This module is one of the electives available to students during Stage 2 of the Legal Practice Course and forms part of the General Practice Route elective group. The aim of the module is to introduce Legal Practice Course students to four essential areas of employment law:

1.The employment relationship, the contract of employment and the statutory rights that arise during the course of employment
2.The main statutory and common law rights that arise when the employment relationship is terminated
3.Unlawful discrimination legislation
4.The practice and procedure of the Employment Tribunal

On completion of the General Employment Law module students should have a sound understanding of the principal areas of individual employment law, practice and procedure.

The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions, directed and independent learning. The module is assessed by examination.


Main Text
James Holland and Stuart Burnett: Employment Law, Legal Practice Course Guide, Oxford

Supplementary Reading
Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law Lexis Nexis Butterworths

E-Learning Portal Site and Materials
A range of materials to support both large and small group sessions and to facilitate directed learning will be provided via the General Employment Law e-learning portal site


The module considers:

Element 1: The employment relationship, the contract of employment and the statutory rights that arise during the course of employment

1. The different category of worker (typical and atypical) and how to distinguish between a contract of service, a contract for services and other forms of engagement in a business
2. The construction of a contract of employment, the statutory controls on its contents and its operation
3. The review and/or drafting of key clauses in the contract of employment and offering advice on their effect
4. Continuity of employment and the consequences for the business and the rights of its employees when continuity is threatened by a business sale or when services are contracted out

Element 2: Statutory and common law rights arising on termination

1. The consequences at common law and under statute of terminating the employment relationship
2. The consideration and review of disciplinary and grievance procedures
3. The consequences of business re-organisation including TUPE and redundancy situations
4. The appropriate remedies available when the employment relationship is terminated

Element 3: Unlawful Discrimination

1. The statutory and case-law framework in relation to equality and diversity in an employment context and the impact of the legislation during recruitment, employment and termination of the employment relationship
2. Analysis and review of contractual documentation and policy and implementing workplace procedures which support and reflect the various discrimination laws
3. The remedies available to employees claiming discrimination

Element 4: Tribunal Practice and Procedure

1. The ability to draft, review and critically analyse tribunal documents including the claim form and response form
2. The development of an understanding of the case management procedures in the tribunal and the mechanism for making applications to the tribunal and being able advise the client when such applications are appropriate
3. The settlement options in relation to a number of different claims assessing the financial risks for the client
4. An appreciation of the oral presentation and advocacy skills required to present an element of the client’s case at tribunal


This elective aims to provide students with:

1. An understanding of the law and practice involved in the principal areas of individual employment law and be able to apply that knowledge in a variety of settings.
2. An appreciation of the main statutory and common law rights that arise when the employment relationship is terminated, transferred or re-organised
3. A knowledge and understanding of the unlawful discrimination legislation and understand the implications of failing to recognise discriminatory practices in the workplace
4. An appreciation of the practices and procedures of the Employment Tribunal in relation to a number of different claims

The elective is also designed to enable students to further develop skills acquired during Stage 1 including:
practical legal research skills and drafting skills;
interviewing, advising and negotiation skills;
oral presentation and advocacy skills in employment work; and
an appreciation of risk management and the financial constraints on clients in the employment relationship and how that influences the work of a solicitor


On completion of the General Employment Law elective, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principal areas of individual employment law, practice and procedure and appreciate the inter-relationship between common law and statutory claims and their respective remedies and apply that knowledge accurately and effectively in a variety of settings.

2. Identify the client’s objectives and appreciate the relative bargaining strength of the parties involved in the employment relationship and the negotiation of the contract of employment and be aware of the financial and legal constraints and priorities involved in the negotiation of that relationship and the legal framework that supports it.

3. Draft and review employment contracts, policies and tribunal documents including the claim form and response form; drawing upon appropriate precedents.

4. Manage and perform the steps required to advance a case at tribunal, including bringing a claim, responding to that claim, exploring settlement opportunities and identifying alternative means of achieving the client’s goals. In particular, the elective encourages students to consider the costs, benefits and risks involved in bringing a tribunal claim.

5. Develop their awareness and understanding of the professional responsibilities and obligations of solicitors through the application of the Solicitor’s Code of Conduct by recognising and acting within the relevant rules of professional conduct when advising on aspects of the employment relationship.








The module will be delivered through a combination of large and small group sessions, directed learning and independent learning.

The large group sessions will be delivered to the entire module cohort and will be used in part to introduce students to the major principles of each topic. They will place these principles in context by examining them against relevant factual scenarios in the small group sessions.

The small group sessions (which will consist of between 16 – 20 students), will, in conjunction with the directed and independent learning, expand on the material covered in the large group sessions with emphasis on the use of practical scenarios as the basis for relevant skills based and interactive sessions to apply that material to the scenario. Students will during these sessions practice and develop a range of essential skills, such as legal writing, practical legal research, commercial awareness and risk management. Some of the sessions will include the opportunity to participate in role play interviewing and negotiating as one of the legal advisers involved. Other sessions will require problem solving skills to identify key issues, plan strategies for taking problems forward and drafting aspects of the necessary documentation to do so. Where appropriate to the subject area students will be required to analyse and critique relevant legal material.

Students will be given directed learning which will both expand on the materials provided in the large group sessions and cover specific topics not dealt with in those sessions. This will be supported by formative self test and multiple choice questions. Students will also be expected to carry out independent learning to both expand on the materials covered in the large group sessions and directed learning and to prepare for the tasks in the small group sessions. Examples of independent learning will include locating and reading relevant legal source material.

Experiential learning is prevalent in the simulated practice exercises that take place in most of the small group sessions.


a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

A three hour practical paper will be undertaken.

The practical paper will involve a scenario with supporting advance documentation and will be open book. Further documentation may be given on the day of the assessment and questions will be set relating to the documentation provided. This form of assessment is deemed appropriate as it is practical and transactional and reflects the work done by solicitors in practice.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

Students will be given the opportunity to submit key pieces of written work during the module for feedback. Students will be given access to a number of previous practical papers on the eLP and will be able to attempt previous assessments and submit them to their workshop tutor for feedback. There will also be a revision session considering a past practical paper. This formative assessment is thorough and affords the students adequate support and preparation for the substantive assessment.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

As regards the practical paper, students are able to ask for feedback on written work from their workshop tutor at various stages in the module. Previous practical papers can be attempted and submitted for feedback from the tutor. A revision session will also focus on a practical paper. Feedback will identify issues for the student to focus upon in order to improve, including identifying the level of knowledge and understanding students are expected to display and how to improve assessment technique.



Course info

Credits 1

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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