Employment Law - Syllabus

Week 1

Employment Status

Aim

In this lecture learners will examine the age-old difficulty of establishing the legal status of a worker as either employees or independent contractors. This issue is particularly prevalent in the modern ‘gig economy’. The consequences of the distinction can have profound consequences on the legal rights and obligations of both parties.

 

Learning Outcomes

 

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Identify the legal significance of employment status
  2. Discuss the various tests adopted in determining employment status
  3. Apply these tests in order to make an assessment on employment status
  4. Discuss areas of reform in this area

 

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 2

The Contract of Employment

Aim

In this lecture learners will examine nature and content of contracts of employment. Specifically, this lecture will analyse the standard express terms of a contracts of employment; implied terms such as those relating to mutual trust and confidence; and will pay particular regard to the validity or otherwise of restraint trade clauses. The impact of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 in this regard will also be examined.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Identify the standard express terms of a contract of employment
  2. Discuss the impact of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018
  3. Analyse the implied terms of a contract of employment
  4. Analyse the validity of restraint of trade clauses

 

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 3

Employment Equality – Part I

Aim

In this lecture learners will examine the application of the Employment Equality Act 1998-2015. In this first lecture the operation of the legislation will be discussed particularly the statutory definition discrimination, the burden of proof in such cases, and the nine discriminatory grounds.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Define unlawful discrimination under Irish employment law
  2. Discuss how the burden of proof operates in such cases
  3. Explain the types of discrimination which are prohibited
  4. Identify and discuss each of the nine discriminatory grounds

 

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 4

Employment Equality – Part II

Aim

In this second lecture on employment equality learners will examine discriminations as regards pay and conditions; harassment (including sexual harassment); and the legislative prohibition on victimisation.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Identify the necessary elements for a successful equal pay claim
  2. Explain the nature of harassment
  3. Discuss the concept of victimisation

 

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 5

Privacy and Data Protection

Aim

In this lecture we examine the nature and extent of employee privacy. The nature of privacy law is discussed as are how these rights might impact on the employment relationship. The extent to which an employer may lawfully limit an employee’s right to privacy in the workplace will also be examined. The impact of the Data Protection Act 2018 on employment law will be assessed and the obligations on employers to ensure adequate data protection procedures will be discussed.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Discuss the nature of privacy law
  2. Examine the sources of privacy law
  3. Analyse how employee privacy may be lawfully restricted
  4. Evaluate the impact of the Data Protection Act 2018

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 6

Stress-Related Illness & Bullying in the Workplace

Aim

In this lecture we examine employer’s civil liability for work-related stress and bullying claims. The lecture will examine the nature of stress-related illness claims and how an employer may avoid such liability arising. Recent case law developments on employer’s civil liability for bullying will analysed.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Identify the necessary elements to a stress-related illness claim
  2. Explain the legal definition of bullying
  3. Analyse the elements to a bullying claim
  4. Develop policies and procedures to avoid claims for stress-related illness and bullying

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 7

Vicarious Liability

Aim

In this lecture we examine employer’s civil liability the civil wrongdoing of others in the workplace. In particular, the lecture will discuss the application of the doctrine of vicarious liability in the workplace. What is the extent of an employer’s liability for the acts of others?  Does such liability extend beyond the workplace to a social function? In this regard, the lecture will discuss the application to relationships other than those of traditional employment and the extent of connection that is required between the work and the wrongful act.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Identify the necessary elements in the application of vicarious liability
  2. Discuss the application of vicarious liability to relationships “akin to employment”
  3. Analyse the “close connection” test

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

 

Week 8

Atypical Workers 

Aim

In this lecture we examine the law surrounding what are known as ‘atypical workers’ i.e. those workers who do not conform to the standard permanent full-time worker. Given that employers are increasingly relying on flexible workers, it is essential to develop an understanding of the key issues associated with each type of worker. In particular, the law on part-time workers (Protection of Employees (Part Time Work) Act 2001); fixed term contract workers (Protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work) Act 2001); and (Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012) are discussed.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Discuss the law regarding the employment of part time workers
  2. Discuss the law regarding the employment of fixed term workers
  3. Discuss the law regarding the employment of agency workers

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 9

Working Time, Pay, and Leave Issues

 

Aim

In this lecture we examine the law surrounding a number of different areas dealing with the operation of the employment relationship. For example, the employee’s rights as regards working time, rest breaks, holidays etc is discussed (The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997); as are the employee’s entitlements as regards pays and any deductions therefrom (The Payment of Wages Act 1991); and various aspects of statutory leave including the Maternity Protection Acts 1994-2004; the Parental Leave Acts 1998-2019; and the Adoptive Leave Acts 1995-2005.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Discuss the law regarding working time, rest periods, and holidays
  2. Examine the obligations of an employer as regards the payment of wages
  3. Analyse the various statutory leave entitlements

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 10

Disciplinary Process

Aim

In this lecture we consider the law in relation to issues that may arise at the end of an employee’s relationship with their employer. One context in which the ending of this relationship may generate legal controversy is where the employee is being dismissed for misconduct. Hence it is appropriate that we analyse the legal obligations on employers in respect of their workplace disciplinary procedures generally, and in particular of whether such procedures adequately vindicate an employee’s rights. Thus, this lecture will consider matters such as right to be informed of disciplinary procedures, right to an investigation, right to a fair hearing and so forth.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Discuss the elements of workplace disciplinary procedures
  2. Examine the employee’s right to fair procedures
  3. Apply those fair procedures to a workplace disciplinary process

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 11

Termination of Employment – Part I

Aim

In this first lecture we consider the law on termination of a contract of employment. The focus in this chapter will be on an employee’s notice entitlements; the action for wrongful dismissal; frustration of the contact; and employer insolvency.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Discuss the contractual and statutory notice requirements for terminating a contract of employment
  2. Examine the appropriateness of the wrongful dismissal action
  3. Outline the circumstances by which a contract of employment may be discharged by frustration

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.

Week 12

Termination of Employment – Part II

Aim

In this second lecture we consider the law on unfair dismissal. In particular, we will examine the statutory claims of constructive dismissal and unfair dismissal under the Unfair Dismissal Acts 1977-2015. These claims will be distinguished from the common law action for wrongful dismissal. The circumstances where a dismissal will be rendered ‘fair’ will also be considered. The law on redundancy and the employee’s entitlements thereunder will be assessed.

 

Learning Outcomes

After completion of this lecture learners will be able to:

 

  1. Distinguish between constructive, fair, and unfair dismissal
  2. Explain the requirements necessary to proceed under unfair dismissals’ legislation
  3. Examine the statutory remedies available for statutory dismissal
  4. Discuss an employee’s entitlements to redundancy

 

Delivery: 3 hour lecture delivered live in-class, streamed live online, and recorded.