Guide

Continuous employment and employee rights

The effect a change of employer has on continuous employment

Normally, when an employee changes employer, this breaks continuity and their continuous employment must begin again.

However, continuous employment is preserved if:

  • under an Act of Parliament or Northern Ireland Assembly, one corporate body takes over from another as the employer
  • the employer dies and their personal representatives or trustees keep the employee on
  • there is a change in the partners, personal representatives or trustees who employ the employee
  • the employee moves from one employer to another when, at the time of the move, the two employers are associated employers
  • the employee of a health service employer moves to another health service employer while undergoing training

Continuous employment is also preserved when a business or an undertaking - or part of a business - is transferred from one employer to another. Continuity will also be preserved where there is a service provision change, such as a service previously undertaken by an employer being awarded to another contractor.

See responsibilities to employees if you buy or sell a business.