Module Information

Module Identifier
LA36820
Module Title
Labour Law
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Pre-Requisite
LA14230/GF14230/LA34230/GF34230/LA34720/GF34720/GF10110/LA10110 (Legal Systems) and GF15830/LA15830/LA35830 (Contract) or LA15710
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 3 x 2 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Exam  Candidates may bring into the examination unmarked copies of Blackstones Statutes on Employment Law. Unmarked material which is permitted to be taken into the examination must remain unmarked for the duration of the examination. Highlighting and underlining are permitted. Blank post-it notes can be used to mark pages.   100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Exam  Candidates may bring into the examination unmarked copies of Blackstones Statutes on Employment Law. Unmarked material which is permitted to be taken into the examination must remain unmarked for the duration of the examination. Highlighting and underlining are permitted. Blank post-it notes can be used to mark pages.   100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module the student will have a thorough grounding in the substantive law governing the individual employment relationship. The module will enhance students' existing analytical skills requiring them to evaluate complex factual situations and inculcating the skill to reconcile and assess competing rights, and to explain and communicate the result. Students will acquire the ability to critically assess the existing legal situation in the context of the current social, economic and political climate, both in the UK and Europe and be able to demonstrate an understanding of the implications for the structure and organisation of the workforce and the balance of rights between employer and employee. In particular students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the elements of the contract of employment and the criteria governing their permissible variation,
  • identify those workers who can be categorised as employees,
  • explain the concept of "continuity of employment" and its importance in an unfair dismissal claim,
  • distinguish between grounds for dismissal that are automatically unfair, those where no unfair dismissal action can lie and those where the courts and tribunals assess reasonableness,
  • describe the remedies available to a successful applicant for unfair dismissal,
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of the background and rationale for the legislation dealing with "work-life balance" balance
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of anti-discrimination legislation.

Brief description

"The law governing labour relations is one of the centrally important branches of the law - the legal basis on which a very large majority of people earn their living. No-one should be qualified as a lawyer - professionally or academically - who has not mastered its principles."
Kahn-Freund's Labour and the Law 3rd ed
Davies and Friedland 1983

The Labour Law module covers legal aspects of the individual relationship between the employer and the employee. The law on this subject evolves rapidly, reflecting changes of both legal and political emphasis and making this a module of contemporary relevance.

The dynamic relationship between employer and employee is one of the most pervasive relationships of modern society. The premises, character and terms of the relationship can impinge deeply upon the lives of employer and employee alike. The principles and rules of law governing the nature of the employer-employee relationship, the formation, content, alteration and termination of the contract of employment are studied and the way in which these principles and rules are worked out in the courts, tribunals and workplace is explored.
There is an increasing amount of legislation which has been enacted with the social policy objectives of both ensuring equality of treatment within the workplace and protecting the work-life balance of employees. At the other end of the scale, the hostile atmosphere which can be created as a result of arbitrary discrimination is inimical to a good relationship between employer and employee. Over the years there has been extensive litigation with reference to discrimination seeking to clarify the nature and extent of the protection provided and, more recently, further legislation has extended both the scope of the previous legislation and also the grounds for unlawful discrimination. The module examines the substantive content of both the legislation on work-life balance and the anti-discrimination legislation and considers how it is applied in a number of practical situations.

Overall, the module will promote understanding of the way in which social, political and economic factors have influenced the development and current position of law governing the employer/employee relationship, enable students to analyse and assess the conflicts between the rights of employers and employee, the balance between discriminating factors and business needs and the complex interrelationship between the legislature and the courts in formulating the law relating to this subject.

Aims

To promote understanding of the way in which social, political and economic factors have influenced the development and current position of law governing the employer/employee relationship. To enable students to analyse and assess the conflicts between the rights of employers and employee, the tension between collective and individual rights , the balance between discriminating factors and business needs and the complex interrelationship between the legislature and the courts in formulating the law relating to this subject.

Content

  • The scope and character of the subject; History, context and character of British Labour Law
  • International and European Dimension.
  • The nature and creation of the employment contract.
  • The terms of the contract and their variation.
  • Termination of the contract.
  • Unfair dismissal.
  • Anti-discrimination legislation.
  • Legislation concerning the 'work-life' balance

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6