Employment Law and Practice

The details
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
05 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This is a module with a strong practical emphasis. In terms of theory, it examines employment relations including the contract of employment, the employment relationship including its termination, and the application of complex employment law and regulation.

An important component of the module revolves around the operation of the employment tribunal: it will look at the practicalities involved in settling workplace disputes and bringing a claim to an Employment Tribunal and communicating with the client regarding their claim.

Module aims

This module broadly aims:

To introduce students to the practical application of employment law, the settlement of workplace disputes, the prohibition of discrimination insofar as it relates to the workplace, the termination of the employment relationship, and the requirements of bringing a claim to an Employment Tribunal.

To explore the express and implied terms of the contract of employment, changes to terms and conditions of employment, changes to staff handbooks, information and consultation.

To develop students' knowledge of bringing claims before an Employment Tribunal and to develop their skills in drafting tribunal forms and advocacy before a tribunal.

To place the module in its social, economic, political, historical, philosophical, moral and cultural context. This includes reference to the influence of European directives and case law on the UK.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module the students should be able to:

Critically evaluate the practical application of employment law;

Critically evaluate the operation of the contract of employment with reference to employment law and the wider social, economic, political, historical, philosophical, moral and cultural context within which employment relations operate;

Apply skills of drafting and advocacy to a simulated Employment Tribunal claim;

Critically evaluate the impact of employment law on the recruitment and engagement of employees and atypical workers.

Module information

The module will provide the student with an understanding of the employer/employee relationship, as well as its social, economic, political, historical, philosophical, moral and cultural context.

An important component of the module revolves around dispute resolution. Therefore, the module will deal with practicalities involved in settling workplace disputes and bringing a claim to an Employment Tribunal and communicating with the client regarding their claim.

The module will enhance students' employability by, inter alia, developing interviewing, negotiation, advocacy, drafting, team working, problem solving, practical legal research, and office skills; as well as applying rules of procedure.



This topic will cover the development and sources of employment law as well as the 'personal scope' of employment law. The definition of the employee and the worker will be dealt with before examining flexible forms of employment relationship and the gig economy.


This topic covers the historical development of the contract of employment. The written particulars of the employment contract will be outlined before exploring the relationship between express and implied terms as well as the incorporation of terms and the variation of the contract.


Employment dispute resolution is defined broadly for the purposes of this course and covers the role of policy and procedure in effective dispute resolution. This includes the role and procedure of employment tribunals, courts, ACAS and other key employment law institutions as well as the prevention of disputes (eg the role of mediation).


Topics covered will include the termination of the contract of employment without dismissal, wrongful dismissal, the rules and regulations of unfair dismissal, economic restructuring, redundancy and the transfer of undertakings.


Maintaining a commitment to teaching the practical aspect of employment law, we will cover the key stages of an employment claim before an Employment Tribunal or the civil courts including issues of jurisdiction, procedural rules and the nature of advocacy in the employment context.


This topic covers the key legal issues raised by occupational stress and health and safety at work, an increasingly important angle of Employment Law.


Equality law is a vast subject and we cannot hope to cover it in its entirety during this course. Particular emphasis will be placed on the distinction between direct and indirect discrimination, outlining the key protected characteristics such as gender, race, disability, religion, gender reassignment. Also covered are harassment, victimisation in the workplace and equal pay.

Learning and teaching methods

There will be two hours of lectures per week with fortnightly tutorials.

Tutorials will include discussions on the basis of work prepared in advance requiring reading, research and analysis of theoretical and problem-based scenarios. It will involve both individual and group work. There will also be practical exercises, for example, conducting disciplinary hearings / employment tribunal hearings.

Lectures will involve the explanation and application of key concepts.


  • Cabrelli, David A. (2018) Employment law in context: texts and materials, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cunningham, Naomi; Reed, Michael; Legal Action Group. (c2014) Employment tribunal claims: tactics and precedents, London: LAG Education and Service Trust.
  • Barnard, Catherine. (2012) EU employment law, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Lewis, Tamara. (©2017) Employment law: an adviser's handbook, London: Legal Action Group.
  • Honeyball, Simon. (©2016) Honeyball & Bowers' textbook on employment law, Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
  • Davies, A. C. L. (©2015) Employment law, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
  • Emir, Astra; Selwyn, Norman M. (c2018) Selwyn's law of employment, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Taylor, Stephen; Emir, Astra. (2019) Employment law: an introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Essay 100%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Niall O’Connor and Dr Timea Tallodi
Law General Office, 01206 872529, lawugadmin@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Ms Lydia Katherine Bleasdale-Hill
The University of Leeds
Director of the Clinic
Available via Moodle
Of 44 hours, 20 (45.5%) hours available to students:
24 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Law (School of)

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