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Principles of Employment Law (LAWS70371)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Overview

Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70371
Campus
Parkville
Availability(Quotas apply)
March
August
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Paid work is central to the lives of most adults. It not only provides an income but also is constitutive of their identities. For society at large, the organisation of paid work relationships is crucial because of the need to produce goods and services and to protect those engaged in production. Regulation of these work relationships by law is, therefore, important.

This subject provides a thematic overview of the legal regulation of work relationships in Australia in an industrial, social and political context. It examines how work relationships are regulated through statutory regimes as well as through contract law. A major focus of the subject is the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), which sets minimum employment conditions, regulates modern awards and workplace agreement-making, provides redress in relation to adverse action and also provides processes to deal with issues of bullying at work. Anti-discrimination law will also be examined.

This subject is designed to be of particular assistance to students without previous (or recent) legal study in this area. Principles of Employment Law is compulsory for students who do not have a law degree from a common law jurisdiction, and it is strongly recommended that this subject be taken before any other employment and labour relations law subjects. Principles of Employment Law is also recommended for students who have not studied an equivalent subject in their law degree, or who have not done so recently. Principles of Employment Law is ideal for students undertaking a masters in another specialisation, or a Master of Laws, who wish to study one subject in the field of employment and labour relations law.

Principal topics include:

  • The constitutional framework for Australian employment law
  • Statutory standards under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) including unfair dismissal, minimum wage rates, hours of work, leave, adverse action and right to request regimes
  • The regulation of employment rights and working conditions by modern awards and enterprise agreements under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Various aspects of the common law contract of employment
  • Anti-discrimination and equal opportunity law.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal principles of Australian employment law
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal principles
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, such as the legal effect of employer policies and investigations, bullying, performance appraisal, and work and life collision
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving parliamentary revision of the legal framework of the industrial system
  • Have an advanced understanding of the complex range of situations in which legal issues and disputes may arise in work relationships and management practices
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to the field, and to critically evaluate existing legal explanations, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy.
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues in the field.
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding employment law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of employment law.

Eligibility and requirements

Prerequisites

Melbourne Law Masters Students: None

JD Students: Successful completion of the below subject:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50029 Contracts
Semester 2
12.5

Corequisites

None

Non-allowed subjects

Students who have completed any of the below subjects are not permitted to take LAWS70371 Principles of Employment Law:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50064 Employment Law
February
Semester 1
12.5

Recommended background knowledge

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Core participation requirements

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.

Assessment

Additional details

  • Problem exercise (1,000 words) (20%)
    • Semester 1: 3 April
    • Semester 2: 9 September

and

  • Take-home examination (5,000 words) (80%)
    • Semester 1: 3 - 6 May
    • Semester 2: 20 - 23 September

or

  • Research paper (8,000 - 10,000 words) (100%) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator
    • Semester 1: 5 June
    • Semester 2: 30 October

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • March
    Principal coordinatorAnna Chapman
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24-34 hours
    Total time commitment150 hours
    Pre teaching start date 6 February 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsThe pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period13 March 2019 to 19 March 2019
    Last self-enrol date31 January 2019
    Census date13 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail26 April 2019
    Assessment period ends 5 June 2019

    March contact information

    Lecturer/s

    Associate Professor Anna Chapman, Coordinator Mr Mark Irving

    Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au

    Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

  • August
    Principal coordinatorAnna Chapman
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24-34 hours
    Total time commitment150 hours
    Pre teaching start date 3 July 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsThe pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period 7 August 2019 to 13 August 2019
    Last self-enrol date10 July 2019
    Census date 7 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail20 September 2019
    Assessment period ends30 October 2019

    August contact information

    Lecturer/s

    Associate Professor Anna Chapman, Coordinator Mr Mark Irving

    Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Additional delivery details

This subject has a quota of 30 students.

Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. Waitlists are maintained for subjects that are fully subscribed.

Students should note priority of places in subjects will be given as follows:

  • To currently enrolled Graduate Diploma and Masters students with a satisfactory record in their degree
  • To other students enrolling on a single subject basis, eg Community Access Program (CAP) students, cross-institutional study and cross-faculty study.

Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Further information

Last updated: 12 September 2019