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Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

1. The Nature of English Law  

This chapter first explains the meaning of law. It then discusses the historical development and characteristics of English law, and the different types of law (public law, private law, criminal law, and civil law). Laws are rules and regulations which govern the activities of persons within a country. In England and Wales, laws are composed of three main elements: legislation which is created through Parliament; common law; and, until the UK leaves the EU, directly enforceable EU law. This chapter also considers the terminology used for criminal prosecutions and civil actions, and outlines the legal profession in England and Wales.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

20. Ending Employment Contracts at Common Law; and Duties to Redundant and Transferring Staff  

This chapter identifies the remedy for the termination of contracts of employment through the common law claim of wrongful dismissal. It addresses situations of redundancy, and the rights of individuals and obligations on employers when the business is transferred to a new owner. Each of these measures offer protection to employees, and employers should understand the nature of these rights, the qualifications necessary for each mechanism, and the remedies available, to ensure they select the most appropriate mechanism to bring the employment relationship to an end. Before the 1960s, contracts of employment were largely dealt with by the ‘normal’ rules of contract law and were often heard by courts that hear contractual disputes. It is important to be aware of the mechanisms that will enable termination of the employment relationship without transgressing the law in order to maintain good working relations.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

21. Statutory Regulation of Dismissals  

This chapter considers the termination of employment, and how it is governed by statutory measures—in cases of unfair dismissal—and the common law—in cases of wrongful dismissal. Each of these provisions outline important factors when the contract is to be ended. Being aware of the procedures involved in each of these areas of law will ensure terminations can take effect without unnecessary recourse to court or tribunal action, saving time and money. In dismissing an employee, the law provides for the correct procedure to be adopted, the potentially fair reasons that justify a dismissal, along with automatically unfair reasons to dismiss an employee. Disregarding these may lead to claims for unfair dismissal, the defence of which can be expensive for employers.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

19. Hiring Staff and Establishing the Contract of Employment  

This chapter discusses how employment relations affect all business organizations and why it is especially important to identify the status of individuals engaged in employment. It begins by considering the regulation of the employment relationship and identifies the tests to establish the employment status of individuals, as well as the reasons behind the significance of the distinction between an employee and independent contractor. The three common law tests that have been used to determine employee status—control, integration, and mixed or economic reality—are identified, and how it is most appropriate, in applying the tests, to begin with those established in Montgomery v Johnson Underwood, and then proceed to the final question in Ready Mixed Concrete. The chapter also identifies the terms implied into contracts of employment and the obligations these place on the involved parties.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

9. Unfair terms  

This chapter examines unfair terms and exclusion clauses in a contract. It explains that exclusion and limitation clauses can be used by the parties to exclude or limit their liability and that they are regulated by statute and common law. It highlights the fact that an exclusion clause can only be effective if it is incorporated into a contract and if it was brought to the other party’s attention prior to the contract being formed. This chapter also discusses the relevant provisions of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and ongoing efforts to clarify the law in this area.