Determining length of service after a break in service

Various factors to consider whether a break in employment affects service time
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 05/30/2012

Question: How long can an employee’s break in service be before it’s not considered a continuous term of employment with the same employer?

Answer: The length of an employee’s service is an important consideration in calculating the amount of notice of termination that is required. Issues may arise, however, when there have been “breaks” in an employee’s service. Breaks can arise for a number of reasons, such as leaves of absence, employer mandated layoffs, dismissals or voluntary resignations followed by re-employment with the original employer.

With respect to common law notice, unfortunately, courts have not consistently assessed breaks in service when calculating reasonable notice. The following factors have been applied by courts to determine whether employment is continuous: