chapter  3
17 Pages

The nature of the employment relationship in the UK construction industry: A flexible construct?


Abstract Recent developments in employment relations (ER) show that ‘traditional’ full-time, permanent employment is becoming less prominent in many industries. The construction industry presents a unique arena for discussion in this field due to its long history of atypical employment. In addition, the structure of the industry influences the nature of employment, containing as it does a large number of small-and medium-sized firms in coexistence with a few large organisations. The relationship between these is commonly a contracting or a partnering arrangement: a large contractor typically acts as a managing agent who employs the services of subcontractors to carry out ‘bundles’ of work.