LW7008 - Terminating the Employment Relationship

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about the law as it relates to the termination of the employment relationship using realistic practical scenarios You will learn about the consequences of terminating the employment contract at common law, focussing on summary and wrongful dismissal and remedies. A significant part of the module will concentrate on the law relating to unfair dismissal when you will learn about the criteria to qualify for the right to claim unfair dismissal and on what grounds you can argue unfair dismissal.

You will explore how employers can conduct themselves fairly and lawfully when dealing with their employees in order to minimise the risk of claims arising from the termination of employment such as for wrongful or unfair dismissal. You will develop an understanding of the role and purpose of ACAS and its statutory code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. You will learn about the remedies available for unlawful termination of employment.

You will also consider wider consequences of termination of the employment relationship such as the impact it will have on contractual provisions such as restraint of trade clauses and payment in lieu of notice clauses. You will learn about the rights and obligations of both employer and worker during the notice period. You will also learn about the ways that you can settle any potential claims arising on termination of the employment relationship.

Topics include:

• Termination of a contract and the consequences at common law and statute
• Common law
o Wrongful dismissal
o Summary dismissal
o Remedies
• Statutory protection
o Qualifying to claim unfair dismissal
o Types of dismissal, e.g. actual and constructive dismissal
o Reason for dismissal
o Fairness of dismissal
o Remedies
• Statutory and other provisions relating to disciplinary and grievance procedures and drafting issues
• Contractual considerations when terminating the contract
o Restraint of trade provisions, etc
o Rights and obligations during notice
• Settlement of potential claims arising on termination of the contract
o The role of ACAS
o Settlement Agreements

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which outlines the activities (independent study, recommended reading, directed learning, self evaluative tasks, informal practice assessments) throughout the module.

Directed learning will centre on detailed learning materials which will be made available via the module dedicated e-Learning (elp) site and will include guided reading using electronic reading lists, self-evaluative tasks as well as opportunities to engage with your tutor and fellow students. Knowledge will be consolidated through a range of learning activities that will include extended reading, research and reflection. You will have an optional Study Day at the University, which will focus on the law relating to the termination of the employment relationship and may include interactive workshop-based activities and lectures from tutor. Study Day content will also be made available as recorded on-line sessions.

Independent learning will centre on you identifying further reading and research to provide deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of employment law and practice.

You will be provided with detailed feedback on your formative and summative assignment for this module and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme. You are therefore able to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice within the module and on the programme as a whole, with feedback of appropriate quality and the positive application of formative feedback on learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module is designed and will be managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module elp site, maintained by your Module Tutor, who will also provide updates on issues of current legal significance. Extensive use is therefore made of the elp at module level to facilitate discussions between you and your Module Tutor, to provide materials, make announcements and to highlight recent developments in the law. You may communicate with your Module Tutor by e-mail or telephone and are encouraged to make contact if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module. During the module, several “surgery” sessions, via distance means such as Blackboard collaborate, give the Module Tutor and students the opportunity to discuss content and expectations around learning and assessment.

Academic support is also available through summative and formative feedback on assignments and a module teaching and learning plan (TLP) detailing delivery structure and any University requirements. At programme level you will be supported by the Programme Leader who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

The Programme Administration and Student Liaison teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks. They will contact you throughout the duration of your module with details about the study day, assignment hand-in dates and other issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

What will I be expected to achieve?
(SRS 0005)

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of the module you will have:

Developed a knowledge and understanding of the law as it relates to the termination of the employment relationship.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Developed an ability to conduct rigorous and independent legal research in the area of employment law, selecting, using and applying the relevant material to identify issues, construct reasoned arguments and present accurate legal information clearly, coherently and substantiated by authority.

Demonstrate an awareness of legal and practical issues in the termination of the employment relationship and the ability to identify sources, communicate, explain and identify solutions to a range of legal and practical problems arising in the context of the termination of employment.


Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

You will have gained a critical awareness of the concepts of justifiable, summary, unfair and wrongful dismissal arising from the statutory and common law protection for workers and the impact of the rights and obligations of both employer and employee in relation to the termination of the employment relationship.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions and case studies in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises. Answers to self-test questions and answer plans to the case studies will be provided on the module elp and your tutor will give oral and written feedback to you as required.

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of assignment which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. This assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues presented within the module and to explore these in-line with directed and independent learning and will be no more than 3,000 words.

The module is assessed by coursework with a maximum word limit of 3,000 words. The assessment will take the form of a problem based scenario which will be designed to facilitate examination of specific aspects of relevant law and related legal research and may include discussion of recent developments, where appropriate. Assessment criteriawill be provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

You will be provided with appropriate written or oral feedback (as appropriate), and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

Terminating the Employment Relationship examines the legal and practical issues that arise in the termination of the employment relationship using realistic practical scenarios. In this module you will focus on understanding what constitutes wrongful, summary, unfair and constructive dismissal. You will consider how to minimise the risk of claims or disputes arising from the termination of employment. You will learn about the role of ACAS when conflict arises in the workplace including the status and impact of the ACAS statutory code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. You will consider the criteria and procedure for bringing and responding to claims in the Employment Tribunal or civil courts arising out of termination of employment such as unfair and wrongful dismissal claims. You learn about the remedies available for the different claims and also the impact to contractual terms such as restraint of trade or payment in lieu of notice clauses.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study PG Certificate 9 months

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

Fee Information

Module Information

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