Business law also known as commercial law is a broad area which is used to understand and run any business smoothly. These have a huge significance within the organization as they help in performing several business activities in it. Business laws establish the rules that all businesses should follow. These can include state and federal laws as well as administrative regulations. This helps in dealing with the issues related to private and public law both. Present report will focus on the topics likes role of government in law making procedure and the way statutory and commons laws are implemented in the justice courts and different sources of UK law. It will also emphasize on the impact of different regulations on a business like health and safety, equal opportunities and general data protection regulations. This report also includes legal solutions which can help a firm to resolve their issues and conflicts legally with respect to UK business law. Main aim of this report is to identify legislation and its significance as well as impact on the business organization.
a) Meaning of the statement of “Parliament is sovereign” and Various sources of UK Law
State Opening of Parliament is a process which takes place every year in month of October or November in which a speech is given by the Queen which announces program for legislation in parliament in the 'House of Lords' chamber in front of both 'Houses of Parliament' which commonly states that “Parliament is sovereign”. It is basically a principle of the UK constitution. It helps to make it supreme legal authority in the United Kingdom which can make or break any law in UK. It acts as the most important part of UK constitution and has to be followed very carefully by everyone (Basedow, 2017). State Opening demonstrates governance of the United Kingdom. UK parliament has several functions which are very important such as:
- It can make laws concerning anything.
- They can bind a future parliament, i.e., laws made by them that cannot be changed or reversed by them are not allowed.
- A valid Act of Parliament cannot be questioned by the court. They are the supreme lawmaker.
Act of parliament is also known as primary legislation which is passed by them. It is officially accepted by the parliament. All laws made in this program have to be signed by the Queen (Beatty, Samuelson, and Abril, 2018).
Sources of UK Law :
United Kingdom law or the most commonly known as English law also has various sources, like legislation, common (case) law and EU and human rights law which is explained as below :
- Legislation Law : Legislation created by Parliament starts as a Bill. It consists of basically two types of statutory laws, i.e., primary and secondary. In primary regulations, it is made by the assembly members which include public acts, local and personal act, Privy Council, etc (Besson and d'Aspremont, 2017). Whereas in secondary regulation it is created by primary legislative authorities which includes in it the sub ordinate laws.
- Common (Case) Law : This is also an important part in the making of law. It was created by William in the 12th century. It helps the courts to construct laws in a way in which statutes are interpreted. They have the power to make any decision on a particular case (Explain the sources of English law, 2014).
- EU (European Union) Law : Another source of law is originated from the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU). These are related to the civil legislation laws. UK is following this EU laws system These legal systems help to conduct the operations smoothly. European law generally deals with cases like employment or contract laws.
- Human Rights Law : They are also important to create the law. Human Rights Act 1998 became domestic law to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights. They have a huge influence on the making of law process in UK. These laws help people to better understand their rights.
- Statutory laws : These play an important role in the making process of law in legislation. It is one of the most important parts of law which is regulated by UK parliament. It includes law related with insurance, contract, health and safety, etc. Since seventeenth century, it has become the common source of law reform (Clarkson, Miller and Cross, 2014).
b) Role of government in law making process
Government plays an important role in the making of law process in various fields, such as legislation, regulation, etc. Parliament has power to make new norms and alter existing regulations in the legal system. To operate the business operations smoothly, there are various legislative laws which can be used by them. Government helps to focus on the systematic procedure in development of any law in parliament. In making laws, higher authorities conduct a meeting in which they discuss and debate before passing any law. Final decision taken by the parliament is based on that discussion (Daly, Hughes and Armstrong, 2017). The two houses of parliament, i.e., House of Lords and House of Common, have a power that they can pass any bill and law related to particular situation. If these authorities finds any issues in the law, they can make appropriate changes in that law for protecting rights of people. Without having final approval of the government authorities, no new law can be passed and no amendment in the existing legislation can be done.
Application of statutory and common law in the justice courts
Application of common or case law in justice courts plays an important role in continuous reforming structure of the court. This process involves the legal evidences through which judge will pass his judgment for that case. There are chances when judges have to take the help of EU legislation to make a fair judgment. Application of statutory law in the justice court is an important task. Statutory law is the term which is used to define written laws that usually come under legislative body (Davidson, Forsythe and Knowles, 2015). It follows process of legislation in court. In this process, a bill is proposed in the legislature and a voting process is conducted. Based on that voting, judge passes his final decision in the court. All statutes made in this process are also recorded or codified in writing and published for future records. Statutory law is usually very effective. Statutes made in the court can be overturned by a later legislative enactment or if found unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction (Statutory Law, 2018).
Impact of various Regulations on Business
It is very important for any business to have proper functioning to run their business smoothly. For this, they can apply various rules and regulations in their system. According to the given case, implications and impacts of various regulations in JPM Publishing on their business are explained as below:
Implications and impacts of Health and Safety Regulations: The main aim of this law in business is to ensure the safety and health issues of employees working infirm. It is very useful to maintain a healthy environment in the organization. They should also ensure that they are feeling safe and secure while working with the firm. In Health, Safety and Welfare Regulation Act 1999, JPM Publishing will have to ensure the safety of their employees which can include facility of medical care if needed (Fenwick and Wrbka, 2018). All these responsibilities have to be managed by JPM Publishing if they implement this regulation in their system as it can have a huge negative impact that can affect their business. According to The Workplace Regulation of 1992, which is related to the health, safety and welfare of the employees who work in the organization, includes various laws and regulation, such as,
- The company should provide proper lighting, heating, ventilation and workspace and keep them in a clean condition for their use,
- They should provide facilities, including toilets, washing facilities, and refreshment,
- The company should ensure safe passageways which is to prevent slipping and tripping hazards in the company.
According to The management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999, states that,
- Company should make classification of risk for the health and safety issues of the employees at workforce,
- They should appoint experts to deal with these issues related to health and safety of their workers,
- They should also provide training and classes to their employees to deal with such type of issues,
- A written health and safety policy should be implemented in the system.
Implementing all these regulations in the system will help JPM Publication to improve their working and increase business as well (Glover and Doss, 2017). It will also help them gain confidence from their workers which can be a positive aspect for them. Ensuring the safety and health of their employees is a good step for them.
Implications and impacts of Equal Opportunities Regulations: This law helps the employees of organization to get equal opportunities. There are various laws and acts which can come under this, such as, Equal Pay Act, 1963, which states that all the workers whether they are men or women will perform equal work in the organization. There will no sex based wage discrimination. According to Disabilities Act, 1990, it gives a chance to disabled people to work without any discrimination at the workplace (Hutson, 2017). This will help them to maintain their dignity and self-respect. By implementing this regulation, JPM Publishing can improve the working environment and also, they can make their business more effective and maintain diversity within organization. This regulation can also help them in various processes like recruitment and selection, promotion and performance appraisal by which organization can maintain diversity among workforce.
According to The Equality Act 2010, it prohibits discrimination of their employees in company based on any of reason, such as, gender, age, race, religion, disability, etc. If JPM Publishing implement these laws, it can help them to protect their employees in all different aspects of employment in the company (Kopp, 2018). It is very important for them to understand the importance of these laws in the organization. Discrimination in the company can occur in various ways, such as,
- Direct discrimination: In this type of discrimination, in which one employee is treated more favorably by the management team as compared to others. This can give rise to demotivate their employees which can ultimately affect their process.
- Indirect discrimination: This type of discrimination is done by the company indirectly without getting known by their employees. This can have a huge impact on the employee and on their confidence as well which can affect the whole organization.
- Discrimination by Association: This is a type of discrimination which is associated with one employee working in the company because he knows some higher authority in the company which gives him this benefit (Equal Opportunities - Equality Legislation, 2014).
- Harassment: This process is known as unwanted conduct which can occur in organization due to any reason, for example, offending someone's dignity at work place or by creating an offensive environment for people who are working with the company.
There will be a huge impact on JPM Publishing company if they implement this regulation in their business. It will help them to make their employees feel safe and secure. And provide them equal opportunities regardless of any discrimination in them. It will help them to enhance their business reputation in the market (Mabbett, 2017).
Implications and impacts of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) : This can be very useful for JPM Publishing if they implement this regulation in their system. This will help them to protect their as well as its employee’s data. This regulation helps to transport personal data outside the EU (European Union) and EEA (European economic area) areas. General Data Protection Regulation includes various factors in it such as it helps to provide data breach notification which will help JPM Publishing to handle the transferring of their data from one place to another. There are various policies which come under this regulation like:
- Encryption Policy : This policy can be used by the company which cover factors which includes electronic devices like computers. This will help them to protect their data from being misused.
- Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) : It is a process which is company can use to for accessing a corporate network or the Internet. These policies are also useful to protect the security of their data from virus infection in their system.
- Password Policy : A password policy is a set of rules designed to enhance computer security by encouraging users to employ strong passwords and use them properly.
- Data Processing Policy : These policies are used to protect data of a company. It can be very useful for them if they implement this policy into their system.
All these policies has a huge advantage if JPM Publishing implements this General Data Protection Regulation in their system, then it will help them to protect their data from breaching and will ensure the privacy of their document (Mann and Roberts, 2015)s. All the regulations will be beneficial for them if they apply this as it will enhance their business and will also help in building a strong relationship and trust with their employees.
a) Appropriate legal advice based on case law or statutes
i) Legal advice to Champion Ltd
According to the given scenario, Champion Ltd which is a London-based company was given with payment to move their business from North London as there will be development of a new stadium by a premier league club. After moving their business, they suffered financial crisis due to a decrease in their customer rate. Champion Ltd also defaulted on numerous occasions to honor its payment to bank for loans taken during the process of relocation and to other creditors as well. Now, those creditors are threatening them that they will apply to the courts for ‘winding up petition’. According to the legal laws, it is legal that they can apply for this petition in the court for which Champion Ltd has to wind up their business (Beatty, Samuelson and Abril, 2018).
It is legal that creditors can apply for a winding up petition (WUP) against a company that owes them money. According to this law, if company owes £750 or more than that then the creditor can issue a petition in court against company. This petition will have a hearing date endorsed on it and then must be served at registered office of company. It will then be advertised in The Gazette, after a period (How does the winding up petition process work?, 2018).
Liquidation of company is a process which is used to wind up their business either by selling all their assets and convert it into cash to pay the organization's unsecured creditors or it can also be done by lending their business to some other parties who are interested in it. These processes are initiated by creditors or shareholder after getting permission from the court legally. For Champion Ltd, it is compulsory to wind up the business and clear all the issues related to creditors as they are legally correct (Miller, 2015). As legal advice to Champion Ltd., it will be very useful for company if they do this. They can choose any of these given processes for liquidation of their business. For example:
- Creditor Voluntary Liquidation (CVL): A creditors' voluntary liquidation (CVL) is a process which is used by company's directors choose to voluntarily bring the business to an end by appointing a licensed insolvency practitioner as their liquidator to liquidate all their assets. It can be a great choice for Champion ltd to choose as it will be easy for them as it has so much of advantages like for example, this can help them in getting a good debt. Any legal action against company will be stopped if they liquidate their business by choosing this method. It involves relatively low costs, etc. (Advantages and Disadvantages of Company Liquidation, 2016).
Following is the systematic procedure of liquidation process for Champion Ltd which they can opt for winding up their business:
- In the first step, as a liquidator, an insolvency practitioner is appointed by company.
- After this step, organizations' assets will be assessed and realized.
- Once all their assets are being assessed and realized by them, creditors are paid their amount.
- After that, all their shareholders will get surplus cash.
- In the final step, organization is finally dissolved and struck off the registrar of organizations.
- 2. Compulsory Liquidation: This is a process which is used to wind up any business. It is a court-based process in which the assets of a firm are realized and distributed to company's creditors. This process starts with filling a petition in the court by company. After that, the judge will decide whether it is appropriate to make a winding up order or not. This process is completely based on the court's procedures. The most common reason in compulsory liquidation process is insolvent. All these processes come under Insolvency Act, 1986 and The Insolvency Rule, 2016 (Compulsory liquidation: a quick guide, 2018).
ii) Legal advice to Amber Ltd.
According to the given case which states that Mr. Anderson was the CEO of Amber Ltd that manages to access all the highly confidential information of the company. As per the written agreement made with Amber Ltd., he has to inform 12 months prior by either side to terminate. Now that, Beta Ltd, their competitor has offered Mr. Anderson post of CEO of their company, which he accepted by giving his resignation notice to Amber Ltd. in April 2016 and he stopped working for them by the end of May 2016 claiming that this job was not meeting his expectations (Miller, 2015). Now Amber Ltd is seeking an injunction to prevent Mr Anderson from commencing any employment with Beta Ltd. or any other competitor and for breaching his duties of good faith, fidelity, trust and confidence for a period of 12 months. As a legal advice, Amber can file a case against Mr. Anderson if he breaches any information of their company to others. This can lead him to the worst situation if he missuses his power and position within the organization he is working.
