Continuity of service


Helen Rice-Birchall, Eversheds Last Modified  13 June 2013

Continuity of service is calculated from the date that the employee starts work with the organisation.

Key points

  • The date of continuity of service must be included in the employee's statement of employment particulars.
  • Many statutory rights are dependent on accruing a certain period of continuous service.
  • If the employer is unable to offer work to the employee because none is available, continuity of service may be preserved during the period of inactivity.
  • Continuity of service is preserved during maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave and parental leave.
  • If there is a transfer of undertaking (Tupe), then the continuity of service of the transferred employees is preserved.
  • It is essential that employers are clear what happens to continuity of service during career breaks and sabbaticals.
  • In the case of casual workers, who are employed only when required, there is likely to be no continuity of employment between periods of employment.
  • Any days on which the employee is involved in strike action neither count toward nor break a period of continuous service.
  • During any lock out, continuity of service is not broken but it does not count towards the calculation of continuous service.