(1) An employee's period of continuous employment for the purposes of any provision of this Act—
(a) (subject to [subsection] (3)) begins with the day on which the employee starts work, and
(b) ends with the day by reference to which the length of the employee's period of continuous employment is to be ascertained for the purposes of the provision.
(2) . . .
(3) If an employee's period of continuous employment includes one or more periods which (by virtue of section 215, 216 or 217) while not counting in computing the length of the period do not break
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