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8 March 2013
Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
Langstaff J, President
The period of continuous employment starts when the employee first undertakes work under the contract of employment. Attending a work meeting voluntarily before the contract started did not mark the start of continuous employment.
K complained she had been unfairly dismissed shortly before she accrued one year's continuous employment. She had voluntarily attended a meeting with a client of the Respondent a few days before her contract started. She was not paid for that. She claimed that amounted to work under her contract of employment which started her period of continuous employment - giving her one year's continuous employment.
The tribunal and EAT said that there was no contract of employment operating when she attended the client meeting; she attended voluntarily; she was not paid; so she was not there as an employee. Therefore her period of employment started when her contract started and she did not have one year's continuous employment.
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