LAWS5360 Employment Law

6 points

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Not available in 2021UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
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 knowledge at an advanced level of (a) the purpose of the laws which govern employment; (b) the common law and statutory laws (both state and federal) which regulate the legal rights and responsibilities of employers and employees; (c) the classification of different forms of work relationships; (2) demonstrate the ability to identify and apply 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 employment relationships.
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, 2nd edn: OUP 2007

Stewart, A. Stewart’s Guide to Employment Law, 6th edn: Federation Press 2018

reference works

Creighton, W. B. and Stewart, A., et al.  Labour Law: an Introduction, 6th edn: Federation Press 2016

Owens, R. and Riley, J. The Law of Work, 2nd edn: OUP 2012

Sappideen, C. et al. Macken’s Law of Employment, 8th edn: Lawbook Co. 2016

resources and
reading material

Freedland, M. The Personal Employment Contract: OUP 2003

Pittard, M. J. and Naughton, R. B. Australian Labour and Employment Law: LexisNexis Butterworths 2014

Floyd, L. et al. Employment, Labour and Industrial Law in Australia: Cambridge UP 2018

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)



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  • 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 one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. 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.