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Posted: November 29th, 2022

Legal Aspects of Business

Assessment Brief 2021/2022
(Replacing the examination)

Module title Legal Aspects of Business
CRN 35543
Level 5
Assessment title Coursework 2
Weighting within module This assessment is worth 50% of the overall module mark.
Submission deadline date and time 4pm, 11th May 2022

How to submit
You must submit 1 electronic copy of your assignment via Turnitin on Blackboard by the date and time noted above.

Your answer should contain legal advise for the client below. The report should be referenced using the Harvard referencing system and your report must include a Reference List

Assessment task details and instructions
You are to answer BOTH Questions:

Question 1 – Company Law
Mariam is a sole trader who offers cleaning services for offices in Manchester City Centre. Mariam has earned good reputation over the years and her business is thriving. She is now thinking of expanding her cleaning business and as such is wondering whether she should form a company. However, due to having no prior knowledge about how companies operate she is having doubts on the idea that whether she would be able to successfully run a company by herself. Mariam seeks your advice on the following matters:

1) Please advise Mariam on the step-by-step process of incorporating a company.
2) Also, instruct her on the documentation and information she would need to provide to the companies house.
3) Mariam would be benefitted if you explain what her responsibilities will be like if she puts herself down as a director of the company.

Question 2 – Employment Law
Mariam has now successfully incorporated a cleaning company called Spotless Ltd (The Company). Over the past few months, she received an overwhelming number of calls for office cleaning jobs as people are getting back to offices post pandemic lockdown. Mariam needs to hire at least two employees to meet the current demand. However, Mariam is vaguely aware of her responsibilities as an employer as this is the first time her company will be hiring. Mariam seeks your advise on the following matters:

1) What kind of information Mariam must provide in the employment contract?

It has been two months since the Company hired Ashley and Raj as cleaning associates, both are on a full-time permanent contract. Mariam has received four separate complains from her regular customers over the past three weeks about Ashley’s timekeeping. The customers reported that Ashley often turns up late in the morning and often does not finish her tasks before the offices open at 9 am. As a company director Mariam is considering to fire Ashley but she would need more information on unfair dismissal to avoid any legal complications.

2) Please advise Mariam on the grounds of Unfair dismissal and whether she has a valid ground to dismiss Ashley based on the complaints she received from the customers.

——————————————————————————————————————————-
Assessed intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this assessment, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
Upon successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
1. Identify where, in the business context, the application and operation of legal rules and frameworks are critical to success;
2. Critically evaluate whether legal rules can be applied non-contentiously within the business context, or whether professional legal advice should be sought;
3. Access and understand primary and secondary legal sources of law in the business context;
4. Appreciate and manage the global operation of legal rules and frameworks within the business context;
5. Effectively negotiate legal agreements which minimise risk to, and maximise alignment with, the objectives of the business.

Transferable Skills and other attributes (maximum of 5)
On Completion you will have developed:
6. Take responsibility for their own learning, including time-management;
7. Develop team-working skills;
8. Enhance their oral, written and presentational skills;
9. Develop strategies for problem-solving;
10. Practise and enhance their research skills.

Professional, Practical or Subject Specific Skills/Behaviours
On completion of the module, the student will have had the opportunity to/will be able to:
11. Seek and value the views of others building effective working relationships with business managers, peers and other HR functions, together with relevant external organisations.
12. Be creative, innovative and enterprising when seeking solutions to business problems that are ethical, sustainable and legal and socially appropriate.
13. Plan and manage personal development effectively at an individual level (time, behaviour and motivation) as part of a team (leadership, influencing and project managing).
14. Be flexible, positively adapting to changing work priorities and patterns, ensuring key business and HR deadlines are met in a legal and socially appropriate and responsible manner.
15. Display tenacity, accountability, resilience and proactivity in the way they go about their role, dealing positively with setbacks when they occur.

Module Aims
1. To introduce students to the operation of legal systems in the global business context;
2. To introduce students to those areas of law that underpin the practice of effective business management;
3. To develop a working knowledge of the law relating to how companies operate in different business contexts and their effective negotiation.

