I have been at my company for 10 years during which time I have taken a year off for maternity leave with an additional 6 month career break. I am on the career break now and due to return in August. My company are currently going through the redundancy procedures and said compulsory redundancies will begin from October. No one is yet sure who is affected. Does anyone know whether any redundancy pay paid to me would be affected by my career break? Had I not taken the 6 month career break I would have 10 years continious service whereas now its 9 and a bit years with a 6 month career break and then starting again in september. I don't beleive I am expected to sign a new contract in september.
Your maternity leave obviously doesn't affect your continuity of service and it will be counted towards service.
In law, there is actually no such specific thing as a career break, so it will totally depend on how these career breaks are set up in your company. Assuming it was done on some sort of official footing (either under a policy or documented terms at the time) I suggest that you go back and review those documents. Some career breaks are treated as remaining employed and accruing service, some as remaining employed but not (for any company enhanced rules. For statutory rules, if you are employed you only count as not accruing service under set statutory rules) and under some rules your employment is actually terminated, but just with a guaranteed job offer at the end.