Law and the Worker


The module aims to provide students with a knowledge and an appreciation of trade union law, industrial relations law and employment law, from its sources of origin to its application within and beyond the workplace. This module will examine the strengths and weaknesses of employment law and encourage the students to examine whether or not the expansion of employment legislation furthers effective worker’s rights and/or if this may be better achieved through trade union organisation.

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical sources and development of Irish Law
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the laws governing the employment relationship, from the commencement of employment through to termination.
  • Distinguish between legal and industrial relations processes and understand the role of the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court in assisting in the resolution of disputes/complaints.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the political and social influences on the development of Labour Law in Ireland, and to be able to contribute to the discussion on developing the practice and policies of Trade Unions.


Wallace, J., Gunnigle, P., McMahon, M., & O’Sullivan, M., Industrial Relations in Ireland, 2013, 4th Edition, Dublin:Gill & Macmillan [ISBN: 978 07171 4381 8]

Here’s something you might be asked to do in an assignment in this module:

Briefly summarise the annual leave and rest period provisions contained in the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997

This is a core module in the Trade Union Studies Certificate programme worth 10 credits. It will be offered once every two years in each fixed location either by way of ten 3-hour night classes; 5 full day classes or a combination of each.