LAWS5360 Employment Law

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit involves an examination of the individual employment relationship between employer and employee. Among the topics given special attention are the contract of employment and its importance at common law and under statute; rights and duties of the respective parties; remedies for breach; unfair and unlawful termination of employment at common law and under state and federal statutes; and selected aspects of the systems of regulation under Commonwealth and state legislation including, in particular, awards and collective agreements.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate at an advanced level knowledge of (a) the purpose of the laws which govern the employment context; (b) the common law and statutory laws (both state and federal) which are relevant to the legal rights and responsibilities of employers and employees; (c) the categorisation/classification of different forms of work relationships; (2) demonstrate the ability to identify and apply the relevant legal rules and principles in circumstances involving (a) the lawful termination of contracts of employment; and (b) the wrongful termination of employment; (3) understand and apply, at an advanced level, (a) the statutory actions and forms of relief available to employees whose employment has been terminated unfairly; and (b) the statutory actions and forms of relief available to employees whose employment has been terminated for proscribed reasons ('unlawfully'); (c) the laws relating to post-employment restraints and their relationship to the law concerning restraint of trade; (4) demonstrate (a) the ability to reflect upon and respond to ethical issues arising in the employment context, including unlawful discrimination in connection with employment and health and safety at work; and (b) a developing ability to demonstrate professional judgment; and (5) identify, research, evaluate and synthesise legal problems and conflicts arising in employment law; and recognise and articulate the complex policy issues associated with insurance law.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research essay; (2) in-class test; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a Juris Doctor student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course
Unit Coordinator(s)
Emeritus Professor William Ford
Unit rules
Juris Doctor (JD) students: LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and 30 points from: LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4107 Land Law, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics or LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics

Collins, H. Employment Law: OUP 2010

Stewart, A. Stewart’s Guide to Employment Law: Federation Press 2015

reference works

Creighton, W. B. and Stewart, A. Labour Law: an Introduction, 5th edn: Federation Press 2011

Owens, R. and Riley, J. Employee Protection at Common Law: Federation Press 2005

Owens, R. and Riley, J. The Law of Work: OUP 2012

Sappideen, C. et al. Macken’s Law of Employment, 7th edn: Lawbook Co. 2012

resources and
reading material

Freedland, M. The Personal Employment Contract: OUP 2003

Pittard, M. J. and Naughton, R. B. Australian Labour Law, 5th edn: LexisNexis Butterworths 2003

Cases, articles and other monographs as referred to during the unit.

Statutes as referred to during the unit including:

Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) ('IRA 1979')

Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (WA) ('MCE 1993')

Fair Work Act 2009 (Cwlth)



  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.