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The Contract of Employment$
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Mark Freedland, Alan Bogg, David Cabrelli, Hugh Collins, Nicola Countouris, A.C.L. Davies, Simon Deakin, and Jeremias Prassl

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783169.001.0001

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The Contract of Employment as an Expression of Continuing Obligations

The Contract of Employment as an Expression of Continuing Obligations

(p.362) 17 The Contract of Employment as an Expression of Continuing Obligations
The Contract of Employment

Nicola Countouris

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the three main ways in which the concept of ‘continuity’ is expressed in the construction of the contract of employment in English employment law. It breaks down the composite notion of ‘continuity’ into three distinct dimensions, that is to say continuity as ‘duration/length of service’, continuity as ‘regularity’, and continuity as an element used to identify contractual status. The chapter identifies the latter dimension of continuity as arguably the most contentious one, with English court decisions establishing, in effect, a strong nexus between contractual duration, mutuality of obligations, and employment status, to the effect that casual work normally justifies a strong inference that the relationship is one characterized by a series of short contracts for services, rather than a continuous contract of employment, or even a ‘worker’ contract.

Keywords:   continuity, duration, regularity, mutuality of obligations, casual work

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