Employment Law

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Astrid Sanders


This course is available on the BA in Anthropology and Law and LLB in Laws. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This subject builds on contract and tort, and to some extent public law and EU law, but introduces the distinctive legal regulation of employment relations, such as the law of dismissal and discrimination law, and the institutional arrangements of industrial relations, including trade unions and collective bargaining. Employment law is an important area of legal practice, with employment law disputes representing one of the largest topics of civil litigation.


  • Contract of Employment: the duties of employer and employee; the variety of work relations; vulnerable workers and the personal scope of employment law
  • Regulation of the Employment Relation: minimum wage, working time
  • Anti-Discrimination Law: implications of the Equality Act 2010
  • Dismissal: wrongful and unfair dismissal, economic dismissals
  • Human Rights in the Workplace: civil liberties of employees at work
  • Membership of Trade Unions, Worker Representation, and Collective Bargaining: freedom of workers to associate with each other and to act in association with each other
  • Industrial disputes: strikes, other industrial action and lockouts; rights and liabilities of individual workers who take industrial action; civil liabilities for organising industrial action – the economic torts, the ‘golden formula’ immunities and loss of immunity – industrial action ballots.


This course will have a minimum of two hours of teaching content each week in Michaelmas Term and Lent Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or a lecture and one hour class. This course includes a reading week in Weeks 6 of Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.

Formative coursework

At least one formative (unassessed) essay per term.

Indicative reading

For a concise overview of the subject a suggestion is:

  • H. Collins, Employment Law (Oxford: OUP, 2nd ed, 2010).
  • See also P. Davies and M. Freedland (eds), Kahn-Freund’s Labour and the Law (London: Stevens and Son, 3rd ed, 1983) chapter 1.

The leading textbooks are

  • H. Collins, K.D.Ewing, A. McColgan, Labour Law: Law in Context (Cambridge: CUP, 2nd ed, 2019);
  • S. Deakin & G. Morris, Labour Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 6th edn, 2012);
  • A.C. L. Davies, Perspectives on Labour Law, 2nd edn (Cambridge: CUP, 2009).


Open-book Exam (50%, duration: 2.5 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (50%, 4000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2021/22: 30

Average class size 2021/22: 15

Capped 2021/22: Yes (30)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills