Introducing Employment Law
5EML is a CIPD unit in level 5, which seeks to provide learners with insights on the UK and EU employment legislation. The unit help learners pursuing HR understand the significance of legal requirements that impact HR decisions within the organisation. When carrying out their roles, HR practitioners should identify with the legal jurisdictions that determine the kind of actions and decisions that they take, as well as the relations that they establish with the employees. The learners get to learn about the employment law system and how that works to influence the daily HR activities and decisions in the workplace and among the employees. The learners get to learn about the local and internal employment jurisdictions, with the aim of enhancing proper management of relationships established within the business.
Topics of study in Employment Law
The following are the main topics that students will learn in this unit;
Understanding the legal system
This involves learning the aims and objectives of employment regulation within a particular company. The students may refer to the UK, Ireland, and EU regulations, and international students may also learn the employment regulations in their home countries. The legal systems are meant to create social justice, fairness, and promote employee protection, when these issues are not adhered to within the workplace, the tribunal and the court system comes into place to make judgements based on the particulars of the claims and the legal laws. The legal system is significant in resolving disputes. There are various methods used in resolving conflicts, and they include early reconciliation, mediation, and arbitration.
This is a section that provides insights to learners on how to avoid discrimination especially in recruitment and selection of employees. The Equality Act 2010 identifies the protected characteristics that the employers should relate to with the intention to ensure that no employee or rather candidate seeking employment is treated in a less favourable way. Learners get to differentiate between direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, and discrimination by association.
The learners get to learn the different aspects of contract law, and the students should learn the different elements of a contract, which include offer, acceptance, consideration of parties, and intention to create legal bindings of the contract. Learners also learn the differences between express and implied terms of contract. Learners should also understand that contracts can be changed under the flexibility clause.
Changes occur within organisations when the employers decide to reduce the workforce through redundancy, business transfers are also cause of organisational change. The Employment Rights Act 1996 and Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992 are guiding laws to redundancy. They should be followed to ensure that redundancy is necessary, and employees should be consulted. On business transfers, TUPE laws identify with the employee entitlement to the terms of employment and continuity of employment even after transfer of business.
The employees working in any organisation have statutory rights to pay on basis of National Minimum Wage Act 1998. They also have the right to leave on basis of Working Time Regulation 1998, and right to working time on Working Time Directive regulations. Workers also have the rights to maternity leave, paternity leave, and off days to attend to family and friends emergencies. The employees have a right to safe working conditions under Health and Safety at Work 1974 regulation, to ensure that their well-being is well catered for. Employers have an implied duty to promote fairness, respect, and adhere to the psychological contract terms developed between them and the employees. Another right that the employees have is under article 11 of the Human Rights Act, which identifies with the freedom of association.
On dismissal, the employers should follow the right procedures to address issues of misconduct and capability. This creates fairness in making dismissal decisions. Learners taking the employment law course should be aware of the five justified reasons for dismissal, which include misconduct, capability, redundancy, breach of statutory restriction, and any other reason as long as it is genuine and fair to both the employee and employer. Before dismissals, employees are given a chance to be accompanied during the disciplinary hearing process. Learners should learn the role of the parties accompanying the employees in the hearing process.
What will learners gain from this unit?
By the end of the course and completion of EML assessment, learners will;
- Have gained an understanding of employment law, its aims and objectives, and how it is enforced within the workplace.
- Have learnt the best practice and legal compliances in different HR activities, relating to selection and recruitment of employees, equality in pay, employee management in accordance to the law, and performance management and legal disciplinary matters and procedures.
- Become aware of the complexities of lawfully completing HR roles
- Learn how to treat employees in accordance to the law
After completing the unit, learners will be expected to complete an assessment where they are required to produce a booklet with specific questions on the above discussed issues.