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Unit of study_

LAWS6071: Labour Law

Semester 1a, 2023 [Block mode] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The purpose of this unit is to introduce students to the principles of labour law. It is designed specifically for MLLR students who do not have a law degree or for any students with a law degree who have not recently undertaken an undergraduate labour law course. The goal of the unit is to equip students with the fundamental principles of labour law that they will need to undertake more advanced labour law units within the MLLR and LLM Degrees. It provides an introduction to the contract of employment and the relevant principles governing the employment relationship, including termination of employment. It then introduces students to the workplace relations framework including collective bargaining and industrial conflict; the modern role of awards and statutory regulation of wages and conditions.

Unit details and rules

Unit code LAWS6071
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
Prohibitions
? 
LAWS3446 or LAWS5146
Prerequisites
? 
None
Corequisites
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

MLLR students must either have a law degree or completed or be concurrently enrolled in LAWS6252 Legal Reasoning and the Common Law System (core) as well as this unit before undertaking the labour law elective units

Available to study abroad and exchange students

No

Teaching staff

Coordinator Belinda Smith, belinda.smith@sydney.edu.au
Lecturer(s) Alice Orchiston, alice.orchiston@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Assignment (80%)
Written short answer and problem questions
80% Mid-semester break
Due date: 10 Apr 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 13 Apr 2023
6000 words / 2 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment Legal bulletin (assignment) (20%)
Written task
20% Week 04
Due date: 13 Mar 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 16 Mar 2023
2000 words / 2 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Assessment summary

Legal bulletin 2000 words (20%): Students must complete a ‘legal bulletin’ examining a recent case, topical issue or stimulus question. The bulletin will be undertaken in the form of a ‘client newsletter’ written for clients of a fictitious law firm informing and educating them on topical labour law issues and recent case developments. The names of the relevant topics for students to choose from will be released on the Canvas site on the same date as the introductory session, Monday, 20 February 2023, and will relate to topics covered in the first weekend of teaching. The paper will be due for submission by Monday 13 March 2023 at 11:59pm (Sydney, Australia time).

The outcome of a successful special consideration application may include a viva (oral exam) or alternative task at the discretion of the lecturer.

Assignment 6000 words (80%): The assignment will contain 8 tasks (10% each) that will be a combination of essays, problem-based questions and/or topical issues for analysis. All material covered in the unit will be assessable by this assignment. The assignment will be released on the Canvas site on Monday 27 March 2023, with a 14 day time for completion due by Monday 10 April 2023 at 11:59pm (Sydney, Australia time).

The outcome of a successful special consideration application may include a viva (oral exam) or alternative task at the discretion of the lecturer.

Note: Students must retain pre-submitted drafts of their assessment on file.

Word Limit Penalty: A piece of assessment which exceeds the prescribed word limit will attract a penalty of 10% of the total marks available for the piece of assessment for every 100 words, or part thereof. The total word count for essay and other written assessments will exclude all footnotes and any bibliography (if required).

Use of editors or proof-readers: The use of assistance in preparing and editing assessment tasks in this unit of study is strictly prohibited. Assistance includes human and automated writing tools (not including spell checking)

Assessment requirement to pass a unit of study: A student must make a genuine attempt at all assessment tasks set out in this Unit of Study in order to obtain a Pass mark and grade (or above); otherwise an Absent Fail grade will be recorded as the student’s result for this Unit of Study.

Assessment criteria

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

  • Completely answers the question.
  • Contains striking originality of approach or analysis.
  • Demonstrates exhaustive or innovative research (where independent research required).
  • Exceptionally well written, structured and expressed.
  • Is otherwise exceptional in some way.

Distinction

75 - 84

  • Completely answers the question.
  • Achieves a critical and evaluative approach to the issues.
  • Content and structure is well organised in support of the argument.
  • Demonstrates extensive research and analysis to support a well-documented argument.
  • Generally well expressed and free from errors.
  • Has a clear structure and is well articulated.

Credit

65 - 74

  • Covers main issues fairly well in answering the question.
  • Contains no significant errors.
  • Demonstrates an attempted critical approach to the issues.
  • Demonstrates reasonably sound research and analysis in addressing the key issues.
  • Has a clear structure and reasonably clear expression.

Pass

50 - 64

  • Identifies the key issues, but does not follow through with a reasoned argument.
  • Contains some significant errors.
  • Displays satisfactory engagement with the key issues.
  • Offers a descriptive summary of material relevant to the question.
  • Superficial use of material, and may display a tendency to paraphrase.
  • Demonstrates little evidence of in-depth research or analysis.
  • Adequate expression.
  • Overall, demonstrates the minimum level of competence in the assessment and satisfies the requirements to proceed to higher-level studies in the degree or subject area.

Fail

0 - 49

  • Does not answer the question.
  • Contains significant or numerous errors.
  • Few or no identifiable arguments.
  • Content that is inappropriate or irrelevant.
  • Lack of research or analysis.
  • Difficult or impossible to understand through poor grammar, expression or structure.
  • Overall, does not demonstrate the minimum level of competence in the assessment.

 

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The late submission of a piece of assessment, without an approved extension, will attract a penalty of 10% of the total marks available for the piece of assessment per 24 hours or part thereof, after the due time on the due date. For example, a submission after 11:59pm but before the same time the following day will attract a 10% penalty. Penalties for late submission will be applied strictly, subject to a 5 minute grace period.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Ongoing Introduction Seminar (2 hr) LO1
1. Australian labour law in a global context; 2. Work relationships: employment or contracting?; 3. Labour hire and sham contracting; 4. The employment contract. Seminar (6 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
5 & 6. Obligations under the contract of employment; 7 & 8 Termination of employment. Seminar (6 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
9. Introduction to the federal fair work system; 10 & 11. The safety net; 12. Collective bargaining under the Fair Work Act. Seminar (6 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
13. Collective bargaining under the Fair Work Act; 14. industrial action under the Fair Work Act; 15. General protections; 16. Workplace bullying. Seminar (6 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance: All students are required to attend 70% of classes (or as otherwise specified by the Unit Coordinator) to satisfy the pass requirements for each unit of study. Attendance requirements may be satisfied by in person attendance as specified by the Unit Coordinator. Failure to meet this requirement may result in a student being precluded from sitting the final assessment.  

Referencing: The Sydney Law School expects you to use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th edition, 2018) for your footnoting style, although you should confirm this with your lecturer, and a link to the library website where this is set out comprehensively is available at https://libguides.library.usyd.edu.au/c.php?g=508212&p=3476376  

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas under ‘Reading List’.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the system of workplace relations in Australia, and how this system has developed in recent years
  • LO2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the legal responsibilities of employers and employees at the workplace
  • LO3. critically analyse judgments of courts and tribunals on workplace matters
  • LO4. demonstrate a working knowledge of the framework and operation of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • LO5. think critically about the substance of labour law and the context in which labour law operates, including consideration of the effectiveness of legislative strategies for the regulation of work
  • LO6. interpret and apply industrial instruments such as modern awards to simple fact scenarios

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The unit has been updated, but no significant changes have been made since this unit was last offered.

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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