What will you learn
It is important for any person who wish to work as HR practitioner to understand principles of employment law and application in people practice. Under specialist employment law module learners are taught legal framework governing employment legislation, redundancy laws and employment rights. At the end of the module, students should understand the purpose and enforcement practice of employment regulation. Be able to appreciate the role of tribunals and courts in enforcement of different types of employment laws. Understand legal procedures followed in dispute resolutions. Be able to manage recruitment and selection lawfully.
In this module, students are taught about principle of discrimination law, contact law and laws governing compensation. Most of the learning will be through latest case laws and tribunal decisions to provide student with tools to improve their practice.
The following 5OS01 Specialist Employment Law Assignment Example is a model tailored for CIPD students in UAE to understand the correct structure and format of 5OS01 CIPD assignment answers.
Acenez Research Labs (ARL) is an innovative scientific organisation. Its goal is to research digital health solutions and transform medicine development in the future. It is a small UK company based in Cambridge and until recently employed 30 staff. It was set up by two biologists around five years ago, and they manage the operations of the company in addition to carrying out their own research.
Due to the global pandemic, ARL have received funding from a number of organisations to develop its research, which has resulted in the recruitment of over 60 new staff, including 15 managers. The recruited managers are excellent biologists but have limited management experience dealing with HR-related matters.
Up until recently, the organisation has not had a HR department, with most HR tasks carried out by one of the Senior Directors. However, a number of grievances and employment cases have been raised and must be addressed.
You have been appointed as an external consultant for ARL. You will provide employment legislation advice to the Directors of HR and help them reduce the number of complaints and grievances. The Director has given you examples of the current problems within ARL and has asked for your advice. The plan is to develop a manager’s toolkit, to be used for training purposes in the future.
Scenario One: ARL value fairness during the recruitment and selection process. However, the HR department has recently received a complaint from a prospective member of staff. This person was verbally offered a job after their interview, but they had the offer withdrawn following a discussion with their referee about their ability to cope with the job.
Scenario Two: ARL provide fixed salary scales for biologists and they all start on the salary of £25,000 per annum. Most of the 60 new recruits were male, with only one female being recruited. However, during informal discussions in the staff room, the female biologist revealed that her starting salary was £30,000, resulting in a number of complaints.
Scenario Three: ARL contracts of employment have always outlined the hours/days to be worked, rates of pay and place of work. However, due to the size of the new contracts and the expansion, ARL have been looking to review the contracts in terms of hours worked. ARL have suggested that the contract be changed from 0900-1700, Monday-Friday, to 08:00-20:00, Monday-Sunday. It has just sent an email to all staff, informing them the change will be implemented from the first of next month. However, ARL have also been approached by an international pharmaceutical company who may be interested in taking them over the in the future. Staff are concerned about their rights in relation to transfer of undertakings.
Scenario Four: It is quite common for the biologists to become very involved in their research, resulting in them working long hours and failing to take the required rest breaks. A number of employees have placed flexible working requests, but these have all been declined due to a lack of understanding from the Senior Director.
Scenario Five: Following the extensive expansion of ARL, a restructure has taken place. The marketing team used to be made up of four individuals, including their manager. This marketing manager took maternity leave and during this time the other three individuals absorbed her workload. ARL labs made the marketing manager job role redundant during the maternity leave and re-employed her in a different department. The marketing manager complained that the redundancy was in relation to taking maternity leave and not due to the job role.
Preparation for tasks:
- At the start of the assignment, you are encouraged to plan your assessment work with your assessor and, where appropriate, agree milestones so that they can help you monitor your progress
- Refer to the indicative content in the unit guide and support your evidence
- Pay attention to how your evidence is presented. Remember, you are working in the People Development Team for this task
- Ensure that the evidence generated for this assessment remains your own work
You will also benefit from:
- Acting on formative feedback from your assessor
- Reflecting on your own experiences of learning opportunities, training and continuing professional development
- Taking advantage of the CIPD factsheets, reports and podcasts, and any other online material on these topics
Task 1: Manager’s briefing paper
The HR manager has asked you to produce a manager’s briefing of no more than one page, to be emailed to them at the end of the month. It should provide updated guidance on the purpose of employment regulation and why it is enforced in practice. Your briefing paper should be professionally produced, including appropriate images to support your discussion.
