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Unit information: Employment Law in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Employment Law
Unit code LAWD30113
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Ford
Open unit status Not open

LAWD10008 Law of Contract OR LAWD10007 Foundations of Business Law.



School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit seeks to develop an understanding of the world of work and its legal regulation. Topics to be covered in this unit include: the contract of employment; fidelity and confidentiality; statutory regulation of wages and working time; regulation of dismissals; worker participation and collective bargaining; industrial action; and equality law. A variety of theoretical perspectives (economic, sociological and rights-based) will be used to underpin the material studied.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Identify key tests for identification of an 'employee' at common law and a 'worker' under statute.
  • Demonstrate a critical perspective on the legal definition of an employment relationship and the extent to which it can be set within a conventional contractual model.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which collective bargaining and other forms of worker participation can affect the creation and implementation of norms in the workplace.
  • Critically investigate statutory interventions in this field, alongside EU and international law attempts at regulation, considering how to resolve conflicts between different legal sources.

Teaching details

23 one-hour lectures and 7 one-hour tutorials.

Assessment Details

Students will be required to submit formative practice coursework in the first term, and may bring an answer to a problem question to a tutorial in the second term which is jointly marked in class. The first formative assessment is mandatory; the second is optional.

Summative assessment consists of one three-hour closed book examination in May/June, in which students answer 4 questions from a choice of 8 questions.

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit through essay-style and problem questions.

Reading and References

The most recent editions of:

Deakin and Morris, Labour Law (Hart Publishing) or Collins, Ewing and McColgan, Labour Law (Cambridge University Press).


Blackstones Statutes on Employment Law or Butterworths Employment Law Handbook