In general, if in a week an employee is not bound by a contract, continuity is broken so that the employee would have to start again to build up continuity (ERA 1996, ss 210-19).The contract subsists throughout the period of ordinary and additional maternity leave. There are, however, some ‘bridging’ rules which allow continuity to be maintained even though there is no subsisting contract of employment, that is where: (a) there has been a temporary cessation of work: for example, a
factory is subject to a short term closure due to lack of orders, a fire, explosion or a strike at the company’s suppliers. It would cover seasonal absences in, for example, agriculture or hotel and catering.Whether the cessation is temporary is a question of fact, but in one case it lasted two years;
(b) the absence is taken by arrangement or custom: that is where it is understood that the employee will be taken back after a break or secondment;
(c) the employee is sick or injured: this can last only up to 26 weeks, unless the contract of employment subsists throughout the whole period of absence.