Word count
Your submission should not exceed 1500 words. You must have a word count on the first page of your assignment. There is a 10% leeway permitted if needed, thus you can write up to 1650 words in total without incurring a penalty.

NB: Your references do not count towards the word count.

In addition please also note that any false misrepresentation of the assessment word count within the required coversheet will amount to academic misconduct, and thus subject to the University academic misconduct procedure which can be found via the following link:

Feedback arrangements
You can expect to receive feedback three weeks after the deadline.

Academic Misconduct is an action which may give you an unfair advantage in your academic work. This includes plagiarism, asking someone else to write your assessment for you or taking notes into an exam. The University takes all forms of academic misconduct seriously. You can find out how to avoid academic misconduct here
Assessment Information
If you have any questions about assessment rules, you can find out more here.

Personal Mitigating Circumstances
If personal mitigating circumstances may have affected your ability to complete this assessment, you can find more information about personal mitigating circumstances procedure

Personal Tutor/Student Progression Administrator
If you have any concerns about your studies, contact your Personal Tutor or your Student Progression Administrator.

Assessment Criteria

Assessment Criteria
The attached guidance is in addition to the general assessment criteria guidelines for degree classifications contained in your level handbook (and that will be on Blackboard).
40-49

Answers relating to the two questions are basic and descriptive. There is a limited use of primary (case law and statutes) and secondary sources in the coursework. The drawing of a conclusion in each section is limited and generally lacks a coherent argument. In general, whilst the submission demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts, it is largely descriptive with a general focus and limited use of either case law or academic commentary to reach a sound conclusion.

50-59
Answers relating to the two questions demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the main concepts and demonstrate an acceptable knowledge. The student has attempted to develop the argument. However, the student failed to develop the arguments in a structured manner. Reference to primary and secondary sources are primarily descriptive and illustrative yet raise some interesting points. The drawing of a conclusion in each answer is limited and generally lacks a coherent argument. In general the submission demonstrates a reasonable understanding of the key points but the analytical and evaluative aspects of the submission lack focus.

60-69
Answers relating to two questions demonstrate a good understanding of the main concepts. The use of relevant case and statute law demonstrate a good knowledge of the key points and there is constructive use of primary and secondary sources. The conclusion in each answer includes some good points and reaches a conclusion. In general, whilst more analysis supported by both case law and academic commentary could have been provided, the submission demonstrates a good understanding of the subject with relevant primary and secondary sources.

70 +
Answers relating to two questions demonstrate a very good understanding of the main concepts. Academic discussions demonstrate a very good knowledge of the key points and there is constructive use of primary and secondary sources. The conclusion in each answer includes some very good points and includes some good commentary which answers the question posed. In general, the submission demonstrates a detailed and good understanding of the subject with relevant primary and secondary sources being used to structure discussions to draw a conclusion in each answer.

In Year Retrieval Scheme
Your assessment is not eligible for in year retrieval.

Reassessment
If you fail your assessment, and are eligible for reassessment, you will need to resubmit the same coursework on or before a date TBC. For students with accepted personal mitigating circumstances, this will be your replacement assessment attempt. Students should be aware that there is no late submission period at reassessment (this includes those students who have an accepted PMC request from a previous attempt).

Legal Aspects of Business

Question One: Company Law
1) Please advise Mariam on the step-by-step process of incorporating a company.
Maria needs to plan carefully, including writing a good and concise business plan that includes financial decisions, marketing, objectives, location, number of employees and other vital activities crucial while starting a business. Having formulated the right strategies and set aside the right resources will be inexpensive for her to start the company (Fletcher & Bourne, 2012). Maria is incorporating a company that has to be recognized by the local laws of Manchester City and the national laws of the UK as well. Incorporation refers to a legal process to establish an individual legal; entity identified in terms of Inc. or Limited and can be viewed as a separate entity from the owner, who in this case is Maria.
The first step is to identify the name she wants her company to go and ascertain that it is available. Her company will be identified with the name she chooses to register and has to end with “Private limited” as it will be privately owned. To ascertain whether the name she chooses is available for use, Maria can visit the Manchester City local authority registration of new company’s websites or write an application letter to the city’s Registration of companies. Maria will be expected to pay a certain fee to have her company registered; the fee may be between $20-and $50, considering that the company’s structure is not complex (Gov.UK, 2022). After making the payment, Maria will be permitted to use the adopted name for her company with the condition that she meets all the documentation formalities within three months. If she successfully fulfills these formalities within the period, Maria can celebrate her new ventures of being a founder and CEO of her new company.

