There is no such thing as employment law

What! But don’t you teach it?

Employment Law Mosaic

It is true that there are lots of laws that impact upon the employment relationship; but the relationship is dynamic and subject to a vast array of laws that are forever coming, going and changing. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of any area of law that does not impact, in some way, upon the employment relationship.

Usually when we commence an employment law unit, we start by looking at the thing we call the “Employment Law Mosaic”. It is simply a list of different areas of law that we think  impact upon the employment relationship in some way and with which, as practitioners, we need (try) to be familiar.

How many areas of law listed on the blackboard do you think relate to the employment relationship? Are there any that don’t? Can you think of any others?


Can we set off the over-payments?

Me:  Probably not.

Audience: (Pugnaciously) But our contracts say we can!

Me:  Yeah, they do. Funny that. Probably not!

Audience: But why?

Me: Because you can’t usually raise a contractual set off against a statutory entitlement.

Audience: Oh!…. What?

Alarm bells ring to signal serious legal issue. Check out the discussion In Chambers…


“Permanent placement …

… but who has a permanent job any more? “

It’s been a long time since employers were offering lifetime jobs… or work seekers were looking for them! Nevertheless, recruiters continue to talk about their “permanent placement roles” and their” permanent placement desks”, when what they’re really talking about is a type of placement that is something other than on-hire. It could be for a temporary, part tine or even casual job – but it’s very rarely “permanent”.

Perhaps “direct engagement”, as opposed to on-hire engagement, gets closer to the mark … but that’s a whole other story!


7 Stupid Things Spammers Say … Usually In Small Print

A rant from 2013 but still worth repeating!


Set your spam filters folks!  I’ve just had an email forwarded to me and I’m offended by its viral potential, its presumption and by the stupidity of what appears in its small print footer.  Now to be kind, it’s probably not entirely the fault of the company that was responsible for disseminating this piece of mischief; but rather that of the misguided intelligence who drafted it, thinking that he/she/it was drafting some sort of “legal notice”.  But that’s enough of being kind. This is what it says; and this is my reply. Continue reading