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LA??? Individual Employment Law

This module has as a prerequisite LA243 Contract Law and LA240 Foundations of European Union Law. Prior completeion of LA241 Law and Policies of the European Union is strongly advised.
The details of this module are still in the approval process and may be subject to change.

The module starts with a brief historical examination of the development of the legal framework and sets this in the context of current reviews and reform proposals being developed by the UK government. Then, the second part of the module focuses on the legal regulation of the individual employment relationship and on the structure, policies and effects of employment protection laws. We look first at the contractual basis of employment and ask whether the formal equality of contract represents the economic and social realities of the power relationship between employer and worker. This leads on to a detailed examination of the evolution of minimum legal standards, and rights for workers; especially in areas such as unfair dismissal, workplace reorganisation and minimum wage laws. The effectiveness of individual rights is considered, together with a review of developing methods of dispute resolution, In this part of the module the influence of European Community law has become increasingly prevalent, and therefore forms a key element of our studies. The module ends with a specific focus upon protection against "unfair dismissal" and examines the substantive and procedural limitations to effective "access to justice" in this context by way of group preparation for and presentation of a "mock Employment Tribunal" case exercise.

  1. The Changing World of Work, Labour Law & European Social Policy
  2. “Employee” Status & Statutory Employment Rights
  3. Temporary Work and the "Triangular Relationship"
  4. Collective Agreements & the Incorporation of Terms into the Contract of Employment
  5. Termination of Employment at Common Law and the Notion of “Constructive Dismissal”
  6. “Unfair Dismissal” – Leading to Practical Exercise Preparation in Small Groups

Assessment Method

1 x 40% written assessment and 1 x 60% 2 hour unseen examination


  1. Blackstone's Employment Law Statutes (2016/17 edition)
  2. Employment Relations in the Shadow of Recession: Findings from the 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS 2011)
  3. European Commission, The Evolution of Labour Law 1992-2002: esp. United Kingdom National Report
  4. A.Perulli, Economically Dependent / Quasi-subordinate (Parasubordinate) Employment: Legal, Social and Economic Aspects (European Commission, 2003)
  5. A.Supiot, Beyond Employment: Changes in Work and the Future of Labour Law in Europe (Oxford 2001)
  6. European Foundation: Temporary Agency Work in the European Union (2007)
  7. A.Flanders, “The Tradition of Voluntarism”, (1974) British Journal of Industrial Relations 352
  8. W.McCarthy, “The Rise and Fall of Collective Laissez-Faire”, in W.McCarthy (ed), Legal Interventions in Industrial Relations (1992), pp.1-75
  9. F.Schmidt & A.Neal, Collective Agreements and Collective Bargaining (Mohr, Tubingen 1984)
  10. Niklas Bruun, The Autonomy of Collective Agreement (General Report to the VIIth European Regional Congress, Stockholm, September 2002)
  11. European Commission, Termination of Employment Relationships: Legal Situation in the Member States of the European Union (Luxembourg 1997), and updated version (Luxembourg 2006)
  12. Alan C. Neal (ed), The Changing Face of European Labour Law and Social Policy (Kluwer, The Hague 2004)
  13. Linda Dickens & Alan C. Neal (eds), The Changing Institutional Face of British Employment Relations (Kluwer, The Hague 2006)