Gaps of exercising treaty rights of up to six months, whether in or out of the country, are fine.
This is based on the EEA Regulations: The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016

3.—(1) This regulation applies for the purpose of calculating periods of continuous residence in the United Kingdom under these Regulations.
(2) Continuity of residence is not affected by—
(a) periods of absence from the United Kingdom which do not exceed six months in total in any year..
If you have been job hunting during this time, this is also a way of exercising treaty rights.

Once you have worked in the UK, you retain worker status for at least six months, it can be longer, depending on the circumstances.

The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016


(2) A person who is no longer working must continue to be treated as a worker provided that the person—
(a) is temporarily unable to work as the result of an illness or accident;
(b) is in duly recorded involuntary unemployment after having been employed in the United Kingdom for at least one year, provided the person—
(i) has registered as a jobseeker with the relevant employment office; and
(ii) satisfies conditions A and B;
(c) is in duly recorded involuntary unemployment after having been employed in the United Kingdom for less than one year, provided the person—
(i) has registered as a jobseeker with the relevant employment office; and
(ii) satisfies conditions A and B;
(d) is involuntarily unemployed and has embarked on vocational training; or
(e) has voluntarily ceased working and has embarked on vocational training that is related to the person’s previous employment.
(3) A person to whom paragraph (2)(c) applies may only retain worker status for a maximum of six months.

(5) Condition A is that the person—
(a) entered the United Kingdom in order to seek employment; or
(b)is present in the United Kingdom seeking employment, immediately after enjoying a right to reside under sub-paragraphs (b) to (e) of the definition of qualified person in paragraph (1) (disregarding any period during which worker status was retained pursuant to paragraph (2)(b) or (c)).


(6) Condition B is that the person provides evidence of seeking employment and having a genuine chance of being engaged.
How to prove job seeking

The Home Office guidance states the following:

Please provide one of the following:
  • evidence of registration as a jobseeker with Jobcentre Plus, the Jobs and Benefits Office or Social Security Office (such as a letter from the relevant office and/or proof of receipt of relevant benefits)
  • proof of registration with a recruitment agency.
  • evidence of job-seeking (please provide at least 2 pieces of evidence which should cover the period you were looking for work), such as:
    • copies of recent job applications
    • rejection letters from employers
    • invitations to job interviews.
If you are/your sponsor is still looking for work, please provide one of the following:
  • evidence of relevant professional, vocational or academic qualifications, or relevant work experience
  • evidence of any training you are/your sponsor is doing or has done to improve your/their chances of finding work.