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Welton v Deluxe Retail Ltd (t/a Madhouse) - Preserving continuity of employment [2012] EAT

1) A contract of employment governs the relationship between the parties from the time it is entered, not from the (later) time that it is first worked under.

2) Any "arrangement" to preserve continuity of employment over a period of absence when it would otherwise cease must be entered into before the absence commences; it cannot be made retrospectively.

From January 2009 Mr Welton worked for Deluxe at Sheffield. The store closed on 23rd February 2010; Mr Welton's working week ended on 27th. On 8th March (ie more than a week later, but during which week he agreed the new post) he began work at the Blackpool store. On 11th December 2010 he resigned claiming unfair constructive dismissal. This meant that the employment tribunal would only have jurisdiction to hear his claim if he had a year's qualifying service, which meant showing continuity of employment from his time in Sheffield.

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