The briefing paper must include:
- An evaluation of both the aims and at least three objectives of employment regulation (AC1.1)
- An examination of the role played by the tribunal and courts system in enforcing employment law covering the hierarchy of the court system in the UK (AC1.2)
- An explanation of how employment cases are settled in terms of the role of ACAS and use of COT3 (GB) and the early conciliation process (part of AC1.3) before the start of proceedings
- An explanation of how cases are setting during formal legal proceedings in terms of settlement agreements (part of AC1.3).
|Your evidence must consist of:|
|Briefing Paper including appropriate images of approximately 1000 words.|
Task 2: Manager’s toolkit
Using the scenarios you have been provided with, produce a number of professionally presented pages to be part of the manager’s toolkit available on the HR portal. The document should include a front cover and contents page.
Page one should cover scenario one and advice for managers:
- Evaluating the principles of discrimination law in recruitment, selection, and employment (AC2.1)
Page two should cover scenario two and advice for managers:
- The legal requirements in relation to defencing equal pay claims and conducting equal pay reviews (AC2.2)
- Explaining the major statutory rights workers have in relation to pay (AC4.1)
Page three should cover scenario three and advice for managers:
- Discussing the legal implications of managing the change in relation to the working hours (AC3.1)
- Explaining the legal requirements relating to the transfer of undertakings (AC3.2)
Page four should cover scenario four and advice for managers:
- Explaining the major statutory rights in leave and working time (AC4.2)
- Explain other employment rights relating to flexible working (AC4.4)
Page five should cover scenario five and advice for managers:
- Explain the main principles of maternity, paternity, and adoption rights in the context of employment rights (AC4.3)
5OS01 Specialist Employment Law Assignment Answers
Manager’s Briefing Paper: the Purpose and Enforcement of Employment Regulation
An evaluation of both the aims and at least three objectives of employment regulation (AC 1.1)
Employment regulation acts as an instrument that protects the rights of employees, and a framework employers can refer to in managing their staff. The law aims to achieve fair treatment, discrimination prevention, and a safe working environment. Employment regulation has several objectives it seeks to enforce to achieve its goals:
- Protecting workers’ rights by setting working hours and minimum wage
- Preventing discrimination based on age, gender, and race by protecting equal pay and inclusion
- Ensuring a safe working environment by setting minimum health and safety standards.
An examination of the role played by the tribunal and courts system in enforcing employment law covering the hierarchy of the court system in the UK (AC 1.2)
The tribunal and court systems aids in enforcing employment law by resolving employment disputes fairly and consistently. At the lower level of the hierarchy of the court system is the employment tribunal, which receives and delivers outcomes for all employer and employee cases (Taylor, 2021). At the next level is the Employment Appeal Tribunal which addresses all appeals from the employment tribunal. At the top level of the hierarchy is the Court of Appeal, the UK’s highest court that addresses employment law cases.
An explanation of how employment cases are settled in terms of the role of ACAS and use of COT3 (GB) and the early conciliation process (part of AC 1.3) before the start of proceedings
Through the ACAS, employers, and employees are facilitated to have early reconciliation for a dispute before the start of the proceeding of the employment tribunal. The process enables them to reach a dispute resolution agreement, COT3 agreements, that are legally binding. In case of a deadlock at the early reconciliation, the employment dispute cases proceed to the employment tribunal.
An explanation of how cases are setting during formal legal proceedings in terms of settlement agreements (part of AC 1.4).
During a formal legal proceeding, the employer can negotiate with the employee to avert employment law claims through a settlement agreement. Such agreements are legally binding and arise from a mutual agreement to settle an employee in exchange for dropping the claim. The agreements relieve parties, emotional stress, money, and time.
Scenario 1: Job applicant feels unfairly discriminated against during hiring.
