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:
flexible working requests
Continuous employment is calculated from the first day of work.
What is included
Some breaks in normal employment still count towards a continuous employment period. These are:
sickness, maternity, paternity, parental or adoption 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, for example with a reserve force
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 do not count towards continuous employment, but this is not 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.