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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Managing Employment Law (BUST10028)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryNOTE: This course will be taught by an outside lecturer, Professor Muriel Robison.

The role of the law within the employment relationship has become increasingly prominent in recent years, and the development of labour legislation has proceeded apace. The complexities of the legal issues arising from employment are considerable. It has become increasingly important that all organisational stakeholders such as managers, employees and trade unions, are familiar with the complex range of legal rights and obligations that surround the employment relationship. Understanding the management of employment law is of considerable academic and practical relevance to students of management and organisation studies.
Course description While we start from the assumption that recourse to the institutions of the law is a last resort for organisational actors, an understanding of the parameters and principles emanating from those institutions is crucial to successful organisational functioning. This course will encourage students to think critically about the way in which the law both constrains and facilitates relationships between parties within work organisations, and its relationship to effective organisational functioning. The course covers the following areas: the institutions of employment law; the contract of employment; implied rights and duties in the employment relationship; equality law; contractual variation, contractual breach and unfair dismissal. Thus, the course will cover both the role of the common law in employer-employee relations, the existing (and expanding) statutory framework; the way in which relative standards of behaviour (for example, reasonableness or fairness) are interpreted and acted upon by tribunals and participants in organisations; critiques of law and practice in this area; how employers, employees and their representatives have positioned themselves in relation to existing and proposed developments in employment law; and the role of the law in contributing positively to the management of purposeful organisations.


- The framework of employment law: sources, institutions and context
- Barriers to employment rights: employment status and continuity of employment
- The contract of employment: terms and conditions of employment
- Termination of employment 1: unfair dismissal
- Termination of employment 2: wrongful dismissal and constructive dismissal
- Employment law in focus: privacy and confidentiality
- Discrimination 1: The Equality Act 2010: protected characteristics and prohibited conduct
- Discrimination 2: The Equality Act 2010: discrimination in the employment context
- Employment law in focus: parental rights and work life balance
- Employment law in focus: transfer of undertakings; catching up; course review; exam preparation.

Student Learning Experience

The course comprises a mixture of formal lectures and group discussions. The lecture programme will provide an overview of key issues, supported by a range of suggested readings. Group discussions will focus upon understanding of the legal framework and its implications for organisational stakeholders, and on applying the legal framework to the problems confronting managers and employees in organisations. Depending on student numbers, students may be given individual responsibility for analysing a particular case or issue, or applying their minds to hypothetical problems. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions. Questions for discussion will be distributed one week before each lecture and students may be asked to prepare a response to discuss at the lecture.

The course project will allow students to apply a wider range of existing material to a more narrowly defined topic in an organisational context in order to encourage the development of stronger evaluative, rather than descriptive, skills.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Labour Law (LAWS10073)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesBusiness Studies Honours entry equivalent.
Students MUST NOT also be taking Labour Law (LAWS10073)

Visiting students should have at least 3 Business Studies courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and a written examination. One project will be completed by the end of the Semester, and will contribute 30% towards the final mark. The degree exam in April/May will contribute the other 70%. The exam will comprise 6 questions of which the students will complete 2. There will be no exemption or re-sit facility, in line with other Business School Honours options.
Feedback Feedback on your coursework, together with individual marks, will be available vie the course LEARN site, no more than 15 days after the submission date.

Your examination marks will be posted on Learn (together with generic exam feedback) as soon as possible after the Boards of Examiners' meeting in June. During the summer months (i.e. mid/end June-end August), you may visit UG Office (Room 1.11, Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place) to look at your examination scripts.

Continuing students will also be given the opportunity to review their examination scripts in the following academic year (during Semester 1).
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and discuss the institutions and law-making processes relevant to the management of employees.
  2. Understand and critically discuss the essential nature and terms of the employment contract.
  3. Understand and critically discuss the roles, rights and responsibilities of all parties to the employment relationship.
  4. Identify and discuss underlying principles and objectives in legal regulation of the employment relationship.
  5. Critically evaluate current employment regulation in light of historical developments.
Reading List
Students will require to consult an up to date text book on employment law.

The recommended text is:
- Stephen Taylor and Astra Emir (2015) (4th Edition), Employment law: an introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

This text is designed for students of business and management and covers all topics considered on this course. For further detail on topics of particular interest you may wish to consult other relevant texts available in the law library, such as:

Cabrelli, D., Employment Law in Context (2014) Oxford University Press

Pitt, G., Employment Law (9th Edition) (2014) Sweet and Maxwell

In addition to the normal requirements of academic study, students will be expected to keep up-to-date with developments in the area through newspaper and journal reports.

Relevant Journals

There are a number of relevant journals in this area including:
- W. Green, Employment Law Bulletin (available in electronic form through Westlaw database)
- Industrial Law Journal (available in electronic form)
- IDS Brief: Employment Law and Practice
- British Journal of Industrial Relations (available in electronic form)
- Industrial Relations Journal (available in electronic form)

Most of the journal articles referred to in the course booklet are available through the Westlaw database.

Relevant Websites
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
On completion of the course the students should:
- be fully aware of the institutions and law-making processes relevant to the management of employees
- have a clear understanding of the essential nature and terms of the employment contract
- have a clear understanding of the roles, rights and responsibilities of all parties to the employment relationship
- be able to identify underlying principles and objectives in legal regulation of the employment relationship
- be able to critically evaluate current employment regulation in light of historical developments.

Cognitive Skills
On completion of the course the students should:
- be able to combine a theoretical understanding of employment regulation with an appreciation of the practical organisational issues arising from regulation
- exhibit an awareness of the concerns and experiences of a range of organisational stakeholders
- be able to evaluate the impact of legal regulation on effective organisational functioning
- be able to identify the objectives and assumptions of currently proposed solutions to problems of regulating the employment relationship.

Key Skills
On completion of the assessed work, students should:
- be able to identify the relevant legal issues and areas relating to particular workplace problems or incidents
- apply critical analytical skills to theoretical and practical issues arising in regulating the employment relationship
- be able to summarise and explain alternative/contending stakeholder positions
- be able to understand and demonstrate how relative standards in the employment relationship (e.g. fairness or reasonableness) are arrived at
- be able to demonstrate considerable conceptual, verbal and written clarity in addressing the issue of managing employment law.

Subject Specific Skills
On completion of the course, students should be able to give a clear analysis of existing legal regulation, issues arising from the existing legal framework, and proposals for change in the existing legal framework.
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 x 2 hour lecture each week in Semester 2.
Course organiserProf Muriel Robison
Course secretaryMrs Jiajin Hoefeijzers
Tel: (0131 6)51 5251
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