Pay, continuous Service

Continuous Service
– the basic rules

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South East Employers

Updated 1 March 2021

A common question we get asked is ‘We have someone joining us from another council. Do they have continuous service?’ There are some basic rules that can help you answer this question.

The rules

The clock starts from zero for any statutory entitlements or benefits.

The NJC for Local Government Services Pay and Conditions Document (The Green Book) sets out some occupational entitlements or benefits where previous continuous Local Government Service is taken into consideration. These include occupational sick pay, occupational maternity pay and annual leave entitlements.

The Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government, etc.) (Modification) Order 1999 (The Modification Order) sets out that previous continuous Modification Order body service counts when calculating redundancy pay.

Five business people hand drawn in a continuous line

What is continuous service?


The Employment Rights Act (1996) (ERA) states that a week, Sunday to Saturday, in which a person has been under a contract of employment, counts as a week of work. To break continuous service there must be a gap of one complete week, Sunday to Saturday, in which the person was not employed.


The Modification Order also sets out how redundancy payments and continuous service should be treated when someone is made redundant. Where a person who is being made redundant and is offered a job with another Modification Order body before their last day of service AND they start that new job within four weeks (Sunday to Saturday), the redundancy effectively disappears. This means that the person is no longer entitled to the redundancy payment (it has to be repaid) but their continuous service is retained. However, if they start the new job AFTER the four weeks (Sunday to Saturday) OR the job offer is received AFTER the last day of service, the redundancy dismissal stands, and they can keep their redundancy payment, but they lose their continuous service.


The Green Book provides that where a person it transferred out of Local Government under TUPE (and is subsequently TUPE’d following a retender exercise) and voluntarily returns to Local Government i.e. resigns to take up a job at a council, continuous service is broken. However, if they voluntarily return to local government from the transferee (or subsequent transferees) within 5 years of the original transfer date, their service with the intervening employer(s) does count towards the calculation of holiday, occupational maternity/paternity/shared parental leave and pay and occupational sick leave and pay. For this provision there must be less than than one clear week (Sunday to Saturday) between employment with the private company ending and starting at the council.

Breaks for Caring Responsibility:

If they have taken a break from work to care for someone, while continuous service is broken, previous Local Government service will be aggregated if you are returning to work within eight years.

If you need help determining the relevant continuous service dates for a new employee please contact us.

Who are SEE? We are a small team of Employment & Organisational Development consultants. We work across the public sector in the south east of England. Our organisation is not-for-profit so we are continually re-investing in the services and products we offer. We work with small and medium sized organisations and across the public sector in the south east of England.

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Get in touch

If you want more advice about Continous service or the Moderation Order please get in touch.

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