The period of continuous employment is used to work out if employees qualify for certain rights based on length of service, like protection from unfair dismissal.
If an employee never worked for you or an associated employer in the past then their period of continuous service will just be the time since they started work for you.
However, if the employee previously worked for you or an associated employer, that earlier period of service may need to be counted too.
A gap of at least one week (ending on a Saturday) between the two employment periods normally will break continuity so you can ignore the earlier service UNLESS:
- an employment contract existed or employment was regarded by custom as continuing
- the employee was re-employed within four weeks following redundancy
- it was due to a qualifying sickness absence, family leave (i.e maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave) or military service
- temporary cessation of work or strike/lock-out