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Reading List Semester 2

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


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This semester

You will already be familiar from Semester One with how this module aims to equip HR Specialists with the important legal knowledge they will need to advise line managers on their conduct of employee relations in the workplace within the law. HR Managers are continually faced with problems that are influenced by legal considerations and they should be able to recognise the implications of their advice.

As you will have seen, the module has two main threads: actual knowledge of the law, and secondly, the social, political and economic context of employment law. This semester we will concentrate on the second thread

The structure of the end of year assessment contains two parts:

  1. A case study which requires detailed examination of the letter of the law and how to apply it .
  2. Two essays from a choice of six topics on the critical implications of the law for HRM practitioners, examining employment law from its sociological , economic and political context.

In this second semester, we will attempt to develop a critical examination of the role of the law in the employment relationship, the influences on employment law from political ideology, from economic beliefs and from the structure and nature of society itself. In addition, we will look critically at how the law governing the employment relationship works in practice, through cases that lead judgements in the courts that enact employment law. Thus, students should gain the skills to understand and complete to a high level the two essays that form the second part of the examination.

The HR function is professionalised by knowledge of the law. In HR roles, knowledge of the law is one of the most important aspects of HR training which will command respect within the management team.

The module aims to provide a strong body of professional knowledge that enhances the HR function and enables the HR manager to shape HR policies and strategies in accordance with the law.

A background in basic Employment law enables you as an HR professional to determine most of the decisions you will have to make or supervise in all aspects of your future role.  Your job may include formulating or supervising a range of HR policies and practices, from forming the correct employment contract, designing equality, appraisal, grievance and disciplinary procedures, fairly operating promotion and career planning to determining whether it is justified to dismiss an employee and how to do it bearing in mind the legal minefield some of your decisions may lead you into.

Employment law in this module is analysed not just by the statute or the letter of the law, but by the way in which cases and judgements in Tribunals have altered the original meaning of the statutes. The course draws extensively upon significant case studies directly from the workplace.

Students should be able to assess how the law impacts on all other aspects of the MA HRM: examining the power structure of the employment relationship and how the law shapes the operation of the managerial prerogative, the nature and power of Trade Unions, and the use of HRM techniques such as mediation and conciliation. It considers such questions as - What human rights issues underlie employment law? How far should the law go in protecting women in maternity cases? How far should men be given family friendly rights and protection? Is the current government legislation justified in making strikes so difficult? Is the law governing unfair dismissal a burden on employers or a justified attempt at protecting employees? Why do unfair dismissal decisions so often go in favour of the employer?

Thus, the aim is to deliver the kind of critical understanding of employment law that HR specialists at executive level need and will benefit from.


Essential: Buy,Beg, Steal or Borrow:

  • Collins, H., Ewing, K.D, McColgan, A (2019), Labour Law , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press LATEST EDITION   This text covers the legal information required on the course in a critical and analytical form. It is based on considerable research and is scholarly and discursive. (OCR)  
  • You may also choose to look at the following excellent text -it has been updated at 2019: It might be an alternative or supplementary text book if it seems clearer to you
  • Stephen Taylor ,Astra Emir : Employment Law: An Introduction.  Paperback – (3 Apr 2019)    

There are two clear texts which are much simpler than Collins. The advantage is they explains the law extremely well and relate everything to HRM practice. There are plenty of examples. The disadvantage is they don’t reach the critical level required for a high standard in an MA that Collins or Taylor and Emir give you. They are eminently useful when you are researching and trying to understand concepts and themes in Employment Law. If you can afford to buy one or refer to a copy to supplement Collins that would be advantage to you. If you have any trouble understanding a topic, it is worth going to Turner or Willey.

Turner, Chris (2013) Unlocking Employment Law, Routledge, London and New York

Willey,B (2012) Employment Law in Context: an Introduction for HR Professionals, Pearson Educational Ltd, Essex    

For reference only :

General : Deakin, S . and Morris, G.(2012) , Labour Law, Hart Publishing Ltd, Oxford.

