Module Identifier LA36820  
Module Title LABOUR LAW  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr Diane Rowland  
Semester Intended For Use In Future Years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Other staff Ms Melanie Williams, Ms Francoise Jarvis  
Pre-Requisite LA10110 or LA30110 and LA15830 or LA35830 or LA15710  
Co-Requisite LA36030  
Mutually Exclusive LA34610, LA34710  
Course delivery Lecture   40 Hours  
  Seminar   8 Hours  
Assessment Exam   2 Hours R. Kidner, Blackstones Statutes on Employment Law (latest edition) can be taken into the examination.   66%  
  Essay   Assessed essay of 2000 workd (required in week 9)   33%  

General 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 both the individual relationship between the employer and the employee and between trade unions and employers. The law on this subject has evolved at a considerable rate in the last two decades, 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.

The hostile atmosphere which can be created as a result of arbitrary discrimination is inimical to a good relationship between employer and employee. The last few years have seen extensive litigation with reference to discrimination seeking to clarify the nature and extent of the protection provided by the Sex Discrimination, Race Relations and Disability Discrimination Acts. The module examines the substantive content of the anti-discrimination legislation and considers particularly how it is applied in the areas of part-time working, pregnancy and maternity rights and sexual harassment.

Trade unions have a unique legal status being, in theory, voluntary unincorporated associations but yet having being vested with some elements of legal personality by statute. Legal regulation of the activities of trade unions first began in the nineteenth century and it is still possible to identify vestigial elements from this period in the current legislation, however intense legislative activity in the 1980s created a number of statutes which affected the way in which trade unions can operate. The module will consider, in particular, the extent of the legal personality of a trade union, the way in which its mode of operation is regulated, the rights of trade union members and the consequences of industrial action.

Aims of the module
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.

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

1. Introduction.

2. Tribunals.

3. The Importance of Contract.

4. Identifying Employees.

5. Creation of the Contract of Employment.

6. Employer's Implied Duties.

7. Employee's Implied Duties.

8. Termination of Contracts of Employment.

9. Altering the Terms of the Relationship.

10. Unfair Dismissal.

11. Redundancy.

12. The anti-discrimination legislation - Sex Discrimination, Race Relations and Disability Discrimination Acts

13. Equal Pay

14. Introduction to Trade Union Law

15. Definition and Status of Trade Unions

16. Internal Regulation: The Rule Book

17. The Rights of Trade Union Members

18. Industrial Action

Teaching will be through lectures and seminars. There will be a maximum of 40 lectures and 8 smaller group seminars

Reading Lists
** Recommended Text
R Kidner. Statutes on Employment Law (latest edition). Blackstones
I.T. Smith and G. H. Thomas. (1996) Smith and Wood's Industrial Law. 6th. Butterworths
Simon Deakin and Gillian Morris. (1998) Labour Law. 2nd. Butterworths
J. Bowers and S. Honeyball. (1998) Textbook on Labour Law. 4th. Blackstones