Module Identifier LA36820  
Module Title LABOUR LAW  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Professor Diane Rowland  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite LA10110 or LA30110 and LA15830 or LA35830 or LA15710  
Co-Requisite LA36030  
Mutually Exclusive LA34610, LA34710  
Course delivery Lecture    
  Lecture   30 Hours. 2 one hour lectures and one two hour lecture per week.  
  Seminars / Tutorials   6 Hours. Three two hour seminars  
Assessment
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Blackstones Statutes on Employment Law (latest edition) can be taken into the examination.  100%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours Blackstones Statutes on Employment Law (latest edition) can be taken into the examination.  100%
Professional Exemptions Not Required for Professional Purposes  

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 situation 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 an understanding of the background and rationale for the legislation dealing with `work-life balance┬┐ and its application in practice,
- apply the anti-discrimination legislation in practical situations.

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 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.
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

1. The scope and character of the subject.
2. The nature and creation of the employment contract
3. The terms of the contract and their variation.
4. Identifying employees.
5. Termination of the contract.
6. Unfair dismissal.
7. Employee's Implied Duties.
8. Redundancy.
9. Preserving the work-life balance.
10. The anti-discrimination legislation.

Reading Lists

Books
** Recommended Text
I.T. Smith and G. H. Thomas (2000) Smith and Wood's Industrial Law 7th. Butterworths
J. Bowers and S. Honeyball (2002) Textbook on Labour Law 7th. Blackstones
R Kidner Statutes on Employment Law (latest edition) OUP
Simon Deakin and Gillian Morris (2001) Labour Law 3rd. Butterworths

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6