Another excellent text that combines some critical and analytical thinking with a clear exposition of the law but the latest edition is only 2012, which means some of it is out of date.

For Collective Labour Law: Morris, G.A  and Archer, T.J.: Collective Labour Law, (2000) , Oxford

To repeat from Semester 1:

You will also need a copy of the statute book. This is because it will be helpful as you will be permitted to take it into the exam with you and you will also need to refer to the statutes throughout the course.

Kidner R (Ed) Blackstone's Statutes on Employment Law  latest edition  

Please note that there are strict rules on writing in your statute book (these will be covered in exam guidance). You can highlight or put post- it notes indicating where certain statutes appear in the statute book but you mustn’t write in it .


Equality Law Padlet

Introduction to this section of Employment law

Unfair Dismissal

Collective Labour Law


Family Friendly Policies and Law

Tuesday 25th January

Lecture 1: Master and servant? The nature of the employment relationship and the evolution of employment law

Collins, Ewing and McColgan , Chapter 1   

Willey, Chapter 1

Turner Chapter 1

Fox, Alan(1974) : Beyond Contract, Work, Power and Trust Relations (London, Allen and Unwin, 1974)

Hepple, B. Factors influencing the making and transformation of labour law in Europe ,Chapter 2 in Davidoff,G and Langille,B.(2011) The idea of Labour Law, Oxford. Oxford University Press.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Frank, C. “Let But One of Them Come before Me, and I’ll Commit Him”: Trade Unions, Magistrates, and the Law in Mid- Nineteenth-Century Staffordshire ; Journal of British Studies 44 (January 2005): 64–91  (I will put this on Minerva)

Freedland,M and Nicola Kountouris, N: Common law and Voice 352 ff

In Bogg, A. and Novitz, T. (eds), 2014, Voices at Work: Continuity and Change in the Common Law World, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Ewing, K.D.The Importance of Trade Union Political Voice : Labour Law meets Constitutional Law  In Bogg, A. and Novitz, T. (eds), (2014), Voices at Work: Continuity and Change in the Common Law World, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hepple,B (Ed),2010 , The Making of Labour Law in Europe : Chapter 1, Mansell Publishing , London and New York  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Seminar on Equality

From the padlet, read the first item and prepare to answer the questions in discussion in class

Prepare for seminar discussion scheduled after lecture 2 on Tuesday 1st February

Tuesday 1st February

Lecture 2: Unfair Dismissal (1)

  • Discipline and grievance and the law
  • The concept of dismissal
  • The role of disciplinary procedures
  • Constructive dismissal


  • Collins, Ewing and McColgan part 5 pp 813-838; 841; 856-871 ;889    
  • Taylor and Emir, part 4, pp 85-100; 164-175
  • Willey, Chapter 4 pp 301-339
  • Turner , Section 17, pp 457ff

ACAS Code of Practice 1, Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (2015), issued under TULRCA 1992, s. 199. online at The Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures and printed in the back of your Blackstone’s Statute book


Western Excavating v Sharp [1978] QB 761

London Borough of Lambeth v Agoreyo [2019] IRLR 560

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust v Gregg [2019] IRLR 570

Phoenix House Ltd v Stockman & Anormay (ACAS Code of Practice)

Seminar following from Lecture 1:The nature of the employment relationship and the evolution of employment law

Look at the material on Padlet 1 “Introduction to this section of the Course: click on :

Read Hepple: “Rights at Work” and prepare to discuss the following questions in groups :

  1. What is meant by labour rights in Employment law? How important do you think they are?
  2. Should the law set standards for lsbour rights?
  3. Can rights at work be reconciled with competitiveness?
  4. What is the relationship between labour rights and human rights?

