LW7009 - The Employment Relationship

APPLY NOW Book an Open Day Add to My Courses Register your interest / Course PDF

What will I learn on this module?

The aim of the module is to introduce you to the law relating to the formation and structure of the employment relationship. You will consider the statutory definitions of “employee” and “worker” and related case law. The module will consider the various means of engaging labour and the respective legal implications of each as well as the rights and obligations of each of the parties.

You will also consider the formalities of engaging employees in particular and the terms under which they are engaged. The module will also consider the legal consequences of the employer not observing any applicable legal obligations

The module considers;

• Sources of modern employment law.
• The relationship between the employer and its employees, “workers”, modern apprentices and the genuinely self-employed.
• Overview of Contract Law and how it relates to the employment relationship
• The contract of employment: legality; formalities and; express and implied terms.
• The remuneration package, including holiday pay.
• Working time.
• Means of protecting sensitive information: an overview.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which outlines the activities (independent study/reading, 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 employment status, hiring and wages as well as the implications of the employment contract. Study day material will be made available as a recorded on-line session.

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

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?

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of the module you will have:
• Developed your knowledge and understanding of the employment relationship and the various sources of employment law impacting on the employment relationship, including the distinction between the legal status of employees, “workers” and the genuinely self-employed and be aware of the legal implications of engaging employees and “workers” and how the legal status arises

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Have developed your skills
• Developed an ability to conduct rigorous and independent legal research in the area of employment relationship and the various sources of employment law impacting on the employment relationship, including the distinction between the legal status of employees, “workers” and the genuinely self-employed and be aware of the legal implications of engaging employees and “workers” and how the legal status arises

• Developed an ability to reflect on and critically evaluate employment relationship and the various sources of employment law impacting on the employment relationship, including the distinction between the legal status of employees, “workers” and the genuinely self-employed and be aware of the legal implications of engaging employees and “workers” and how the legal status arises

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

• Gained a critical awareness of the legal and ethical issues surrounding employment law Relationships recognised within English law and reflected on how those legal and ethical values align with your own personal and professional values.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises. Answers to self-test questions 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.

The module is assessed by coursework with a maximum word limit of 3,000 words. The assessment will take the form of a discursive essay question 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 criteria are 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

The Employment Relationship introduces the law relating to the formation and structure of the employment relationship. It explores the political, social and economic factors which affect employment relationships. It considers the statutory definitions of “employee” and “worker” EU legislation and related case law. The module addresses the various means of engaging labour and the respective legal implications of each as well as the rights and obligations of each of the parties. Consequently, there has never been a more important time to study this controversial and ethically challenging area of law. You will critically engage with research outputs as part of your research-rich learning, drawing from Northumbria’s extensive on-line databases and library facilities. You will be assessed by researched assignment (100%) which will consolidate your understanding of the law relating to the employment relationship and develop your skills of critical analysis.

What will I learn on this module?

The aim of the module is to introduce you to the law relating to the formation and structure of the employment relationship. You will consider the statutory definitions of “employee” and “worker” and related case law. The module will consider the various means of engaging labour and the respective legal implications of each as well as the rights and obligations of each of the parties.

You will also consider the formalities of engaging employees in particular and the terms under which they are engaged. The module will also consider the legal consequences of the employer not observing any applicable legal obligations

The module considers;

• Sources of modern employment law.
• The relationship between the employer and its employees, “workers”, modern apprentices and the genuinely self-employed.
• Overview of Contract Law and how it relates to the employment relationship
• The contract of employment: legality; formalities and; express and implied terms.
• The remuneration package, including holiday pay.
• Working time.
• Means of protecting sensitive information: an overview.

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 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints