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Module Reading List Semester 1

Employment Law, 2021/22, Semester 1, 2
Liz Oliver
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Core texts

Emir A Selwyn's law of employment 21/e Oxford University Press 2020     

You can access the online version of this text here

This text is a good introductory text and will be used in the first part of the course. Selwyn's law of employment is an authoritative and comprehensive reference text covering all of the course topics. The audience for this text is students and practitioners so it works well for a third year undergraduate module. Students should refer to the publisher's online resource centre for updates that become available throughout the year. Selwyn's law of employment can be a challenging text and should be read in conjunction with the course materials. Students who struggle with this text to begin with are advised to refer to the brief / revision texts recommended below along-side their reading of Selwyn. These user-friendly, brief guides do not go into sufficient depth to support a full analysis of your class and coursework questions but they do provide a useful overview of the legal framework and can help to prevent students new to law from feeling 'lost' in the detail.

Collins H, Ewing K D and McColgan A Labour Law2/e Cambridge University Press 2019       

This is the preferred text of Carol McCallum and will be used in the second part of the course. A critical text with a thorough and authoritative discussion of employment law in context and an excellent source of further references. You will find it a very valuable resource in the preparation of your coursework so it is recommended that you purchase a copy of this book.

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The main sources of law that we will be referring to are statutes and cases. You will learn how to access and interpret primary sources of law. 


Kidner R (Ed) Blackstone's statutes on employment law 2021-2022  31/e Oxford University Press 2021      

You will need to become familiar with looking up and reading legal statutes (there will be guidance on this). You will regularly refer to these in your seminars. It is recommended that you purchase a copy of the 2020-21 statute book. 


You will be expected to look up, read and appropriately cite cases (there will be guidance on this). The law reports that contain most of the cases cited on this course are the Industrial Relations Law Reports (IRLR). IRLR is available electronically through Lexis Library  

The main databases for law reports are Lexis Library and Westlaw UK. You can use these to access other cases and a wide range of commentary on legal sources. 

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Detailed reading lists will be provided for the key topics covered on the module. To aid your own research this section introduces some of the key journals. 

Academic literature

Industrial Law Journal

This journal contains scholarly articles by leading thinkers covering British employment law and indistrial relations. 

The International journal of comparative labour law and industrial relations.

This journal places legal debates into an international context. 

Practitioner literature

You may be asked to engage with practitioner oriented literature to get a feel for how employment law is interpreted and implemented by legal professionals or within a business context. 

IDS Employment Law Brief

This journal reports on key developments in employment law and is targeted at legal professionals. It can be accessed via the Westlaw legal database. Use this link to access Westlaw and log in with your university usename and password. Select "journals" from the menu accross the top and then click "publications" you will find a list of all the database publications in alphabetical order, click "I" and then scroll down to 'IDS Employment Law Brief'. You can then browse issues or search using keywords.

The New Law Journal

This journal has a regular section 'Employment Law Brief' that is written by a barrister and provides a brief update on key cases and other legal developments in the area of employment law. You can access the journal via Lexis Library using the link above. It will take you straight to the source, you can search or browse from there. 

CIPD People Management Magazine

This journal is aimed a Human Resource Management professionals and regularly has coverage of key cases or legal developments from an HR perspective. You can access the journal via EBSCOhost Business Source Premier.

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Supplementary textbooks

Willey B Employment law in context : an introduction for HR professionals 4/e Pearson 2012 

'Employment law in context' is recommended as supplementary reading for students who want to locate their technical knowledge within a broader social and economic context. It is very well written and structured with some interesting 'real life' case studies and thought provoking questions with notes on the answers. It is a very accessible text but it is getting quite old so should be read in conjunction with your course materials to ensure your legal knowledge is accurate. 

Cabrelli, D Employment law in context: Text and Materials Oxford University Press 2020   

A comprehensive and critical text offering a range of insights on the major topics of employment law. A good source of further references, so a useful starting point for your own research. 

Deakin S F and Morris G S Labour law. 6/e Hart 2012  

'Labour law' by Deakin and Morris is recommended for those students who have a strong grasp of the subject matter and are keen to understand more about the theoretical and historical development of employment law. It is a fascinating and detailed text that goes beyond the basic requirements of this module (in fact it is frequently cited as an authoritative source of commentary on employment law in cases). Nevertheless the text is now getting quite old so should be read in conjunction with your course materials to ensure your legal knowledge is accurate.

Lewis D Sargeant M and Schwab M Employment law : the essentials. 14/e CIPD 2017   

'Employment law the essentials' is a user-friendly if at times superficial text. Students who struggle to comprehend 'Selwyn's Law of Employment' might consider looking at this first. The content of this text alone however isn't sufficiently rigorous to support your coursework preparation.

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Martin and Law (Eds) A dictionary of law. 9/e Oxford University Press 2018

Lots of terms that will be used throughout this module have a specific legal meaning (for example the word 'employee' has a specific legal definition). A legal dictionary is a useful reference point to identify these specific meanings and might be particularly useful for international students.

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Brief/revision texts

Jefferson M Employment law 5/e Oxford University Press 2016  

Benny R Jefferson M and Sargent M Questions and answers employment law 2014-15 law revision and study guide 6/e Oxford University Press 2014  

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Reference to other areas of law

MacIntyre E Business law  9/e Pearson 2018 

Elliott and Quinn English legal system  18/e Pearson 2017  

Elliott C and Quinn F Contract law. 11/e Longman 2017   

Cooke J The law of tort 13/e Pearson 2017   

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Discussion class 1: Contract form

Core reading

Atkinson, J., and Dhorajiwala, H. (2021) The Future of Employment: Purposive Interpretation and the Role of Contract after Uber. Modern Law Review. Early view 21/09/2021. 

Further reading

Davidov, G. (2014). Setting labour law’s coverage: Between universalism and selectivity. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 34(3): 543-566.

Deakin, S. (2007). Does the Personal Employment Contract Provide a Basis for the Reunification of Employment Law? Industrial Law Journal. 36(1): 68-83.

Deakin, S. (2020). Decoding Employment Status. King’s Law Journal: Special Issue on Gig Work. Guest Editors: Alan Bogg, Michael Ford and Tonia Novitz, 31(2), 180–193.

Adams, Z. and Deakin, S. (2014). Institutional Solutions to Precariousness and Inequality in Labour Markets. British Journal of Industrial Relations. 54(2):779-809.

Forde, C. et al (2017). The Social Protection of Workers in the Platform Economy. Brussels: European Parliament. Available at:

Freedland, M and Kountouris, N. (2011). The Legal Construction of Personal Work Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fudge, J., (2017). “The future of the standard employment relationship: labour law, new institutional economics and old power resource theory”, Journal of Industrial Relations. Available at:

Leighton and Wynn.( 2011). 'Classifying Employment Relationships-More Sliding Doors or a Better Regulatory Framework'. Industrial Law Journal.40(1): 4-43.

Prassl, J. (2013). 'Employee shareholder 'status': dismantling the contract of employment’. Industrial Law Journal. 42(4): 307-337.

Prassl, J. (2018) Humans as a service: the promise and perils of work in the gig economy Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 5 ‘Disrupting the disruptors’ 93-119.

Prassl, J. and Risak, M. (2016). “Uber, Taskrabbit, & Co: Platforms as Employers? Rethinking the Legal Analysis of Crowdwork”, Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, Forthcoming Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 8/2016. Available at:


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Online Course Readings

Finch, Emily, (2009) Chapter 14: 'Answering problem questions'. FROM: Finch, Emily, Legal skills. pp.331-353. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available as an Online Course Reading in the VLE   

This list was last updated on 12/01/2022