|Module Title||LABOUR LAW|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Diane Rowland|
|Other staff||Ms Melanie Williams, Professor Richard Kidner|
|Pre-Requisite||LA10110 or LA30110 and LA15830 or LA35830 or LA15710|
|Mutually Exclusive||LA34610, LA34710|
|Course delivery||Lecture||40 Hours|
|Assessment||Essay||Assessed essay of 2000 workd (required in week 10)||33%|
|Exam||2 Hours R. Kidner, Blackstones Statutes on Employment Law (latest edition) can be taken into the examination.||66%|
"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.
Many international conventions recognise the right of an employee to be represented by a trade union and for trade unions to be actively involved in the workplace both by way of protecting the individual employee and by bargaining collectively with the employer over such matters as pay and other forms of employment. This module deals first with the status and legal control of unions and with the rights of an individuals an a member and then with the freedom to strike and legal controls on industrial action. The final part covers collective bargaining by trade unions and the right of a trade union to be recognised by the employer for bargaining purposes.
- develop a knowledge and understanding of the system of adjudication for employment cases, especially the unusual locus of law and fact in the arbitration process,
- develop a critical understanding of the technical elements particular to the contract of employment,
- understand the concept of `continuity of employment? and its importance in an unfair dismissal claim,
- be able to 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,
- appreciate the remedies available to a successful applicant for unfair dismissal including the calculation of monetary awards,
- understand the background and basis of anti-discrimination law,
- be able to apply the anti-discrimination legislation in practical situations,
- appreciate the significance of the status of a trade union,
- understand the role of collective bargaining in the regulation of the relationship between employer and employee and
- understand the regulatory framework for the control of industrial action.