Thank you. Due to the employment status differences, your continuous employment as far as employment rights are concerned will be from Dec 2018.
If you have been continuously employed at you place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:
· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)
· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants
However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, you would not be able to challenge it. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That would usually happen if you were not paid any contractual notice period due to you (unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, where no notice would be due). If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week.
You may be thinking what does this have to do with your situation because they are not dismissing you, but the employer can also terminate your existing contract under the above rules and as long as they give you the required notice period and honour your existing contract during that, they can bring it to an end, without you being able to challenge it. So they can legally terminate the old contract and issue a new one, which you can either accept, or decline, but that may result in your termination instead.
As to what rest breaks you are entitled to, legally you only get a 20-minute break for every 6 hours of work. So you could be working 11 hours in a day and still only get one unpaid 20-minute break. Anything more than that is a bonus but at the discretion of the employer.
Does this answer your query?