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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: LAW3033 Module Title: EMPLOYMENT LAW
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAW330
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: BENNY RG Mr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
Available from the Autumn Semester 2007.
One 2 hour lecture (weekly) plus one 1 hour tutorial (fortnightly)
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Coursework (mid-year submission)
Examination (end of academic year)
Qualifying Condition(s)
Module Overview
A study of the key provisions, principles and practices in the fields of Employment Law and Discrimination Law.
Contract Law; Tort Law
Module Aims
The objective of the module is to introduce students to the essential principles and statutory provisions concerning the individual Employment Relationship, both domestic and those emanating from EC Law, set within the institutional and socio-political context of the UK and the European Union, together with an introduction to the principles and statutory provisions concerning Discrimination Law. It will also provide an understanding of the nature and scope of employers’ liability and employees’ rights in the employment relationship, including important employment protection rights (with particular reference to unfair dismissal and redundancy), the main areas of Discrimination Law (including sex and equal pay, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age discrimination. The module will also consider, inter alia, the transfers of undertakings, implied terms in the contract of employment, methods of terminating the employment relationship, and remedies available to both employee and employee in this field of Law. The module will consider the essential common law legal principles regulating the employment relationship and Discrimination Law, as well as providing an awareness of the most important legislative constraints, in terms of both European and domestic law. The module also provides the opportunity to become acquainted with considerations of policy which underlie Employment Law, with particular reference to the substantive areas of the subject indicated above. Successful completion of the module will gain the student 30 credits for this option (ECTS credit equivalent = 15).
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the students will be able to:
  • Understand the legal principles underpinning individual Employment Law
  • Understand the most important statutory and common law constraints within the field of individual Employment Law
  • Develop a critical awareness of the interaction between employee rights and managerial prerogative
  • Be conversant with the main institutions and sources of Employment Law
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply legal principles to the solution of factual situations by answering problem-type questions
  • Demonstrate an ability to marshal complex arguments by answering problem-type and essay-type questions, and preparing tutorial answers
  • Extract relevant information from reported judgements, statutory materials, textbooks and a wide range of other written materials, whether in hard copy or electronic form
  • Construct sound arguments, whether written or oral, after assembling relevant information from the sources cited above
  • Understand legal and policy arguments in Employment Law and critically assess the merits/demerits of these arguments
  • Synthesise complex arguments from various sources, critically reflect upon these, and reach defensible, logical conclusions
  • Comprehend the rôle of Employment Law within the wider social policy context
  • Develop a critical understanding of the subject
Module Content
The following areas of individual Employment Law and Discrimination Law will be covered:
  • Introduction to the Institutions and Sources of Employment Law
  • The Contract of Employment -- Express and Implied Terms
  • Termination of the Employment Relationship and the Legal Implications of adopting various methods of termination
  • Unfair Dismissal Law
  • Redundancy
  • The Transfer of Undertakings
  • Other Employment Protection Rights (in outline): e.g. Working Time, Maternity & Parental Leave, National Minimum Wage
Discrimination Law – Introduction
  • Concepts of Equality: formal v. substantive; equality of opportunity v. equality of results; positive discrimination (affirmative action); the non-discrimination principle in EU Law (a fundamental principle of EU Law)
  • Key provisions, principles and concepts concerning the following areas of Discrimination Law:
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Religion or Belief
  • Age
Methods of Teaching/Learning
The teaching and learning methods will consist of lectures (with hand-outs) and tutorials. The former are designed to introduce and open out topics, to give direction, and to set students on the pathway to acquiring knowledge through private study. The latter are designed to introduce detailed issues and topics, and to allow students to deepen and broaden their knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures via guided discussion. Tutorials will focus upon the application of legal knowledge acquired through both the lectures and through private study. Application of legal knowledge is tested, largely, by way of resolving hypothetical fact situations from which legal issues arise. Students are guided on how to identify the relevant legal issues arising, select the relevant legal principles, and apply the law to the issues to reach a resolution. Tutorials will also contain some essay-type questions designed to give students practice in answering this kind of question. It is expected that students will have consulted a wide range of legal materials, in both hard-copy and electronic formats, including law reports, textbooks, journals, monographs, statutory materials, case citators, Lexis, Lawtel and other on-line databases and materials (excluding what are regarded as unscholarly sources such as Google, Wikipedia, etc). The examination and the submission of written course-work is designed to assess the knowledge/skills acquired through the teaching and learning strategy (see “Methods of Assessment and Weighting” below)
The teaching and learning strategy aims to open out the subject, consider key principles and legislative provisions and provide the student with signposts to background and supplementary reading. The strategy is designed to stimulate private study, and develop an understanding and critical awareness of the essential principles of individual Employment Law, both within the UK and at EU level.
Assessment Strategy and Assessment Method
The assessment strategy is designed to discover whether the student has: understood the main principles of individual Employment Law and Discrimination Law; undertaken the required reading; and developed a critical awareness of the central tensions in the area.
The assessment method: a two hour examination (80%) and course-work (20%). Students must submit one piece of course-work of 1,500 words. Students must exhibit personal research and originality, particularly in relation to course-work.
The examination will cover not only those areas dealt with in lectures and tutorials but also those included and recommended in general and guided reading. Students demonstrating satisfactory personal research and originality, particularly in relation to course-work, are likely to secure better than average marks.
Course-work should demonstrate observance of the scholarly presentation of work (correct legal citation, footnoting, etc) and computer literacy, both in its presentation and content. Familiarity with using and extracting relevant information from electronic databases is expected. Students must be able to structure the totality of their work, as well as marshal individual arguments within it. Solutions should demonstrate a knowledge of relevant definitions, counter-arguments and conflicts within the law. Case-law, thoroughly-researched, acknowledged, and correctly cited, should be used to support argument and legal propositions. Copied or plagiarised course-work will be totally rejected and appropriate sanctions applied. Persistent non-attendance at classes may substantially affect performance in the assessments. The examination will be divided into “problem-type” questions and “essay-type” questions. Answers to both kinds of question should be structured, logical, reasoned, and indicate the acquisition and application of the relevant area of legal knowledge. Students are expected to write in clear, grammatical English, free from spelling errors, in both examinations and course-work.
Selected Texts/Journals
Expected purchase:
Labour Law Upex, Benny & Hardy (current edition)
Employment Law Sargeant, M., Longman
Cases & Materials books;
Cases & Materials on Employment Law Painter, R., (current edition)
Statute Book:
Blackstone’s Statutes on Employment Law, ed. Kidner, R. (current edition)
Background Reading:
Labour Law, Deakin & Morris (current edition)
Selwyn’s Law of Employment, (current edition), Selwyn, N., Lexis Nexis
Cases and Materials in Employment Law, (current edition), Painter, R.
Reference only:
Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law, Lexis Nexis
Equal Opportunities Review, Industrial Relations Services (IRS)
Industrial Relations Law Bulletin, Lexis Nexis
Industrial Law Journal, OUP
Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law, Lexis Nexis
On-line Legal Databases:
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