Ruling could see end to career breaks
Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Ruling could see end to career breaksOn 19 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Employers could be discouraged from giving their employees career breaksafter an employment appeal tribunal ruled such breaks do not interruptcontinuity of service. The tribunal ruled that a Marks & Spencer employee made redundant in 1999should have her redundancy payment based on when she started her service withthe firm in 1973, rather than on when she returned to work in 1994 followingher career break. The decision means staff being made redundant should receive rights andbenefits based on their whole length of service – not just the time after acareer break. Jonathan Chamberlain, of law firm Wragge & Co, believes the ruling coulddiscourage some employers from including career breaks as part of theirfamily-friendly working polices. “It is a setback to promoting flexible and family-friendly policiesjust at a time when the Government is encouraging it. Companies are going to beexpected to take an employee back after a break of several years, but if thingsdon’t work out, staff will have the statutory rights based on the total time ofservice,” he said. Chamberlain advised companies to review polices carefully if they want toensure there is a total interruption in their employment relationship withstaff during career breaks. “This will require very careful drafting and even then it may not bepossible,” he added.