Continuous Employment

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An employee must complete a minimum period of continuous employment with an employer to be eligible for certain rights and payments such as unfair dismissal, statutory redundancy payments, statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory adoption pay (SAP). Continuity is calculated in accordance with provisions in the ERA 1996, except in the case of SMP, SPP and SAP, where it is calculated in accordance with the various regulations governing those schemes. Continuity will usually be broken by, amongst other events, a break of one clear week (measured from Sunday to Saturday) between two contracts of employment, unless certain exceptions apply. These include where the employee is incapable of work through illness or injury, or where the break is due to a “temporary cessation of work”, or where continuity is preserved by arrangement or custom.

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