Table of Contents
Business Law is one of the most important requisites for legal conduct of business. Based on the needs and requirements of contemporary businesses, the legal frameworks, and legislative procedures are changed and aligned to suit the needs of the business (Cheeseman and Garvey, 2014). It is also seen that business law also changes as per the constitutional permissions of different countries, despite the fact that the needs of the business laws remain primarily the same.
This paper, which has been segregated into four sections, aims to present an understanding of the application of business law to business conduct in companies. Furthermore, business law as applied to business operations and decision making, has been presented through discursive questions and case studies.
The structure of the English Legal System is hierarchical in nature and the decision of the higher court remains binding on the lower courts. As identified by, Cownie, et.al., (2013), this is also called the Doctrine of Precedent and is also synonymous with the Latin term, “Stare Decisis” which refers to the common presumption of letting the decisions stand. With the undisputed authority of the Supreme Court, which is formally called the House of Lords, this Doctrine of Precedent is central to the English legal System. Also, while the Supreme Court is considered to be the highest English Court, it is identified by, Slapper and Kelly, (2013) that decisions which are made in the European Courts are mandatory for acceptance by all UK courts based on the European Communities Act of 1972.
Based on the nature of the decisions to be taken which may are segregated a Criminal and Civil in nature, the further segregation also hierarchical in nature. However, the Court of Appeal remains common to the criminal and civil cases following which the Crown Court has authority in terms of Criminal cases where as High Court of Justice has the power to decide upon the Civil Cases. Magistrate courts and County Courts are the first line of justice and most easily accessible to the people (Gillespie, 2013).
All the organizations need to adhere with the four major sources of Laws in UK. Primarily identified as Legislation, Common Law, European Union Law and European Convention of Human Rights, there remains no single document which would contain all the Laws of UK (Barkan, et.al., 2015). A brief of the different sources of Law have been given as presented below:
|Source of law||Application|
|Legislation||Such laws are formed by legislatures and Acts of Parliament.|
|Common Law||The legal system applied to England and Wales is Common Law and hence the decisions of Appellate courts are a part of law formed|
|European Union Laws||For the time that UK was a part of the European Union, the EU laws took precedence as compared to UK laws|
|European Convention on Human Rights||Being a Member of, Council of Europe, UK is Signatory to ECHR and hence, based on the Human Rights Act of 1998, all courts are mandated to protect human rights|
The agenda of the government is informed by the general elections and as evaluated by, (), the winning political party forms the government. Decision making and law making in UK may be either relaxed or applied to a case of emergency. As observed by, Martin and Frost, (2017), the role of the government is the most crucial with respect to the law making in most of the countries. Apart from the fact that the government of UK remains a representative for the people, most of the laws which are passed by the parliament are a result of the proposals which have been presented by the Government of UK.
The role of the government is further evaluated through the fact that there are different proposals which are made and each of the proposals made by the government aims to address the societal and pubic problems. Also, most of the laws unless in cases of emergency are made over a longer period of time and regular interventions of the government are required. Hence, in concurrence with the opinions of, Wilson, et.al., (2014), it may be stated that law making is one of the functions of the parliament which is facilitated by the government.
The effectiveness of the English Legal system with respect to the reforms can be identified with the fact that the recent reforms have made the legal services and system more accessible for criminal and civil cases and specific agencies have been designated to cater to the needs of organizational success as well. Some of the recent reforms which have enhanced the effectiveness of the English legal system are:
Despite the fact that the English legal system remains one of the most efficient systems globally, it is seen that there are various issues which have been identified with the development of the system. Apart from lack of use of technology and the role of ICT, the biases of the system towards the judiciary and not for the common good of the people have been criticised. In fact, most of the recent reforms have been aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the British Legal System (Rembar, 2015).
Employment of an individual, irrespective of the nature and type of employment attracts various responsibilities which have to be fulfilled by the employers and such responsibilities may lie towards the employees majorly but also impact the external business environment as well. An analysis of the employers’ legal obligations towards the employees based on different factors such as Occupational health and safety, harassment and Discrimination among others are important as far as Impact of Law on the businesses is concerned. The legal obligations refer to the legal mandates which are to be followed and various legal obligations of the employers towards the employees are as given below:
|Scenario||Employers Legal Obligation||Laws and Acts|
|Occupational health and safety||– It is important to ensure that the health and safety of the employee at work is not compromised (Walsh, 2015)
– Risk assessment for the health and safety of employees is required
– Harm and workplace risks to be mitigated
– Training and development of employees for health and safety
– Health and safety check-ups to be conducted
|Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974|
|Compensation of workers||– Employers are obligated to pay compensation to employees and their families in cases of injuries, falls and accidents at workplace.
– Apart from negligence of the employer, carelessness of the employers is also considered
|Workers Compensation Act 1979 (Rembar, 2015)|
|Harassment||– It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that none of the employees is harassed at workplace||Protection from Harassment Act 1997|
|– Based on this act, all employees irrespective of their social and cultural orientations should be provided equal opportunities at work and given a fair chance to perform.||Equality Act, 2010,
Equal Pay Act, 1970
Sex Discrimination Act, 1975 (Cowley, 2015)
Some of the basic observations which can be made through this case study are as given below:
Health and Safety is one of the most important aspects of Business law and as per the health and safety act, it is mandated for the employers to provide, a safe working environment for the employees. In this regard, the common law established that it is the prime duty of the employer to protect the employees from workplace injuries and accidents. Some of the main postulated of this law reviewed by, Knapp, et.al., (2016), are as given below:
Failure of the employer to cater to the health and safety needs of the employee can lead to civil law right of the employee to sue the employer for compensation against negligence. On the other hand, based on the observations of the contract law made, it is seen that the employment contract entails the employee to the compensation in terms of workplace accidents and injuries and hence in this case, the employee is liable for compensation for the medical expenses incurred.
Impacts of legislations, and regulations which respect to the scenario presented above show that the employee has been able to prove the workplace injury and the fact that understaffing and lack of presence of the team leader has been identified, it is ascertained that the cause of the accident was the water leak. This is a prime breach of the workplace safety act where in faulty devices were being used. And hence the case remains in favour of the employee (Tombs and Whyte, 2013).
The following observations can be made with respect to the case provided:
In order to offer advice to Calvin about Unfair and Wrongful dismissal protection, it is necessary to identify the difference between unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal. As studied by, Howe, (2016), a wrongful dismissal is related with the breach in the contract and in this case only the contractual obligations of the employer are considered. There is no specified period of employment which is required and such dismissals are generally made without a notice period to be offered. In this case, the compensation of the number of days of the notice period is offered to the employees.
On the other hand, as argued by, Davidov and Eshet, (2015), it is seen that the right to be dismissed unfairly is a statutory right and not contractual which means that the reason for dismissal determines the fairness or unfairness of the dismissal. A minimum of two years of employment is a must while making such claims. Based on the case findings of, Don-Pevi v Royal Mail Group Ltd UKEAT/0232/15/DA it is seen that legal conditions for wrongful and unfair dismissals are different (Sanders, 2015).
It is the Fair Works Ombudsman which decided upon the unfair dismissal cases and in this case, it is seen that the case identified refers to the harsh, unexplained and non- justified allegation which has been made against Calvin. Being an employee for four years, and based on the case findings of, Clarke v BET plc  IRLR 348, it is seen that this case can be tried as a case of unfair dismissal (Rogers and Richmond, 2016). Another case finding which can contribute to the better understanding of this case is the Bridgen v American Express Bank Ltd  IRLR 94, where in the unfair dismissal based on grounds of suspicion was rejected and hence Calvin should also be offered a compensation for the emotional trauma caused (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 2015).
