Q&As

Where an employee returns to work after taking a career break, and their original job (or an alternative role) is not available, would they be entitled to a redundancy payment on dismissal, or could the dismissal be for ‘any other substantial reason’ (assuming that the employee’s contract of employment continued throughout their career break, and that the employer did not guarantee them a role on their return)?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/11/2020

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where an employee returns to work after taking a career break, and their original job (or an alternative role) is not available, would they be entitled to a redundancy payment on dismissal, or could the dismissal be for ‘any other substantial reason’ (assuming that the employee’s contract of employment continued throughout their career break, and that the employer did not guarantee them a role on their return)?

Where an employee returns to work after taking a career break, and their original job (or an alternative role) is not available, would they be entitled to a redundancy payment on dismissal, or could the dismissal be for ‘any other substantial reason’ (assuming that the employee’s contract of employment continued throughout their career break, and that the employer did not guarantee them a role on their return)?

Where an employee has taken a career break, the respective rights and obligations of the parties in relation to the terms on which such break is taken, and the terms on which the employee will return to work, will generally depend on what was agreed. See, for example, Precedents:

  1. Policy—career breaks (contract terminates)

  2. Policy—sabbaticals (contract continues)

Key issues for consideration include:

  1. the status of the contract of employment during the break

  2. whether continuity of employment is preserved during the break, or broken by the break

  3. the statutory or contractual rights the employee may have during the break

  4. the basis on which the employee is to return at the end of the break, and whether their return is guaranteed

  5. to what extent, if any, the employee is entitled to return to the same job

For further information, see Practice Note: Career breaks and sabbaticals.

Clearly, if the employment terminates before the career break or sabbatical starts:

  1. the rights and obligations

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