An employee's continuous service defines the length of time he/she is deemed to have been employed by the employer. It is important to ascertain the correct length of service for both contractual and statutory rights. The date the employee's continuous service began should be noted in the statement of terms and conditions.
The Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977-2015 contains provisions to determine an employee's continuous service, setting out circumstances in which the contract is deemed to continue even though the employee not have attended work for a period for time. This could be, for example, because they were on maternity leave, or on strike. In both of these cases, continuous service is not broken.
One of the main reasons the date of continuous service is important is in order to determine whether the employee has reached the necessary length of service to be protected against unfair dismissal.