Calculating Continuing Employment and Length of Service

THSP Employment Law Consultant - Andrew Wilson

By Andrew Wilson

LinkedIn profile

Continuing employment and length of service should be easy to calculate… shouldn’t it? There are some common questions that need to be considered.

The continuity of any employment relationship is an important consideration. This is because a number of statutory rights become available to the employee as their length of service builds. Service accrues from the very first day the employee works for the employer.

There are certain times where employers wish to end the employment and re-engage in a business transfer, or to curtail increasing employment liabilities. Service can only be broken if there is a legal break in the employment relationship.

This is currently expected to be at least one calendar week. However, we would recommend a long break if possible. There is a Parliamentary Employment Bill proposing this increases to one calendar month, but still has to be ratified. Without a break in service rights against unfair dismissal, notice pay and compensation for loss of work, such as redundancy, continue to build at certain times.

At 2 years of continuous service employees gain a number of rights against dismissal. So where an employer sees no way forward and wishes to terminate employment for reasons but those protected automatically, like for discriminatory reasons, asserting pension, trade union or trade union rights to name a few, then as long as the employee has less than 2 years’ service then they can usually proceed with some confidence.

In situations where dismissal occurs within 2 years, then surely there are no rights to claim unfair dismissal. Right? There are some circumstances whereby length of service can be afforded another week of statutory, or contractual service. In turn, this takes the employee over 2 years and affording them significant employment rights.

Give us a call on 03456 122 144 if you and your business needs help with this or any other HR matter.