EMPLOYMENT LAW - 2025/6

Module code: LAW3008

Module Overview

This module examines a number of key aspects of individual and collective employment law. Students build upon the knowledge gained in levels 4 and 5 when considering the legal developments in the common law of contract,  It is designed to provide students with an opportunity for the advanced study of the law governing the employment relationship and labour relations; to understand the legal regulation of working life and assist students to place the key issues of employment law that have shaped the development of law in this area, in their political, economic and social context.  It introduces students to the legal distinction between categories of workers and the significance this has on their individuals’ rights and obligations under the statutory framework. It develops students’ understanding of collective labour law including discussion on the political tensions between governments and unions and the political dimension in the development of laws regulating industrial conflict. The module covers the legal consequences of terminating the contract of employment and will critically assess the law of wrongful, unfair and fair dismissal. Students will also consider the relationship between the employer and employee and the balance of power between these two groups. The module will examine collective labour law, in-particular collective bargaining and industrial conflict.

Students will develop their legal writing skills, building on levels 4 and 5 to achieve a deeper level of critical thinking and independent learning.

 

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

WILLIAMS Elizabeth (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 72

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 20

Captured Content: 30

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None  

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Introduction to the Institutions and Sources of Employment Law

  • The Contract of Employment - Express and Implied Terms

  • Employment status and other categories of worker

  • Human rights at work

  • Termination of the Employment Relationship

  • Job security and business restructuring

  • Statutory employment rights

  • Atypical work

  • The collective regulation of work and worker representation

  • Voluntary and statutory recognition of trade unions

  • Collective bargaining and collective agreements

  • The right to strike


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online 4 HOUR ONLINE EXAM 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to actively engage   

  with assessment requirements and to demonstrate:


  • Knowledge gained from guided and independent research

  • Ability to apply knowledge to problem questions and essay questions

  • Analysis and resolution of legal issues

  • Critical analysis of the relevant areas of law



Exposition of the law using theoretical and philosophical underpinnings
 

The assessment addresses all learning outcomes listed above.


  • Thus, the summative examination assessment for this module consists of:

  • One online examination of 4 - hours duration



Formative assessment


  • 2 - hour online examination.



Students will receive feedback on their performance, as follows:


  • Oral feedback during tutorials.

  • General class discussions on guided themes/topics, with immediate (oral) feedback on students’ performance.

  • Formal, written feedback on the formative assessment exercise

  • Individual, informal feedback, from time to time, as required.



In addition to the formative feedback, students are given academic writing guidance and support during the module to help them develop and increase their skills from levels 4 and 5, and to improve their critical and analytical thinking. Students will be guided on research and reading materials and the tools needed to progress and complete their studies.

‘The assessment method for each module has been selected to test a variety of key skills, competences and outcomes as required by QAA. As such, assessment method cannot be changed. Reasonable adjustment may be made on application subject to ALS approval AND only where such adjustment still allows for the required skills, key competences and outcomes to be assessed at an equivalent level.’

Module aims

  • Understand the competing policy considerations which inform the legal and collective regulation of work
  • Appreciate and understand the different sources of regulation in this area and their interaction (collective, common law, statute, EU, international)
  • Understand and apply the current law in the areas covered in this module
  • Explain and evaluate the current law in light of its stated and other potential objectives

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Evaluate the central principles, concepts and history of employment law and the relationship between them, with particular emphasis on the tensions which emerge. KCT
002 Analyse the content of key legal areas, such as the contract of employment and its terms, the regulation of the termination of employment and the collective regulation of work, with a particular ability to analyse the content of the law in areas where there is tension or a lack of clarity. KCT
003 Critically engage with the sources of employment law, including common law, statute and EU law, and the relationship between them. KCT
004 Engage in discussions regarding competing policy concerns and values which inform employment law and its development, and the relationship between them, in order to be able to propose and defend solutions. KCPT
005 Participate in scholarly debate regarding employment law, critically analysing the major tendencies within legal scholarship and the relationship between them. KCPT
006 Develop transferable skills through applying knowledge of the primary and secondary legal authorities to solve complex real world problems and answer complex essay questions which seek to resolve tensions in the competing goals and content of employment law. 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:
Introduce and generally broach topics, with particular emphasis on key areas of the syllabus, with guidance on which of the most relevant primary and secondary materials should be studied. Lectures examine the current law in a manner which places it in its historical and political context, and, within the leading academic and policy-based commentaries and perspectives.
Tutorials focus on developing students’ ability to combine theoretical knowledge of the law and policy with a detailed understanding of the law as it currently stands by focusing on a close reading of recent employment cases in appellate courts. 
Students are directed to the study of recommended and selected legislation, case-law and other texts and to engage with these to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the subject.

The learning and teaching methods include:
 


  • Lectures (2 hours per week x 11 weeks)

  • Tutorials, including detailed, guided, discussions (1 hour x 6)

  • The objective of both categories of contact is to allow students to develop and enhance their knowledge of the subject and its practical application, thereby securing the learning outcomes identified above. Through preparation in advance of lectures and tutorials and active participation, students develop important transferable skills when applying knowledge of the primary and secondary legal authorities to solve complex real-world problems and to answer complex essay questions. Students are supported throughout the course to equip them with all the tools needed to progress and complete their studies.



 

 

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: LAW3008

Other information

The School of Law is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: Through active engagement during tutorials and lectures, students develop important transferable skills when studying real world problems and solutions in this complex area of law, such as critical thinking skills, debate, problem solving, collaboration, oral and written communication skills.

Digital Capabilities: The module provides students with an understanding of developments in technology and how they relate to modern working practices, most notably in the gig-economy. The module critically examines online work platforms, and the impact technology has had on employment status and regulation of technology.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: The module raises students’ awareness of global and cultural issues through comparative analysis of employment rights and obligations, regulations and reform in different countries. Students will develop competencies to engage effectively with people from different backgrounds and will exchange information and respect each other’s views concerning cultural differences relating to employment issues and individual rights, when engaging in debates and problem-solving during tutorial group work.

Sustainability: This module challenges students to think about the importance of collective bargaining and how it plays an important role in many countries in securing decent work and equality of treatment and opportunity. Students examine Goal 8 of the UN Sustainability Goals 2030: ‘to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, the international community aims to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value’.It considers the impact of the pandemic in the employment law context and the steps taken to ensure recovery and sustainability. Students will be empowered to make informed decisions and responsible actions that promote the wellbeing of present and future generations.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The module structure, format, assessment and methodology is designed to develop resourcefulness and resilience through active participation when working in groups and contributing to discussions on a range of employment law related issues concerning the wider social, economic and political environment. Students assume responsibility to improve their learning, to be proactive, carry out research in preparation for tutorials and solve real life problems based on recent case law. Students embrace academic opportunities, working productively together to come up with solutions, and are encouraged to think critically, to review and reflect on their progress throughout, as a result of peer review, and feedback from the module lead.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law, Environment and Sustainability Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2025/6 academic year.