EMPLOYMENT LAW - 2024/5

Module code: MANM004

Module Overview

This module is intended to provide the students with an understanding of the principles of Employment Law and to develop the ability to apply the relevant legal principles in the context of Human resource management.

The focus is on developing the necessary legal understanding and skills to be able to advise an employer on the impact of HR decisions and the relevant organisational response to deal with issues in the workplace.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

BURNS-PEGLER Debbie (SBS)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • The UK Legal Framework and Employment Law, including European and international perspectives 

  • Nature of the employment relationship and the Contract of Employment

  • Equality of treatment: sex, race, disability and other discrimination

  • Employment protection: pregnancy and maternity/ paternity rights

  • Regulation of Pay: entitlements to pay and the equal pay provisions

  • Health and Safety in the Workplace

  • Termination of the contract: common law provisions and unfair dismissal  under the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996

  • Redundancy

  • Trade unions and the law of industrial action


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Individual Written Assignment 100

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate, all five of the intended module learning outcomes; which is reflected both in its formative and its summative elements.

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • An individual written assignment.

  • The assignment uses a case study approach to provide the students with an opportunity to use their analytical skills and apply their knowledge and understanding of relevant legal principles to various employment issues and to advise on appropriate organisational responses.

  • Students will receive written feedback on the summative assessment.



Formative assessment will take the form of in-class presentations and discussion exercises with in-class tutor feedback. There is also an opportunity to submit a response to a mock assessment question and receive oral feedback.

Module aims

  • Provide students with the key principles that underpin UK and EU employment law
  • Enable students to give up-to-date and accurate advice concerning the practical application of legal principles at work
  • Advise organisations on the consequences of current and future developments in employment law

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate an understanding of the core principles that underpin employment law as it applies in the UK legal framework KC
002 Advise on the application of legal principles in relation to the establishment, amendment and termination of contract of employments KCPT
003 Advise on the application of legal principles established to protect employees from discrimination and the applicability of any relevant employer defenses KCPT
004 Advise on the compliance with further employment protection regulations relevant to major areas of people practice KCPT
005 Evaluate the appropriate organisational responses to potential legal action including the role and functioning of employment tribunals, courts and alternative means of resolving disputes. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to develop the student’s understanding and application of the legal principles to situational case studies.

The learning and teaching method on this module is centred around problem-based learning. Students will use captured content, guided learning and their own research of a legal issue to prepare in advance for seminars.  Seminars will provide an opportunity to discuss the practical application of legal principles to practical situations. There will be a focus on contemporary issues and recent developments in employment law and the impact of these developments in an HRM context.  Students are encouraged to take an active part in seminars through class discussion and presentations.

Teaching and learning methods include:


  • Seminars

  • Case study discussions

  • Use of different IT resources to underpin student learning. Including prescribed electronic texts and databases, (e.g. Westlaw and Lexis Library)

  • Self-directed learning

    • Reading

    • SurreyLearn on-demand captured content




Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM004

Other information

This module promotes three of the main five Student Competency Framework Pillars as follows:

Global and Cultural Capabilities

Students are provided with an opportinuty to develop their intercultural awareness by working with others in groups or ‘legal firms’ throughout the semester. This provides students with the opportuntiy to develop their compencies to work with others from a broad international and culturally diverse backgrounds. Students acquire and develop global and cultural capabilities by interacting with each other in completing the weekly research and presentations Each week the group is tasked with providing advice on legal issues based on real world case studies.. Assignment work and case studies focus on issues concerning an internationally and cultural workforce and students are encouraged to share perspectives and experiences in in-class discussion providing an opportunity to develop an appreciation of a diversity of cultural experience.

Digital Capabilities

Team work for this module requires students to work in digital teams, to use MS Teams to collaborate and share their legal research and prepare presentations in advance of seminars.  Employment law is a dynamic area and this module will provide an opportunity for students to develop their legal research skills so that they have the skills to make judgements based on the most recent legal developments. Legal research requires students to become familiar with specific legal databases including Westlaw and LEXIS to find relevant legislation and case law to support their advice

Resourcefulness & Resilience

Taking responsibility for their own learning is a vital aspect of the problem-based learning approach to learning in this module. Students will identify and allocate areas of focus and research amongst the group and develop self-directed and independent study patterns. Group work will provide an opportunity to contribute to an affective learning community and to show respect and empathy to support other learners.  Inevitibly there will be set-backs  and challenges will be addressed through agile thinking and decision making processes to achieve solutions.  Seminar and Independent Learning Activities provide scaffolded learning opportunities which enable students to work at their own pace, and students should reflect on their learning experience and respond to feedback to stretch and challenge themselves. There is a focus on dealing with conflict in the world of work and students will engage with a range of information sources on support available to workers and organisaitons to develop strategies for dealing with different issues.

This module maps onto the CIPD’s 7OS01 Advance Employment Law in Practice unit. The learning outcomes contained therein are:

1. Understand the legal framework for employment regulation in the UK.

  • Discuss the major sources of employment law and its evolution, including the major employment rights.
  • Explain the role and function of the courts and other institutions responsible for the administration of employment law. 
  • Explain employment status and the legal tests used to establish to whom different employment rights apply. .
  • Critically evaluate the principles of the law in the fields of precedent, vicarious liability and continuity of employment.

2 Understand regulations that aim to protect employees from unlawful acts of discrimination.

  • Assess the protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and its operation.
  • Evaluate the defences that respondents deploy in discrimination cases and remedies.
  • Explain the principles of equal pay law and regulation on pay gap reporting.
  • Assess the management of employment law in respect of specific groups of employees.

3. Understand law in relation to establishment, alteration and termination of employment contracts.

  • Analyse the principles that underpin the law on different types of employment contracts, including their practical significance for organisations.
  • Debate the principles of the law of wrongful, constructive and unfair dismissal.
  • Examine the test of reasonableness in unfair dismissal law and its practical implications for organisations.
  • Explain the process of complying with the law on redundancy and transfers of undertakings.

4. Understand compliance in relation to further regulations relevant to major areas of people practice.

  • Explain the law on health and safety at work and personal injury.
  • Discuss the principles underpinning regulation on hours and wages.
  • Explain maternity and parental employment rights, including the requirements of flexible working employment legislation.
  • Evaluate collective employment law and regulations relating to confidentiality at work.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Human Resources Management MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.