Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 1 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Marilyn Pittard



This unit analyses the contemporary employment and labour law issues relating to the modern workplace in the electronic era.

This unit covers the following topics:

  • The impact of the new electronic workplace on the nature of work and the traditional legal categories of worker, including the employee/contractor distinction.
  • Use of social media sites, eg, 'facebook', and various formal and informal internet sites for background checks in recruitment and discipline of employees.
  • The burgeoning of consultants, 'homework' and flexible employment arrangements and their significance.
  • Rights and responsibilities of employer and employee in a workplace transformed by new technology and electronic means and impact of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) on right to flexible employment and working from home.
  • Changed employment rights and duties in the new contractual arrangements, including redundancy, because of the introduction of new technology, and impact of modern awards and enterprise agreements.
  • Privacy legislation and its significance in relation to the electronic workplace.
  • Employment practices and policy about emails and use of internet and the relevance of unfair dismissal laws and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) in enforcing internet employment policy.
  • Electronic surveillance of employees and the workplace, including via social media sites, and rights and duties of employers and workers and the 'control' of employees' private lives.
  • Sexual harassment through the internet, the application of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and the impact of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic).
  • Occupational health and safety duties and rights in an electronic workplace.


The unit aims to:

  1. Introduce students to, and examine the legal principles relevant to, the modern workplace which has been affected by changes in information technology and electronic methods of communication.
  2. Provide an in-depth understanding of the contemporary employment and labour law issues pertaining to the workplace in the modern electronic era and to provide a forum for critiques of these issues.
  3. Enable students to resolve problems pertaining to these issues and to be aware of issues relating to law reform.


Class participation with written report (1,000 words): 15%
Take home exam (1,500 words): 20%
Research assignment (5,000 words): 65%
Research assignment (6,500 words): 85%
(instead of take home exam and assignment, where appropriate and with the prior approval of the lecturer).

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements).