Continuous Employment

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. 

What is included

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, for example 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 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. 

For further information: