Courses & Units

Labour Law LAW603


This unit introduces individual and collective aspects of the employment relationship with a focus on the balance of rights and duties between an employer and an employee. In particular, students will be encouraged to explore the extent to which an appropriate balance is achieved by the Fair Work Act (FWA) especially in relation to national employment standards, modern awards, various types of leave, adverse action, protections for casual employees and contractors and unfair dismissal. Recent developments in these areas will be covered, as will their justification under prevailing policy settings and the role of Fair Work Australia.

Analysis will be given of the operation of the common law, federal law on employment terms and conditions and the tension between freedom of contract and collective entitlement will be examined. Critical discussion will be offered on: (i) the effect of recent attempts at modernization of federal labour law; (ii) the regulatory reach of federal law in light of the popularity of new types of work relationships; (iii) the decentralization of bargaining on pay and conditions and its relationship to new federal minima; (iv) the work/life balance and new 'family friendly' provisions in the FWA; and (v) the relationships between constitutional powers and the scope of federal labour law; the common law and statutory regulation; and domestic labour law and the international regulatory environment.

The topics covered by the unit are grouped into three sections:

Formative issues

  • * 1. Identifying employment relationships
  • * 2. Contractors and casual employment
  • * 3. Key rights and duties of employment
  • * 4. Minimum employment standards under Federal law

Statutory standards and processes

  • * 5. Federal labour law under the constitution and in international comparison
  • * 6. Employment termination and notice; federal unfair dismissal laws and adverse action
  • * 7. Grounds of discrimination and liability in the workplace
  • * 8. Modern awards
  • * 9. Federal enterprise agreements

Particular duty situations

  • * 10. Workplace safety (Occupational Health and Safety and workers' compensation)
  • * 11. Fidelity, trust and confidence
  • * 12. Workplace rights and new work relationships
  • * 13. Penalty rates, small business and anti-social working hours


Unit name Labour Law
Unit code LAW603
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School Faculty of Law
School of Law
Discipline School of Law
Teaching staff

R Price

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No


This unit is currently unavailable.


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* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2015 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2015 will be available from the 1st October 2014.

About Census Dates



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
3 2015: $1,283.00 2015: $1,486.00 090900

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


  • Pre-requisites: Either LAW221, LAW222, LAW223, LAW224, LAW225, LAW226, LAW204, LAW205 OR LAW250, LAW251, LAW252, LAW253, LAW254, LAW255, LAW256, LAW204.


Teaching Pattern

2 hour seminar weekly, and one 1 hour tutorial fortnightly


Active tutorial participation (20%); a problem-based 1500 word assignment (20%); 60% open-book exam.

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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