As per Employment law, it is mandatory for organization to consider all aspects of its employees before rejecting or firing any worker from job in company (Rothstein, 2016). For this, there are specific rules and guidelines which are made by the government and it is compulsory for any business to follow it in order to work smoothly. According to this law, employees can leave company at any point of time by giving them the reason. In this case, Mr. Anderson can leave Amber Ltd. but he has to take care of some aspects, such as he will not leak any information related to previous company to Beta or any other competitor company (O'Connor, 2016). Secondly, he should not misuse his power and position in organization. If Mr. Anderson does such type of things then company has authority to terminate his job on the basis of following terms and conditions as explained below:
- Valuable dismissal: In this method, company expels their employees unfairly. For this, employees can file a case against company under Fair Work Act, 2009 or Fair Work Act, 1994. This process is legal if the employees are not working properly.
- Unjustifiable dismissal: According to this process, manager of Amber Ltd. do not have right or authority to suspend his employees without any valid reason. He cannot reject the employees (Employee dismissal and redundancy rights, 2016).
- Wrongful dismissal: In this process, if the manager of Amber Ltd. expels his workers without any prior notice to them then they can file a case against company in business court.
b) Alternative legal solution for CASE 2
Other than the Employment Act, there are various other alternatives which can be given to Mr. Anderson. One of the solutions which can be used is Mediation or arbitration. Mediation is a process in which there is a mediator which helps to mutually agree on the same solution. It is a type of process of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) only which can also be used by both the parties (Rothstein, 2016). In this process, negotiation is done to resolve the issue. This negotiation is done by a neutral third party. It is the best technique for settling issue in between individuals. With the help of this method, he can escape from long procedures of court. They can also use agreement law as well according to which all terms and conditions ought to be trailed by two individuals and if anyone breaks rules of agreement then they can mutually resolve their issues without going to court and making it a huge issue (O'Connor, 2016). Various alternative legal solutions are as follows:
Alternative Dispute Resolution
This is a type of process which is used for resolving the issues without judicial proceedings. For example: arbitration, mediation or negotiation. It is less expensive for the person. This is the most widely used process because they are often collaborative and allow the parties to understand each other's positions.
Benefits and advantages of ADR process: There are so many advantages and benefits of this process like it is more effective as compared to all the processes. It helps in receiving vital information one-on-one as well as in developing and evaluating new options for the issues with identifying and communicating about patterns of issues, etc. (Piper, 2018).
Contract of employment is a process which is generally used in labour law for their rights and responsibilities in the organization. This contract is made between an “employee” and an “employer” of company. It plays an important role for them to work properly in the organization. This contract generally includes terms of employment, their responsibilities and benefits, non-disclosure or ownership agreements, work related clauses, terms for termination, etc. (What is an Employment Contract, 2018).
It is a process in which a third party is involved to resolve all issue between both of them. This third party should be neural in deciding results. They hear each side of a dispute and gives them a decision. These parties may agree to have decision be binding or non-binding. Binding decisions are those in which both parties have to agree with the conclusion either they are agreed to that or not. While in non-binding process, both parties have a right to reject decision if they do not agree with that (What is Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2018). It can be a beneficial process for both of them.
It can be very useful for company if they choose this method to resolve their issues and conflicts because it has so many advantages like for example: it can be used both in private and public sector. It is more efficient and quick. Also, it is less expensive and so, the same can be easily chosen by them. Arbitrators typically have more expertise in specific subject matter of the dispute than do judges. They may also have greater flexibility in the decision-making (Rothstein, 2016). It will be very effective for them if they implement it.
From this above report, it can be concluded that for operating any organization to work smoothly, it is very important to know business law which can help them a lot in better understanding of all the laws related to their work. This report also explained about various regulations and their impacts on the JPM Publishing's business, after the implementation of various regulations, such as, health and safety regulations, equal opportunity regulation and data protection regulation. It also analyzed various issues and its legal advice related to the given case which helped them to solve the related issues legally and can help them to resolve the conflicts between two parties. So from this report it is clear that, business law plays an important role for an individual to run its business and understand their employees better.