The Legal solution to this problem is that Calvin can claim Unfair dismissal and by filling a form and submitting a request to the Fair Work ombudsman, the issue can be legalised and solved.
The positive impacts of this solution include the fact that Calvin would be awarded the legal compensation for the same and the repetition of such instances would be stopped. However, a negative impact would also be the negative branding of the fashion house and personal rivalry which may develop.
Alternative legal advice in this case, would refer to the quiet response and accepting the termination. However, this would impact the career graph for Calvin.
The observations made in this case which are relevant for the advice are as given below:
It is important to note in this case scenario, that there remain various implied terms which exist between the parties entering a contract (Chen, 2016). In this case, it is seen that Dan agreed to the fact that no insurance claim has been made in the past 2 years and this refers to misrepresentation of facts which leave the contract nullified and hence the insurance company is not liable to pay Dan since wrong information was supplied.
It is hence advised to Dan that he should not adopt a legal resource since the claim made would not stand in the court of law.
The positive impacts of the solution offered are that Dan is at fault and this would also conceal the fact that wrongful information has been provided to the insurance company. On the other hand, a drawback of this solution offered is that Dan would have to bear the costs which are incurred.
An alternative advice would be to claim the insurance and hence engage in legal processes. However, by engaging in this process, it is seen that Dan’s mistake can be proven and a reverse compensation for misrepresenting the facts in an obligatory contract can be applied.
One of the most common ways of resolving the disputes is through settlements made in court. However, there also exists a system where in such settlements are made outside courts through voluntary negotiations and solutions. This is the system of Alternative Dispute resolution process also called ADR (Blake, et.al., 2016).
Some of the most commonly applied forms of ADR in UK are adjudication, Conciliation, mediation and arbitration.
The biggest benefit of applying ADR was identified by, Nolan-Haley, (2013), who stated that through this method the settlement of the civil cases, can be done as per the mutual understanding and comfort of the parties involved. However, the limitation of this method, remains the fact through this definition, the voluntary aspect of the dispute settlement is largely ignored. Mostly used by insurance companies, construction and maritime companies, the extensive use of ADR has been suited to the needs of employers and client settlements. A key limitation is that this method is not suitable for handling criminal cases which are ideally dealt by the State.
Owing to the fact that Arbitration and mediation are the most commonly used methods, the use of adjudication has been limited so far but has been witnessing an increase in the recent years since it allows rapid and cheaper solutions.
The alternative legal solution which can be recommended for the case scenario which has been presented in this case is Arbitration. The other two methods which can be used are as given below:
Hence, based on the comparative analysis presented above, it is seen that Arbitration remains the most important method of alternative dispute settlement which can be used. This is also due to the following benefits:
Deriving a contrast between the two different recommendations which can be made, it is seen that the process of arbitration would be more suitable as compared to the mediation and adjudication since in this case, the companies wish to continue working and only aim to resolve the issues. Mediation and Adjudication may create the dissatisfaction which would hamper the working relationship as a whole. And since this process remains consensual, it is seen that implementing the decisions of arbitration is easier as compared with other two methods which have been discussed.
In this case, breach of contract can be the legal recourse which can be adopted. However, in this case a negotiation may entail which can help in saving the working relationship. The fact remains that a judicial judgement would hamper the working relationship and may lead to decisions framed which may prove to be major losses for the parties involved. Hence, raising a claim in court based on contract law remains an alternative solution which can be used.
Apart from discussing the different English laws and statutes, this paper has also successfully provided a brief introduction of the structure of the English Legal System and the importance of business law and its relative impacts has been assessed in this paper. Through the different case scenarios which have been projected, legal information has been understood in accordance with the meaning and implication of unfair and wrongful dismissals. Furthermore, through the case study of the insurance claims, the importance of contract laws was stressed upon. In addition to the above said, this paper also helped in identifying the aspects of health and safety at work and stressed on the manner in which alternative methods of solving the disputes can be effective in handling and resolving issues at work.
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