module specification

BL4002 - Introduction to Employment Law (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Introduction to Employment Law
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Write up of employment tribunal visit 1,500 words
Group Presentation 20%   Group Role Play
Coursework 50%   Individual report based on role play scenario 2,000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module aims to provide learners with an understanding of the sources and machinery of employment law and provides an introduction to discrimination law and termination of employment contracts.

Module aims

This module aims to:

1. Develop students’ ability to seek relevant data
2. Enable students to understand the legal system, the nature of employment law and enforcement mechanisms
3. Enable students to carry out a critical analysis of relevant legal issues and to appreciate any deficiencies in the law in this area
4. Develop an appreciation of the role of law in protecting individuals and groups in the employment relationship
5. Develop students’ skills, enabling them to apply legal concepts to practical situations and provide an appropriate organisational response
6. Enable  students to develop their  understanding of  contemporary legal issues

This module will develop the following skills: academic reading, researching, application of knowledge, note making, academic writing, communicating and presenting orally and in writing, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, self/time management, reflection, collaborating and working with others and commercial and business awareness.


Indicative content is indicated below and will enable achievement of the learning outcomes.

1. The legal system - statute and common law; civil and criminal law. Sources of Employment Law.

2. Machinery and enforcement of the law - role of the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunals; the Court Structure. Role of the State and third party agencies - Central Arbitration Committee, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Equality and Human Rights Commission

3. The impact of EU law: sources of law - Treaties, Directives, Regulations; role of the CJEU; implementation of EU law in the UK.

4. Codes of Practice – ACAS codes including grievance and disciplinary
procedures, Equality and Human Rights Commission and codes relating to discrimination at work

5. The employment relationship – determining the status of workers. Implications for recruitment and selection

6. The contract of employment - terms of the contract; statutory protection of individual workers.  Effect of these rights on employment relations, and implications for work-life balance.

7. Introduction to Discrimination law - the role of law as it relates to discrimination on ground of sex or marital status, race, ethnicity or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, age, part-time and fixed-term work and the employment of ex-offenders.

8. Introduction to termination of employment: breach of contract; statutory rights - unfair dismissal, redundancy

9. Overview of contemporary employment law issues

10. The practical implications of employment law and appropriate organisational responses to legal issues arising in the workplace

Learning and teaching

The learning and teaching strategy will provide a supportive learning environment in which students can develop their knowledge of employment law and the skills necessary to undertake work effectively in this area.

A problem based workshop approach will be adopted, encouraging students to engage with contemporary employment law issues and debates and to understand the practical implications of employment law. Students will be put into action learning sets and be encouraged to work together throughout the module on weekly tasks and to reflect on their learning experience. They will be expected to participate in discussions and debates on contemporary employment law issues

Students will be given the opportunity to visit an employment law tribunal and engage in a role play of a tribunal, assuming the roles of the different participants. This will be a group activity, further encouraging students to learn from and support each other. It will also provide students with a practical insight into the application of the law and appropriate organisational responses.

The WebLearn site will contain interactive material including quizzes, video links and links to relevant websites.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

1. Explain the legal framework relating to employment law and be able to handle and analyse legal materials confidently.
2. Analyse developments in discrimination law and law relating to termination of employment contracts and be able to identify appropriate sources to enable them to keep abreast of developments.
3. Identify problems and issues which arise in the employment relationship and apply the legal principles to those situations.
4. Recognise the ways in which the law seeks to protect individuals and groups in an employment context and have a critical appreciation of the deficiencies of the law in this area
5. Advise on the preparation, presentation and settling of employment law cases
6. Identify current legal issues, research those areas and analyse their findings.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy provides a mix of analytical and practical tasks and is designed to engage students with contemporary legal issues, the practical application of the law and the workings of the employment law system, thereby enabling students to appreciate appropriate responses and issues relating to presenting and settling employment law cases. 

The three components will encourage students to work both individually and in groups to comment on and solve legal issues, thereby testing their knowledge of the law. The assessments will develop their legal research skills, application of knowledge, academic writing, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills together with self/time management and reflection skills.  Skills of collaborating and working with others and business and commercial awareness will also be tested.


Recommended Text
Willey, B. (2012) Employment Law in Context: An introduction for HR professionals, 4th edition, Pearson Education

Phillips, G., & Scott, K. (2013) Employment law. 2013. Guildford, College of Law (available as an e-book)
Smith, I and Baker, A (2013) Smith & Wood’s Employment Law, 11th Edition, Oxford University Press
Pitt (2011) Employment Law, 8th Ed., Sweet and Maxwell
Connolly, M (2011) Discrimination Law, 2nd Ed., Sweet and Maxwell
Lockton, D (2011) Employment Law, 8th Ed., Palgrave
Riches, S & Allen, V (2013) Keenan and Riches Business Law, 11th Edition, Pearsons
Emir, A, (2012 ) Selwyn’s Law of Employment, 17th edition, Oxford University Press,
Honeyball, S (2012) Honeyball & Bowers Textbook on Employment Law, 11th Ed., OUP
Kirton, G, & Greene, A (2010) The dynamics of managing diversity: a critical approach, 3rd Edition, Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann

Key journals
Equal Opportunities Review
IDS Employment Law Brief
Human Resource Management Journal
Industrial Law Journal
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Labour Research
People Management
Personnel Review
Work, Employment and Society