LAW5352 - Electronic workplace law - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Professor Marilyn Pittard Research ProfileResearch Profile (

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Term 4 2018 (On-campus)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7279


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, the burgeoning of consultants, 'homework' and flexible employment arrangements and their significance.
  • Use of social media sites, eg, 'facebook', and formal and informal internet sites for background checks in recruitment and discipline of employees.
  • Rights and responsibilities of employers and employees in a workplace transformed by new technology and electronic means and impact of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) on right to flexible work 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 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.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to legal principles relevant to the modern workplace which has been affected by changes in information technology and electronic methods of communication, with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to rights and duties of employers and employees in the modern electronic workplace, including surveillance and privacy
  • Conduct research in law relating to the electronic workplace based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to 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.


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).

Workload requirements

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