Should employment law be taught to school children?
This was the interesting issue raised by Malcolm Mackay of United Employment Lawyers, a Scottish firm, a couple of months ago. He was very much of the opinion that it should – and I have to say, I agree with him. But then, as an employment lawyer, you would expect me to wouldn’t you!
In proposing that employment law be taught in the fifth and sixth years of school, (when students are 15 – 17), Mr Mackay explained that face-to-face experience with a real-life employment law practitioner would be time well spent for most young people. The training would also explain to young people starting out in employment:
- how employment legislation has secured their rights;
- the impact of employment law on everyday life;
- the duties and responsibilities of being an employee (and an employer);
- what to consider when reviewing a contract of employment (and the benefit of getting a parent/guardian to look over its terms);
- what cover is provided in different types of jobs for personal injury; and
- what’s involved in setting up your own business – and the benefit of professional support and advice.
Most people will work in paid employment at some point in their adult life - if not all of it. Basic understanding of the above would give teenagers a better start on their path.
An example in Northern Ireland
Mr Mackay referred to a programme being run in Northern Ireland: the legal education schools programme which “ links law firms, in-house legal teams and chambers with post-primary schools to increase young people’s awareness and understanding of the law.”
For more information on employment law issues, contact Susan Mayall on 0161 684 6948 or make an enquiry.
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