2) Also, instruct her on the documentation and information she would need to provide to the company’s house.
There are different documents that Maria requires for her new company. After her registration process, Maria will be provided with the company registration certificate and license, which require renewal within an agreed period. These two documents are critical as they demonstrate that Maria’s company is allowed by the country’s laws to operate and that the company is liable for filing and paying taxes. The following important docum1ent is the memorandum of association which, in other words, implies the company’s constitution (Gov.UK, 2022). This constitution is vital as it demonstrates the type of company it is, its objectives and responsibilities, and laws that staff must follow, among many other factors. The constitution is divided into five clauses; Name, Registrar, Objects, Liability, and Capital. The other important document is the article of association which is designed to create a contract between the company and future employees, including different concepts such as duties, rights, and liabilities.
With the help of the Registrar of companies, Maria can quickly draft her constitution. The Registrar will vet these documents, including the constitution and article of association, before they are printed. The constitution will be instrumental in establishing the rules and polices of her companies that each shareholder has to comply with. Maria will be required to register for corporation tax within the first three months of operation. The shareholders and directors have to sign as an agreement with the rules included in this document (Marcin & Tomasz, 2015). The document has also highlighted the role of the shareholders and the directors in making significant decisions and how these decisions could affect the company’s future. While there is a standard model of rules and decision-making structure that many businesses can use, Maria has the freedom to create her own company rules.
3) Mariam will be benefitted if you explain what her responsibilities will be like if she puts herself down as a director of the company.
Although Maria played significant leadership roles operating her cleaning business, it is evident that her responsibilities will increase as soon as she starts heading into an already established company. This company will operate through two actors: the shareholders and the director or board of directors. In this case, Maria is the director whose primary responsibilities include managing all business operations. This implies that she makes strategic and operational decisions on behalf of the company. She also has to ensure that the company meets its statutory obligations.
As the director, Maria has to act within the powers provided by the company’s constitution. Her actions have to be directed toward promoting the success of the company (Triana, et al., 2021). Therefore, she has to devise and approve strategies that are only beneficial to the company and its shareholders. She will require to have the interests of all employees at heart, foster good relationships with clients and suppliers, and ensure that her operations have a positive impact on the environment and the community.
As the only director of this new company, Maria has to exercise independent judgment while also operating within the limits and agreement of the company constitution. She also has to ensure that she applies her general knowledge and skills acquired from her experience working in the cleaning industry for a while (Triana, et al., 2021). Simply put, Maria owes her general duties and responsibilities to the company, not the shareholders. Even though she is the founder of this company, any violation of the constitution or breach of duty, the company can take enforcement action against her. Therefore, her actions and decisions have to be intended for the good of this new company that she is forming.

