Essential Employment Law

Understanding employment law is an absolute necessity for first line managers because they are becoming increasingly involved in employment contracts and disciplinary/grievance procedures. This accredited, six-week course examines employment law as a management issue for the human services and non-profit sector

Completing the course will provide you with detailed knowledge of:

  • The formal legislative framework and processes governing employment in the sector
  • The purpose and procedural practices of the Unfair Dismissals Acts (1977-2007) and their role in determining employer/employee practice
  • The central importance of Equality legislation in human services and non-profit organisations
  • Employment contracts, disciplinary and grievance procedures as a first line manager specific issue
  • The legislative context of the recruitment and selection process
  • Training as a first line management issue

Successful completion of the course should lead to improved better Employment practice, encourage the quality agenda and contribute towards improved organisational excellence for you and your team.

At a Glance

  • Audience First line supervisors/managers in the human services/non-profit sector
  • FormatBlended
  • Duration6 weeks
  • Award Certificate in Employment Law
  • Award Type QQI HET Award
  • Level on NFQ6 (10 Credits)
  • Apply byApril 24th, 2019
  • Online Introductory ModuleApril 29th, 2019
  • Start DateMay 6th, 2019
  • Workshop DateMay 13th, 2019 (Dublin)
  • Assignment Submission DateJune 9th, 2019
  • Online ExamJune 10th, 2019 (Dual Assessment)
  • Duration 6 Weeks
  • Fees€395

Continue to Application Centre

Who Is This Course For?

The course is for first line supervisors and managers who need to understand employment law in Ireland and want to participate in in an accredited programme developed specifically for the human services and non-profit sector.

It is particularly suitable for people engaged in continuing professional development. Upon successful completion, you will receive 10 educational credits towards a Level 6 Applied Management award.

Course Details

Learning Objectives

After successfully completing the course you should be able to:

  • Identify and discuss the three sources of Irish Law that determine the legislative and contractual context in which employment law operates
  • Describe the work of the primary institutions of labour law and the main activities of the Circuit and High Court
  • Understand what constitutes good practice in respect to managing and implementing disciplinary procedures
  • Describe in detail the process of recruiting employees from induction though to the completion of a probationary period
  • Appreciate the importance of ‘Induction Training’ for new recruits


Unit 1: An Introduction to Employment Law

  • Sources of Law – The Constitution, Statutes & Common Law
  • Body of Employment Legislation
  • Employment Law Institutions
  • Employment Appeals Tribunal
  • Labour Relations Commission
  • Rights Commissioner
  • The Labour, Circuit & High Courts
  • Workplace Relations Reform

Unit 2: Unfair Dismissals Acts – 1977–2007

  • Unfair Dismissals Acts: Qualifying to Bring a Claim
  • Justifying the Dismissal
  • The Requirement to Act Fairly
  • Constructive Dismissal
  • Fixed Term/Specific Purpose Contracts
  • Non-Qualification under Legislation
  • Claimant’s Application Procedure
  • Key Note on Unfair Dismissals Acts
  • Reform of the States Workplace Relations

Unit 3: Equality, Health & Safety

  • The Employment Equality Act, 1998 – 2011
  • The Equal Status Act 2000-2012
  • What is Discrimination? Rules & Redress
  • The Role of the Equality Tribunal
  • Common Equality Issues in the Workplace
  • The Importance of Health & Safety Legislation & Practice
  • The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act, 2005
  • (General application) Regulations Act, 2007
  • Other Legislation
  • Risk Assessment & the Safety Statement
  • Risk Assessment Guidelines for the Effective Manager
  • Safety Management
  • Measuring & Reviewing Organisational Performance
  • Bullying & Harassment in the Workplace
  • Workplace Stress

Unit 4: Contracts, Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures

  • Employment Contracts – Principles & Elements
  • Contract “of” Service/Contract “for” Service
  • Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures
  • Disciplinary Policy & Practice
  • Grievance Policy & Practice

Unit 5: Recruitment & Selection

  • The Recruitment & Selection Process
  • HR Planning
  • Job Analysis – Duties, Responsibilities & Specification
  • Recruitment – Sources & Methods
  • Selection – The Interview Process
  • Induction
  • The Probation Period

Unit 6: Training & Development

  • Functions of Training
  • Who is Responsible for Training?
  • Required Skills
  • Training Policy
  • Training Courses
  • Training in Practice
    • Identifying Training Needs
    • Organising & Implementing Training
    • Coaching & Mentoring
  • Induction Training


Successful completion is dependent on undertaking an online examination and completing a written assessment. The former will test your knowledge of the course learning materials. The latter will help evaluate how well you can apply this knowledge in your workplace. This will allow you explore the practical implications of employment legislation in an environment where you have the support of expert tutors and professional colleagues who are likely to be facing the same issues as you are.

Taking the Course

The course uses a ‘blended’ approach which combines online learning, virtual tutorials and face-to face workshops.

Our online learning materials are explicitly designed to accommodate the pressures that come with trying to balance work, life and learning. They make it possible to build study time around your work schedule. These are accessible through our learning centre which provides a platform for you to study, collaborate and communicate with your fellow learners. Regular online tutorials will expand your knowledge of the topic and answer any questions you have as you study.

Each workshop focuses on extending your understanding of the subject matter and helping you apply it in your working practice. The one-day session will be led by a subject matter expert who also has extensive experience in providing coaching/training to people working in the human services and non-profit sector.

Discussion, collaboration and the sharing of experiences are actively encouraged in order for the workshop to achieve one of its primary goals:

  • Facilitating the application of knowledge and skills acquired during the course to address real world challenges in a practical and effective manner.

Underpinning all of this is our learning community. This is made up of tutors who have extensive first-line experience, learning support staff who understand the human challenges people can face when attending college and our learners who are defined by their commitment to supporting each other.

We believe this creates a learning experience that is unique to the Open Training College, one that meets the specific requirements of people working in our sector and improves the quality of service our users receive. This is known as the Supported Open Learning Model. You can read more about it here.

The Learning Experience

The Tutor’s View – Ray Lynch

Knowing the formal and legal aspects of employment law, ensures that the manager works from a very definite, broad and informed foundation. Apart from contributing to general good employment practice, adopting this professional stance and attitude also contributes to the quality agenda.

The Student View – Cillian Sparks, Key Worker and Trainer, Prosper Fingal

It’s an area that can be quite daunting but this course really helped to clarify the major issues involved. The tutor support was outstanding during the course and going through the process of applying the learning to my specific role within my organisation, was very beneficial


The course is a QQI certified Level 6 Award. Successful participants will be awarded a Certificate in Essential Employment Law. Successful participants will hold 10 credits towards the Certificate in Applied Management (Human services).

Next Steps

Dates & Duration

The next course starts on  Monday, May 6th, 2019. It runs for 6 weeks.

  • Application deadline: Wednesday, April 24th, 2019
  • Online Preparation Module: Monday, April 29th, 2019
  • EEL Module Commencement: Monday, May 6th, 2019 (online)
  • EELWorkshop Date: Monday, May 13th, 2019 in Dublin
  • EEL Assignment Submission: Sunday,  June 9th, 2019
  • EEL Online Exam: Monday, June 10th, 2019 (Dual Assessment)


The course costs €395 to attend.

Booking a Place

You can apply by visiting the Online Application Centre

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