In English, what bears more semantic weight, the Tense of a verb or the time condition?
For example, if we compare these two sentences:
This year, she continued being one of the most active employees.
This year, she HAS continued being one of the most active employees.
It looks like "This year" here defines it all and the change from Past Simple to Present Perfect doesn't change the meaning, from which I gather that the time condition is more important than a Tense.
Is it true with regard to all cases in English?
Or is it like it all depends on the situation and there can't be one absolute answer here.