Continuous employment is when an employee has worked for one employer without a break.
The length of continuous employment gives certain rights to employees, including:
- maternity pay
- flexible working requests
- redundancy pay
Continuous employment is calculated from the first day of work.
Some breaks in normal employment still count towards a continuous employment period. These are:
- sickness, maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave
- annual leave
- employment overseas with the same company
- time between unfair dismissal and an employee being reinstated
- when an employee moves between associated employers
- military service, eg with a reserve force
- temporary lay-offs
- employer lockouts
- when a business is transferred from one employer to another
- when a corporate body gets taken over by another because of a legal change
Days when employees are on strike don’t count towards continuous employment, but this isn’t treated as a break.
An employee works for 20 days, but for 5 of these days the employee is on strike - this only counts as 15 days’ continuous employment.
Contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) if you have any questions about continuous employment.