Course Title: Industrial Law A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Industrial Law A

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


615H Accounting & Law


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Clare Miller

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1388

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to the contract of employment and compares the common law on termination of employment with the termination provisions (covering unfair and unlawful dismissals) in the Workplace Relations Act.  Amendments to the Workplace Relations Act by the Work Choices legislation of late 2005 will be outlined. The course also covers other aspects of employment law, namely the legislation on occupational health & safety and equal opportunity, plus both common law and legislation on compensation for work injuries. In addition, you will develop legal research, analysis and legal writing skills and the ability to make a confident oral presentation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the conclusion of this course you will have developed the following capabilities:

-facility in reading, understanding and communicating legal information as contained in cases and legislation, including observing legal writing formalities (such as correct legal citation) within each of the legislative areas studied;
- legal research skills;
- ability to make an oral presentation on IR-related legal issues;
- ability to make quality briefing notes;
- written communication skills.

NB: this course is undertaken mainly by people working in Human Resources Management and seeking to
(a) further their HRM qualifications, and
(b) enhance their law-related practical skills.
Via course learnings, HRM practitioners should be able to optimise their organisation’s productivity by pro-actively avoiding/minimising criminal and civil liabilities in the areas of law covered by the course.

This course provides you with a clear understanding of:
• basic legal system concepts, notably the difference between the common law and statute law, between civil and criminal proceedings, between Acts and Regulations, and between crimes of intention and absolute liability offences;
• the common law definition of employee vis-a-vis the common law definition of an independent contractor;
• an appreciation of the importance of supporting any law-related assertion by citing case and/or statutory authority;
• the entitlements at common law of employees
- dismissed for reasons other than gross misconduct
- injured at work in situations of employer negligence;
• the significance of statutory over-rides of the common law distinction between employees and contractors, and the policy underpinnings involved (for example, the anti-discrimination and sexual harassment provisions of the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 are couched so as to protect all persons at workplaces, whether employees or contractors);
• the means of civil redress (if any) for work-related discrimination, and the processes/bodies involved;
• within employment-related legislation
- the nature, purpose and scope of the legislative scheme,
- the key obligations/entitlements of employers/ managers on the one hand and workers on the other,
- the liabilities, whether criminal and/or civil, for breach of those obligations.

Overview of Learning Activities

To achieve the objectives listed above this course requires you to participate in various learning activities.  These activities comprise the following:

Engaging in legal research;

Engaging in legal analysis;

Participation in class discussion;

Developing legal writing skills,

Leading class discussion on legal problems and policy issues.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be advised of the prescribed text for this course and other reading materials upon enrolment.

Distributed Learning System (DLS)
This course is supported online using the Learning Hub of the DLS. The DLS gives access to important announcements, staff contact details, the teaching schedule, assessment timelines and a variety of important teaching and learning materials. The Learning Hub of the DLS can be found at

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will generally involve a class presentation, plus two essays.