The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 59 (1981) > Issues > Issue 2 > Employment Law and the Structural Engineer
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Employment Law and the Structural Engineer

Engineers are either employers or employees. Their rights and corresponding duties arise under the common law and are also embodied in a mass of case law which is the result of interpreting the various statutes. The most important of these is the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 which has recently (1980) been amended. This paper considers contracts of employment and looks athe various terms, both express and implied, that constitute such contracts. It also investigates the large and important area of the right of an employee not to be unfairly dismissed. The statutory interpretation of such terms as ‘employee’, 'continuous employment’, 'fixed term contract’, and ‘dismissal’ is examined. Maternity rights, as to pay, time off work, and the right not to be dismissed for pregnancy, are explored, as are other cases where employees can take time off, sometimes with pay. Fair reasons for dismissing an employee, e.g. for dishonesty, are looked at, as are disciplinary and grievance procedures. Finally, there is a brief account of the remedies available for unfair dismissal. Margaret Rutherford