Tasks: This second piece of coursework consists of questions based on a case study and requires you to:-
Recognise, understand and apply appropriate case law and legislation to realistic business problem scenarios
Critically evaluate the law relating to employment law
Understand principles of law governing employment relationships
Analyse complex factual situations and identify and apply relevant legal concepts in order to reach balanced conclusions and provide advice and recommendations.
Word Limit: 2000 words excluding footnotes and bibliography. The word count should be stated on the university front sheet. Failure to state a word count will result in a 5% penalty. A falsely stated word-count may result in a mark of 0%. Note that footnotes, if used, should be used to reference sources only. Examiners are free to disregard footnotes that contain inappropriate information or information that should belong in the main text. Coursework that is more than 10% over the word limit will result in a 10% penalty (as, inter alia, concision is an important skill).
Referencing: Students must reference sources using the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA). This can be found at http://www.competition-aw.ox.ac.uk/published/oscola_2006.pdf. Reference should be made to the primary source, except when the primary source can no longer be obtained. Poor citation of sources will result in a loss of marks. Students who are having difficulty citing sources should visit http://referencing.port.ac.uk
Plagiarism: Students are reminded of the need to avoid plagiarism. The University Regulations describe plagiarism as:
‘the incorporation by a student in work for assessment of material which is not their own, in the sense that all or a substantial part of the work has been copied without any adequate attempt at attribution, or has been incorporated as if it were the student’s own when in fact it is wholly or substantially the work of another person or persons’.
Any student suspected of plagiarising will be referred to the Head of Department and an Academic Misconduct Hearing will be arranged. Students should ensure that all sources are fully cited and that indentation or quotation marks (as appropriate) are used when quoting. Failure to include a bibliography will result in a 5% penalty, unless the lecturer/tutor has advised you that a bibliography is not required.
Electronic Copy of Work: Students should retain an electronic copy of their coursework, so that it may be checked by a member of staff should a member of staff feel the need to do so. Failure to send an electronic copy of the coursework to a member of staff who has asked for a copy may result in a penalty.
If any student has a query about any of the above matters and wishes to obtain clarification or further information please contact your seminar tutor.
Some Further Guidance:
Research: Whilst lecture notes and textbooks are of assistance, you should also read
and apply appropriate primary source materials or case notes / head notes (e.g. you are
not expected to read through numerous 40+ page case reports). Citation of textbooks in lieu of primary sources is not good form but secondary sources may contain useful analysis. In your answer, relevant legal authorities, i.e. relevant decided cases and statutory provisions, should be cited in support of your arguments. When using textbooks, ensure that you use up-to-date books and be careful as to the currency of primary materials. Any secondary sources you consult and/or quote from should be suitably identified in the bibliography. You do not need to – and should not – reference lecture notes.
Presentation: Your answer should be word-processed and properly structured. You will see below (and on the Moodle site) that the assessment criteria refers to among things accuracy, research and presentation. Please note that as this is coursework, there is less leniency with regard to these as you are not writing under exam conditions. So, please check that your sources are suitably cited, undertake and demonstrate your research and further reading, try to structure your answer so that it reads well, and do read over your answer to help ensure that use and flow of language, grammar and spelling are more than satisfactory.
Style: Be objective and analytical. Phrases such as ‘I believe’ or ‘I feel’ should be
avoided as they suggest a lack of objectivity and critical approach. You are expected
to consider all aspects of each problem; use of the word ‘assuming’ may indicate that
you are not doing this (unless you then go on to present alternative assumptions which may show fuller analysis). In the blue Handbook you were given in September there is plenty of information on how to tackle this assignment including how to structure an answer using the ILAC formula, referencing and what your bibliography should look like.
Assistance: If you have queries regarding the case study or general revision, these should be posted on the Moodle discussion forum for this unit so that everyone can benefit from them. As with some previous law units, assessment-related questions will only be answered through this means (i.e. not by email or one-to-one conversation). We shall not directly answer questions which are based on the scenario, but should welcome questions regarding clarification of legal principle or, indeed, other topics related to the Unit. Please remember that this is an individual assessment and note the definition of plagiarism above.