Question TWO: Employment Law
1) What kind of information must Mariam provide in the employment contract?
As an employer, it is essential to ensure that the scope of the vacant roles is clearly defined for candidates. This includes clearly defining how employees’ performance will be evaluated, the person they will answer to, the resources accessible to them, and what is expected of them regarding performance. This strategy plays an instrumental role in reducing confusion as employees clearly understand what is expected of them and the consequences of doing otherwise. It can also help in reducing the turnover rate in a business (Collins, 2021). In this case study, Mariam’s employees will have an increased understanding of their jobs at the cleaning company and the consequences of failing to obey the rules.
As an employer, Maria should be aware of the different concepts included in employment contracts: statutory, implied, incorporated, and express terms. The written contract will include express terms such as the pay and working hours; however, it is necessary to sell out these other three terms before recruiting employees. The UK law requires an employment contract to include the names and addresses of both employee and employer, the day that the employee will start working, whether the contract is permanent or fixed and if temporary, when it should end, the job title and description of the duties of the recruit, place, hours and pay of this work, holiday period, notice period and pension agreements (Gov.UK, 2022). It is also essential to include disciplinary and grievances procedures. For instance, the employment contract will guide Mariam on the type of punishment to administer to Ashley for her misconduct at work. If she includes clauses that in case of misconduct and failure to follow the rules at work, the employee will get fired, and she will have fairly dismissed Ashley. However, if the employment contract does not include such a clause, Mariam must consider other forms of punishment to avoid being sued for unlawful dismissal. Therefore, Mariam needs to draft an employment contract to avoid such future dilemmas.
The employment contract will also play a critical role in helping Mariam agree to many other issues with her staff, including compassionate leave and discretionary bonuses. Simply put, the employment contract is to guide the behavior of employees at the workplace and ensure that they follow the rules and laws while also meeting the set expectations. Simply put, the employment contract allows employees to understand what is expected of them and what is not expected of them at the workplace resulting in a smooth working environment. For instance, if Ashley was not provided with a written agreement (employment contract) she can sue Miriam for unfair dismissal stating that her working hours and conduct were not clearly communicated to her upon recruitment.

2) Please advise Mariam on the grounds of Unfair dismissal and whether she has a valid ground to dismiss Ashley based on the complaints she received from the customers.

The UK labor laws deem it illegal for an employer to dismiss an employee without valid reason unfairly. If an employee thinks that they were fairly dismissed, they have a right to challenge the dismissal legally. Therefore, Mariam needs to have an understanding of what unfair dismissal implies. An employee can be stated to have been fairly dismissed if the reason for dismissal is valid and justifiable (Gov.UK, 2022). Under UK law, some of the valid reasons for dismissal include employees who have committed acts or behaviors that are opposite of the laws and policies of the business, including misconduct. For instance, if the employment letter administered to Ashley by Spotless ltd company states that all employees have to always show up to their clients on time, she can be dismissed for breaking the laws. Moreover, her actions of being late have been rampant as many clients have complained, which shows that Ashley disregards the rules and policies of the company. Therefore, Mariam has permission to dismiss her without warning and is highly likely to win any case brought forward by Ashley because of this issue. However, Mariam needs to follow all the rules and procedures of dismissal throughout the dismissal process to demonstrate that her company complies with statutory laws, rights, and policies.
If Ashley has valid reasons for her lateness, then an unfair dismissal without warning could result in legal issues for this newly formed company. She has the right to table her explanations in the labor court stating that her employee did not consider her personal grievances. Therefore, the suitable method for Mariam is to have a verbal and written agreement with Ashley, agreeing on the convenient time for both the company and Ashley to perform her duties. Mariam can also draft a warning letter to Ashley (Collins, 2021). If Ashley fails to follow the rules even after being issued a warning, then Mariam has full permission by the law to dismiss Ashley. For these reasons, Mariam needs to ensure that all issues regarding the working schedule and basis for dismissal are included in the employment contract to prevent an occurrence similar to Ashley’s.

References
Collins, P., 2021. Finding Fault in the Law of Unfair Dismissal: The Insubstantiality of Reasons for Dismissal. Industrial Law Journal.
Fletcher, A. & Bourne, P. E., 2012. Ten simple rules for starting a company. PLoS computational biology, 8(3).
Gov.UK, 2022. Register your company. [Online]
Available at: https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-formation/register-your-company
[Accessed aPRIL].
Marcin, W. & Tomasz, S., 2015. Student readiness to start their own business. Economic Research, 28(1), pp. 608-619.
Triana, Y., Iriansyah. & Azmi, B., 2021. Responsibilities of the Board of Directors of a Limited Liability Company Against Investors in Perspective Fiduciary Duty Principle.. Review of International Geographical Education, 11(5), pp. 4087-4094.

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