Tuesday 8th February

Lecture 3 : Unfair Dismissal (2)

  • The statute and case law
  • Wrongful Dismissal and unfair dismissal
  • Range of Reasonable responses test – first part



British Home Stores v Burchell [1980] ICR 303 (EAT)
Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd {1988] IRLR 503

Shoesmith v Ofsted & Others [2011] EWCA Civ 642

Iceland Frozen Foods ltd v Jones [1983] ICR 17


Following from Unfair Dismissal 1

A. Beecroft

Read the extract from the Beecroft report and prepare to discuss the following questions:
1. Explain the concept of dismissal
2. What are Beecroft’s proposals for the reform of the law governing Unfair Dismissal Law?
3.Do you agree with them and why?

B. JD Sports video

View the video from JD Sports and discuss the following issues:
1.Evaluate the company’s attitude to Unfair Dismissal .
2.What kind of impact do you think this has on their employees?
3, What could the company do to improve ?

Tuesday 15th February

 Lecture 4: Unfair dismissal (3)

  • Case law and how it has impacted on the statute.
  • The range of reasonable responses and other matters

Collins, Ewing and McColgan part 5 pp 759 -902
Taylor and Emir pp 102-5
Turner pp 551 ff
Deakin and Morris Chapter 5 pp 415-593
Willey, Chapter 4 pp 301-339
Reilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council [2016]

Freer, A. (1998) Commentary. The Range of reasonable Responses test- from Guidelines to Statute; Industrial law Journal, Vol 47,No 4
Brodtkorb,T ((2010) : ‘Employee Misconduct and UK Unfair Dismissal law: Does the range of reasonable responses test require reform?’ ; International Journal of Law and Management, Volume 52, No 5


British Home Stores v Burchell [1980] ICR 303 (EAT)

Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd{1988] IRLR 503;

Iceland Frozen Foods ltd v Jones [1983] ICR 17

Reilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council [2016]



From Unfair Dismissal (2)

A. View the videos on the Baby P case and consider the following questions for discussion:
1. Why was Sharon Shoesmith awarded such a large sum of money?
2. Why was Ed Ball’s decision overruled by the court?
3. What does the case tell us about the difference between Wrongful and unfair Dismissal?

B. Examine some of the cases of Unfair Dismissal cited on the padlet.
1. What is the difference between case law and statute law?
2. Discuss the importance of case law in Tribunal decision making
3. How can case law become as important as the statute?

Tuesday 22nd February

Lecture 5: Collective labour Law (1) Trade Unions and their members


Essential for both lectures 4 and 5:

Collins, Part 4; pp 447-75
Taylor and Emir Part 6 pp 481 ff
Deakin and Morris: Chapters 7,8, 9, 10 and 11
Turner pp 619-651

Ewing, K and Hendy, J, (2015) ‘Protect the right to strike: Kill the Bill’ IER, Liverpool. OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (AJ 18/01/2022) 
Bogg , A & K.D. Ewing, 2013. ‘The political attack on workplace representation : a legal response’.
Liverpool : Institute of Employment Rights
Darlington, R., Dobson, J.(2015) The Conservative Government’s proposed strike ballot thresholds: the challenge to Trade Unions, IER, Liverpool.
Beecroft report
Ewing, K.D. (2013): Myth and Reality of the Right to Strike as a Fundamental Labour Right' The International journal of comparative labour law and industrial relations. VOL 29; ISSU 2, ; 2013, 145-166 -- Kluwer Law International
Davidov, G (2004) : ‘Collective Bargaining Laws: Purpose and Scope’ , Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 81 Available online 
Ewing, KD (2011) : ‘Fighting back: resisting ‘union busting’ and strike breaking’ in the BA DisputeInstitute of Employment Rights, Liverpool.
Dukes, Ruth :The Right to Strike under UK Law: Not Much More than a Slogan? Metrobus v Unite The Union [2009] EWCA Civ 829
Industrial Law Journal, Volume 39, Issue 1, March 2010, Pages 82–91,
Published:01 March 2010

Further reference: Morris, G and Archer, T (2000) Collective Labour Law, Hart Publishing; Oxford and Portland Oregon


Unfair Dismissal Seminar 3

Read the papers by either Baker or Brodkorp or both
Discuss the following questions:
1. What has been the impact of the Range of Reasonable responses test on Employment tribunal decisions?
2. How fair do you think the Range of Reasonable Responses (RORR) test is in guiding the decisins of the Employment tribunal as what is a fair , balanced, judgement?

