TUC Diploma in Employment Law Online

This course will help experienced trade union representatives develop their knowledge and experience of employment law making them more effective as workplace representatives.

The course will give reps a better understanding of the trade union approach to employment law and enhance their ability to handle trade union and workplace issues whilst developing attitudes and skills needed for higher level study or activism.

Who is the course for?

This course is for experienced trade union representatives. It supports the development and practice of employment law.

How long is the course?

The course is delivered over three terms.

What will the course help me to do?

This course will help you:

  • become more effective as a workplace representative
  • promote a better understanding of the trade union approach to employment law
  • extend your capacity as a learner, preparing you for union officer posts or higher education opportunities
  • understand trade union and workplace issues at a deeper level
  • develop personal/study skills, the ability to work collectively and improve your confidence to study at a higher level

What subjects are studied?

The TUC Diploma is accredited by the NOCN and is divided into several units - three core units and four study skills units - see below.

The changing nature of law

This unit includes:

The origins and development of employment law

  • what is employment law
  • employment law in the nineteenth century and to the present day

How law is made and can be changed

  • sources of law, how the law can be changed
  • the European Union
  • the role of trade unions in the development of employment law
  • the role of interest groups

The structure of employment law

  • types of law
  • the court structure in the UK

European law

  • trade union achievements
  • European Court of Justice

How employment law operates in practice

  • how employment tribunals operate
  • employment appeals tribunals
  • legal situations
  • commissions
  • codes of practice
  • the role of the International Labour Organisation

Employment law and the individual

This unit includes:

Principles and procedures relating to contracts of employment

  • the nature of a contract of employment
  • collective agreements and individual rights
  • variation of contractual terms
  • remedies and enforcement
  • dismissal procedures and rights

Application of law relating to dismissal

  • the law relating to dismissal
  • reviewing workplace dismissal procedures and rights
  • wrongful dismissal
  • redundancy and consultation

Key legal aspects of discrimination in employment

  • legal definitions of discrimination
  • using codes of practice
  • discrimination
  • equal pay - the legal provisions and using the law at work
  • remedies and enforcement
  • equality audits

Specific legislation affecting employment rights

  • family-friendly working arrangements
  • maternity leave and statutory pay
  • parental leave regulations
  • employment protection
  • proposed or recent legislation

Trade unions and collective rights

This unit includes:

Trade unions; their organisation and administration

  • trade unions in law
  • trade unions and their members
  • trade unions elections and mergers
  • trade unions and political activities

Recognised trade unions and information and consultation

  • trade union recognition
  • the legal route to recognition: advantages and disadvantages
  • the legal route to recognition: persuading the employer
  • information for collective bargaining
  • TUPE consultation

Trade Unions and industrial action

  • industrial action law - the basics
  • industrial action law, past and future

Study skills units

Communication and study skills

  • read and respond to written materials
  • produce written materials
  • prepare and make a presentation to a group
  • take part in discussions and work collectively

Research project

  • project planning
  • research skills
  • presenting a project

Working with figures

  • statistical and mathematical techniques to collect and record data
  • sources of data
  • presenting numerical information

Information communication technology

  • prepare and input data
  • display and present information
  • present data
  • use database, word processing and spreadsheet applications

What are the entry requirements?

Union representatives who wish to take this course should have:

previously attended the TUC Union Representatives Stage 1 and Stepping Up - the advanced course for union representatives; or
obtained 30 NOCN credits, with a minimum of 15 credits at Level 2; or
obtained a suitable equivalent to the two categories above through their own union's courses or from elsewhere.
Please note all applicants to the online course will be required to complete a second stage application form detailing the knowledge and experience that they have gained as a trade union rep. This will be used by tutors to assess applicants' suitability for the course.

What qualifications will be awarded?

The TUC will award its Diploma if participants complete all seven modules and gain 48 credits at level 2 for level 2 diploma. 

Learners who do not achieve the above will be awarded NOCN certification for units achieved. All learners completing the course will receive a TUC certificate of attendance.

Can I get time off to learn?

Union representatives who wish to attend TUC courses in working time should first ask their employer for time off with pay. The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 give accredited union and safety representatives a legal right to reasonable time off with pay to attend courses approved by the TUC or their union. Guidance towards establishing what constitutes reasonable time off can be found in the ACAS Code of Practice.

Representatives who find difficulty in obtaining paid time off to attend TUC courses should seek assistance from their senior union representative or full time union officer.

Can I get time off for online courses?

Online learning should not be seen as an alternative to paid release from work. The law still applies, whether learning takes place away from work or in work, at a workstation or in a company learning centre.

How much is the course?

There are no course fee for union reps from TUC affiliated unions.

Further information

If you require any further information about this course, please contact: TUC Education Online e: tuceducationhelp@tuc.org.uk t: 0207 467 1289.

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