Some guidance on Assessment Criteria
To achieve a pass on each of the questions there must be some evident knowledge and understanding of the relevant law and, as they are problem questions, some attempt to apply it. The better the explanation of the law and the better the ability to apply and discuss it (including the citation of relevant primary sources), the higher the mark to be awarded. Detailed facts of cases are not expected unless this is inherently required by the question, because of its similarity to/distinguishability from a previously decided case, or doing so assists the explanation of the law.
For an answer to be awarded a mark in the upper second/first class range it must, among other criteria, explain and apply/evaluate the law correctly and coherently and generally cite relevant legal sources and authorities (some deduction should be made for inappropriate use of old Acts/Regs but an otherwise good answer could still get a reasonably good mark). Conclusions, which are consistent with the discussion, should be provided along with an explanation of any remedies that may be awarded (if applicable). Evidence of wider research, a fuller understanding and a strong analytical ability should be evident for a first class mark.
Answers in this range are substantially incomplete and deficient. Serious problems with the language use are often found in work in this range and the work may be severely under/over length and/or fails to grasp the nature of the subject matter. Content, analysis, expression and structure will be
very weak or missing.
An adequate answer which attempts to address the task and demonstrates some understanding of the basic aspects of the subject matter. The work may include some but not all of the essential elements of a problem solution. There will be limited attempt at dealing with all the issues. There may be significant omissions or errors. A satisfactory use and flow of language, grammar, spelling and format has been made.
The answer will include most if not all of the essential elements of a good problem solution. Some attempt at sound legal analysis will have been made. The presentation of the work will be satisfactory in respect to structure, use and flow of language, grammar, spelling and format. There may be some limited misunderstanding or misstatement of the law.
A well-presented answer covering all of the essential elements of a problem solution, which is clearly and lucidly written. A good attempt to consider and evaluate the different elements, with a good attempt to include practical advice and evaluate likely success or failure of the parties’ cases. The work is well organised and well-structured and demonstrates a good understanding of case law technique and analytical reasoning. It is succinctly and cogently presented, displaying evidence of analytical ability and is reasonably comprehensive of the relevant legal issues.
The essay contains a comprehensive, accurate, concise and precisely written problem solution which is cogently reasoned and well-articulated. There should be a high level of accurate legal analysis showing a sound knowledge of all of the legal principles and accurate practical assessment of the parties’ respective cases. The answer should be comprehensive and accurate in its treatment of the relevant issues.
Case Study – Problems at Softy Furnishings Ltd
Softy Furnishing Ltd (SF) is a small local firm which produces a number of decorative items for the home including cushions, curtains and bed linen. Hoping to bring its brand image up to date, the firm has just employed Roz who, straight from University, has some great ideas about how the firm’s products can be recreated to bring a modern feel to the home and how working practices can be brought up to date. Abbie has been a machinist at the firm for three years and has always enjoyed being allowed to plod along with her work, machining seams on cushions. Roz has brought in some new (very fast equipment) to speed up production but Abbie is refusing to use the machines as she says that as she was trained on more manual machines she should be allowed to continue to use them. Roz has promised training but Abbie says that she is happy to continue with what she is doing. Roz also wants to make changes in the warehouse however she often feels intimidated by the lads working in there. Dennis, Roz’s line manager has now told her that any changes she wants to make in the warehouse must go through him and that he will deal with the men in that part of the firm. Roz is not happy with this and tells him so but Dennis says that his decision is final and for her own good.
Roz is also having problems with Shabana who, in Roz’s eyes is lazy. Shabana has been employed with the firm since September 2013. Dennis has agreed with Roz that they cannot afford to keep people on if they are not pulling their weight and therefore tells Roz that she can dismiss Shabana but to make sure she gets her full notice entitlement.
Two Questions – note each question is equally weighted.
Question 1 Advise Abbie as to whether she is obliged to use the new equipment.
Question 2 Advise Roz as to any action she can take in relation to the comments made by Dennis
REFERENCE SOURCES MUST USE THE OX FORD STANDARD FOR THE CITATION OF LEGAL AUTHORITIES(OSCOLA).