didn't want to stay once we said we'd pay them some money.
I've actually seen it used several times, coming quite the shock to the people involved, who were expecting long tribunals, union action, etc. and when faced with several months of wages for leaving, without argument, with no negative HR record, and time to job-hunt something else, they often jump at it.
To my eyes, it's a way to cover poor HR processes. Taking things to court would reveal that they weren't trained, instructed, disciplined, etc. properly, and it's easier to just give them money to go away so that those weaknesses are revealed to all, or opening the door to other claims by other members of staff with similar grievances who might decide to take the "on principle" action.
It's not entirely without merit. However, I'd be incredibly dubious of both what she says and what the company in question say.