As a manager, you should ensure that all recruitment and selection process adheres to discrimination law. Discrimination in recruitment and selection includes bias based on gender, age, beliefs, disability, race, marriage or civil partnership, sexual orientation, and pregnancy or maternity (The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2022). To acquaint themselves with the principles of discrimination, managers should:
- Familiarize themselves with the various statutes dealing with the employment relationship, such as Equality Act 2010, Employment Rights Act 1996, and Data Protection Act 1998.
- Develop and implement policies and procedures guaranteeing equal opportunities to be continually reviewed and updated.
- Train HR staff involved in the hiring process on their responsibilities to avoid discrimination.
- Monitor the hiring process to identify any potential discrimination issues.
Scenario 2: Male employees believe they are not paid equally to a female colleague for the same work.
As a manager, it is essential to understand the legal requirements to defend equal pay claims and conduct equal pay reviews. It involves ensuring that all people are paid equally for the same work. To comply with various legal requirements, as a manager, you should:
- Familiarize yourself with the Equality Act 2010 on legal requirements of equal pay for equal work.
- Carry out equal pay reviews to establish any discrepancies between males and females.
- Correct any pay disparities identified by adjusting the pay of the affected employees.
- Ensure proper evaluation of job roles, accurate and fair grading, and adjusting pay rates per evaluation results.
- Provide employees with a written statement detailing their pay and benefits to ensure they know their statutory pay rights.
Scenario 3: ARL is considering a business restructuring on its working hours and possible transfer of undertaking to an international pharmaceutical company.
As a manager, it is vital to understand the statutory requirements of making changes to working hours and transfer of undertaking. Such will ensure fair and non-discriminatory changes. To adhere to the legal requirements, managers should:
- In exercising the employer’s right to change working hours, you should ensure fair process and comply with the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Working Time Regulations 1998.
- Make consultations with the affected employees or their representatives to explain the reason for the change and implementation process.
- Evaluate alternatives for changing working hours, such as flexible working, before making the changes.
- Observe the legal requirements in making changes, such as providing sufficient notice to employees (George & Jackson, 2021).
- Familiarize with the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations 2006 for compliance with legal requirements which protect employee’s rights during business transfer or takeover.
Scenario 4: An employee has made flexible working requests based on their work that make them work for long hours and fail to take rests
As a manager, it is essential to understand statutory requirements on leave and working hours and other employment rights regarding flexible working. It will ensure that employee rights are protected and are allowed to break for rest as per the statutory annual leave. To comply with the various statutory requirements, managers should:
- Familiarize themselves with the Working Time Regulations 1998 on minimum conditions concerning rest entitlements, weekly working time, and annual leave.
- Ensure that all employees receive and comply with the statutory entitlements such as annual leave, rest breaks, and weekly working time.
- Review and consider pretty and reasonable employee request on flexible working that includes part-time working or working from home arrangements.
- Provide training to employees on managing their statutory entitlements and procedure for requesting.
Scenario 5: An employee feels that she is being discriminated against by her job role being made redundant during her maternity leave.
As a manager, it is essential to understand the principles of various statutory regulations on maternity, paternity, and adoption rights. Such includes eligibility criteria, entitlements, and return to work procedure. For compliance with these employee’s rights, managers should:
- Familiarize themselves with the Employment Rights Act 1996 and Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999 on various rights and entitlement of employees.
- Develop policies and procedures to support employees taking maternity, paternity, and adoption leave.
- Make it clear to all employees their entitlements, documentation, and requesting procedures.
- Consider the rights of employees on return to work and with restructuring or redundancy decisions during employee’s leave and refrain from discrimination.
- Adhere to all the employees’ statutory rights on maternity, paternity, and adoption in the context of employment to maintain a fair and inclusive workplace culture.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (2022, April 12). Recruitment & Selection Q&AS. CIPD. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/emp-law/recruitment/questions#gref
George, E., & Jackson, K. (2021). Employment rights and duties, statutory office holders, and volunteers. Blackstone’s Guide to the Equality Act 2010, 57–80. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198870876.003.0004
Taylor, S. (2021, March 25). UK Court System & Employment Law: Factsheets. CIPD. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/emp-law/about/uk-court-system-factsheet#12910
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