continuous employment

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The period for which a person's employment in the same business has subsisted. Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees have the right to claim certain statutory remedies only if they have been continuously employed for certain minimum periods. The required period of continuous employment necessary to bring an unfair dismissal action is one year. The right of employees to statutory redundancy payments and to guarantee payments arises after two years' and one month's continuous employment, respectively. The statutory minimum period of notice to terminate an employee's contract also depends on his period of continuous employment in the business. When a business changes ownership as a going concern, the employee's period of continuous employment under both the old and the new employer counts in calculating the total (see also relevant transfer). When an employee is unjustifiably dismissed without notice, the minimum notice to which he was entitled under the statute is added to the actual period of employment in calculating whether or not he has served the minimum continuous period. Part-time employees are subject to the same rules as full-time employees (see part-time worker).

Periods during which an employee was on strike do not break the continuity, but are excluded from his total period of continuous employment. Continuity is not broken when a woman is absent due to pregnancy or childbirth, provided she takes up her right to return to work (see maternity rights).

Subjects: Law.

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