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: