Q We have agreed that a full-time employee can change to part-time hours on a permanent basis. We will shortly be giving them a revised contract to reflect this. But when should we state that their employment started? Is it the date they go part-time or when they first began working for us?

AYou should put both dates in the new contract.

For example, say that they will be transferring to part-time hours on 1 November, their new contract will start on that date. However, for the purposes of "continuous employment" in other words, the entire length of time they have worked for you that is the date their employment originally began.

This date is important for certain employment rights, such as redundancy and unfair dismissal. Continuous employment can be broken if there is a gap between the two contracts of more than one calendar week. However, this rule won’t apply if it was caused by a period of annual leave, sickness absence, maternity leave or temporary cessation of work.

It will also be unaffected if an employee is made redundant and then re-employed within four weeks of their original contract ending.