SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3M225700
Module Leader William Henderson
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Obligations, Law in Business, or other suitable equivalent legal underpinning.

Summary of Content

This module provides a comprehensive and in-depth study of the regulation of the employer-employee relationship. It considers the impact of EU Law and the European Convention on Human Rights. Topics covered will include the institutions of employment law; nature and formation of the contract of employment; equality law; statutory employment protection rights; termination of employment and business restructuring; and health and safety at work. The role of lawyers in society is changing - lawyers are increasingly expected to be pro-active in the prediction and prevention of unethical as well as unlawful behaviour across all areas of society, including the public and private sectors. The delivery of the module will embed PRME principles including: developing graduates who care about social responsibility; developing learning and teaching which enables graduates to become responsible managers and employers; and developing graduates who will advise businesses and other stakeholders to explore mutually beneficial responses to social challenges. International aspects are addressed through treatment of relevant Treaties and Conventions emanating from the European Union, the Council of Europe and the International Labour Organisation.


Sources & institutions of employment law: the role of the UK legislature; the European Union; the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; the Human Rights Act 1998; the role of the courts (domestic, CJEU, ECHR); the structure and jurisdiction of employment tribunals; Institutions associated with employment law including ACAS, EHRC, HSE. Nature and formation of the contract of employment: 'who is an employee?'- the distinction between a contract of service and a contract for services; position of casual and atypical workers; agency workers; sources of contractual terms; written particulars; references. Equality law: protected characteristics, prohibited conduct and equality of terms under statute; position of ex-offenders; protection afforded to trade unionists; part-time and fixed term workers. Statutory employment protection rights: 'whistleblowers'; remuneration; provisions on working time; rights to time off work; family friendly rights. Termination of employment and Business Re-structuring: termination at common law and as regulated by statute; unfair dismissal; redundancy; transfer of undertakings. Health and safety at work: the employer's common law duty of care; statutory duties; civil and criminal liability for breach of duty; the provisions of relevant primary and secondary legislation and associated codes of practice; vicarious liability.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the legal framework which regulates the employer-employee relationship;2. Critically analyse and evaluate the legal regulation of the employer-employee relationship;3. Analyse a given set of facts so as to identify the relevant legal issues arising therefrom, explain the relevant law; evaluate the relevance of particular factual information; synthesise case law and statute to reinforce legal points and synthesise different points of law when reaching a reasoned conclusion;4. Identify and retrieve up to date legal information using paper and electronic repositories; use primary and secondary legal sources which are relevant to the topic under study and current at the point of assessment; present knowledge and information using sources to support arguments and conclusions; provide recognised methods of citation and reference.5. Identify accurately and formulate clearly the legal issues to be researched; undertake independent research (both paper-based and electronic) in areas of law which have not been previously studied, using paper and electronic repositories to research new topics without reference to a reading list.6. PRME Learning Outcome: demonstrate an ability to explore ethical and socially responsible responses to issues arising within the context of Employment law.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will attend 24 hours of lectures in total and 11 hours of seminars. Students will be required to identify and retrieve relevant and up-to-date legal information using paper and electronic sources. The structured programme of learning undertaken will encourage active, student-centred learning by requiring students to access and analyse a variety of primary and secondary source material in order to address and solve set questions and case studies. In addition, blended learning will be utilised fully with a range of module materials and other sources of information available via the module site on GCU Learn. The site will also provide opportunities for formative self-assessment through the completion of online exercises. GCU Learn will be used to allow students to develop a Repository of journal articles relevant to the coursework title. As part of the assessment of this module, each student will post an article together with a live, permanent URL and provide a brief abstract. Completion will be required but no substantive mark will contribute to overall result. Generic feedback on assessments will also be provided through the site. Individual feedback may be obtained from the module leader. Internationalisation: The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

This is only a general selection of background reading. Students will be expected to refer to current journal articles, government publications, etc during the course of the module. Books: David Cabrelli, Employment Law in Context: Text and Materials (3rd edn, OUP, 2018) A.C.L. Davies, Employment Law (Pearson, Longman Law Series, 2015) Simon Deakin, & Gillian Morris, Labour Law (6th edn, Hart Publishing, 2012) Astra Emir, Selwyn's Law of Employment (20th edn, OUP, 2018) Simon Honeyball, Honeyball & Bowers' Textbook on Employment Law (14th edn, OUP, 2016) Richard Kidner , Blackstone's Statutes on Employment Law 2018-19 (28th edn, OUP, 2018) Sam Middlemiss and Margaret Downie, Employment Law in Scotland (2nd edn, Bloomsbury, 2015) Richard Painter & Ann Holmes, Cases and Materials on Employment Law (10th edn, OUP, 2015) Gwyneth Pitt, Pitt's Employment Law (10 th edn, Sweet & Maxwell, 2016) Ian Smith, Aaron Baker and Owen Warnock, Smith & Wood's Employment Law , (13th ed., OUP, 2017) Online sources: ACAS <http://www.acas.org.uk> EHRC <http://www.equalityhumanrights.com> ILO <http://www.ilo.org> CBI <http://www.cbi.org.uk/home.html> TUC <http://www.tuc.org.uk/> STUC <http://www.stuc.org.uk/> HMSO <http://www.legislation.gov.uk>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation. The ability to identify issues, assimilate, evaluate and analyse information, to construct written or oral solutions to a problem by bringing together and integrating relevant information, and selecting key material, from a variety of different sources. The ability to present arguments for and against propositions, acknowledging ranking of sources and relative impact in context. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360 1. Preparation for, and participation in researched seminar activity; 2. Preparation for, and participation in assessment activity including the written essay and other formal exercises; 3. solving well defined (typically hypothetical) problems through essays, seminars and group work; Personal Management, Independence and Ability to Learn. The ability to organise and prioritise effectively the expenditure of time and effort in the performance of all aspects of student work. The ability to learn effectively and be aware of their own learning strategies; to manage their own learning development and to reflect upon their learning, seeking and making use of feedback. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360 1. completion of online formative assessment independently in own time; 2. meeting deadlines for assessments; 3. completion of preparatory work for seminars; 4. consolidating material delivered at lectures; 5. supplementing delivered material with additional reading; reflecting on lecture, handout and self-researched material; 6. preparation for and delivering coursework; 7. reflecting upon and responding to generic and individual feedback provided by the module leader. Communication and Literacy. The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices in an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus on key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make contributions in seminars. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing (and, where appropriate, by the use of electronic means) using the English language accurately by creating work which is comprehensible to the intended audience. The ability to create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive using appropriate terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360 1. writing essays and other formal exercises using appropriate legal terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference; 2. contributing in seminars; 3. communication with module team and other students via e-mail and GCU Learn. Numeracy, Information, Technology and Teamwork. Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format. The ability to conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; and exchange documents by E-mail. The ability to work productively and cooperatively in different kinds of groups; to establish working relations with others, defining, sharing and delegating responsibilities within the group. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360 1. calculation of redundancy payments as part of seminar work; 2. preparation for seminars and production of assessed coursework which will require retrieval of information using electronic sources; 3. production of assessed written work in a word-processed format; 4. Posting of Article with permanent URL within Repository on GCU Learn; 5. Interaction with others in groups during seminars.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 105.00
Seminars (FT) 11.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Essay n/a 40.00 35% Essay (2000 words) and related Article Repository post relevant to coursework essay topic.
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 60.00 35% Tri B exam period