Tuesday 1st March

Lecture 6: Collective labour Law (2)
Trade Unions and Employers


Wedderburn, Lord (2007) : ‘Labour law 2008: 40 years on’, Industrial Law Journal, Vol.36, No.4, December, 397-424 Dol: 10.1093/indlaw/dwm027
Ewing, K.D. and Napier, B.W. (1986) ‘The Wapping Dispute and Labour Law’, The Cambridge Law Journal, Volume 45, Issue 2


Collective Labour Law 1

Tuesday 8th March

Lecture 7 Redundany 1

  • Introduction


Collins Chapter 20
Deakin and Morris p 561
Taylor and Emir PT 2 Chapter 6 p.126
Turner p 591 Chapter 23
Willey pp 91 ff

Bennett, M. (2002) Interpreting Unfair Dismissal and Redundancy Payments Law: The judicial reluctance to disapprove employer decisions to dismiss: Statute Law Review, Volume 23, Number 1 pp135-146
Barnard, C. (2000) Redundant: Approaches to redundancy Cambridge Law Journal
Employment Law brief 874, July 2005
McMullen, J. ‘Employment: Free choice? Legal Update SpecialistThe New Law Journal/2011 Volume 161/Issue 7480, September/ - 161 NLJ 1201


Collective Labour Law 2

Tuesday 15th March

 Lecture 8 Redundancy 2

  • Redundancy
  • Consultation and Unfair Dismissal


Collins: Chapter 20, pp913 ff (Economic Dismissal)
Taylor and Emir Chapter 6 p 126 ff
Deakin: 561-582
Willey: 107-134
Turner 591-618

McMullen, J. (2011)
Employment: Free choice?’ (Legal Update Specialist)
New Law Journal, 161 NLJ 2901


Redundancy 1

Tuesday 22nd March

Lecture 9:
Family friendly Policies

Aspects of Working Life:  work and family life

Collins Chapter 10 pp 397
Taylor and Emir pt 4 Chapter 20 pp 343 ff
Turner Chapter 23, pp 391 ff§
Willey 434-468
Deakin 651, 731ff

Hakim, C: Is gender legislation becoming counter-productive? Public Policy Research,September- November 2008
Chan,W. Mothers, Equality and Labour Market opportunities
:Industrial Law Journal , Volume 42, No 3,September 2013
James, G.Family friendly Employment Laws (Re) assessed, Industrial Law Journal ( 2016) 45 (4): 477
Mitchell, G. Encouraging Fathers to Care: The Children and Families Act 2014 and Shared Parental Leave:`Industrial Law Journal (2015) 44 (1): 123 I March 2014
ACAS Shared Parental Leave: a good practice guide for employers and employees (  
Dickens, L. Equality and Work-Life balance: What’s happening at  the Workplace , Industrial Law Journal (Research and Reports ) vo.35, No.4, December 2006
Olynker, Oxana: Family friendly reform of employment law in the UK: an overstretched flexibility Journal of Social Welfare and family Law- Routledge, Vol 37 3; pages 378-382
'Daddy’s Home: Why on earth did I take shared parental leave?'
Fagan,C.(2004): ‘Time, Money and the Gender Order: Work orientations and Working Time Preferences in Britain’ Gender, Work and Organisation, Vol 8 Issue 3
Rubery J., Ward,K.,Grimshaw,D. and Beynon,,H. ‘Working Time, Industrial Relations and the Employment relationship’, Time and Society, March, Volume 14, No.1


Redundancy 2



22nd April
Lecture 10: Revision and guidance for assessment

3rd May
Lecture 11 : Revision and Guidance for assessment

This list was last updated on 18/01/2022