Employment law assignment 2: question & guidance note

Employment Law Assignment 2: Question & Guidance Note 


It is March 2017.  Anne, Patricia and Kalpna are employees who work for Queenstown hospital as cleaners on a cleaning contract for ‘Qwik-Clean’.   Anne and Patricia have worked for this employer for two and a half years, Kalpna for six months.  Anne is 41 and has been paid £7.20 an hour since October 2016.   Patricia turned 21 in January 2017 and has been paid £5.55 an hour since October 2016; Patricia is unsure if this is the right rate and asked for clarification – in writing – in early February.  Kalpna is 19 and has been paid £5.55 an hour since she started in October 2016.  

Queenstown hospital decided in January 2017 to bring its cleaning service back in-house as direct labour, so it did not renew its contract with ‘Qwik-Clean’.  The relevant cleaning staff of ‘Qwik-Clean’ were instead transferred to the hospital.

Queenstown hospitals general manager proposed to reorganise the cleaning arrangements.  A major part of the plan was cutting the weekly hour’s contract (where staff worked 20 hours a week) to a 15 hour contract.  There would also be a new hourly pay rate of £7.20 starting in April 2017.  The general manager made it clear to all three staff that if they did not agree to the proposed changes they would be dismissed.  

You are an HR manager in Queenstown hospital. What advice would you give the general manager?

Assessment task:  An essay as applicable to the semester:


Weighting:  50% of final module mark


Date/time/method of submission:  April 22th 2017 11.59pm  


Word count or equivalent: 1500 words, + or – 10% (maximum = 1650 words)


Assessment criteria: 


Organisation and Coherence                                              10 marks

• Clear structure and presentation

• Introduction must state an aim and explicitly identify relevant arguments 

and areas to be addressed

• These areas must be followed up logically in the study

• Firm conclusion of the areas discussed


Content20 marks

• Related to area of study, demonstrate originality and creativity

• Knowledge and understanding must be applied to practice


Clarity of Expression10 marks

• Areas must be clearly expressed, articulate and fluent

• Accurate spelling and grammar


Level of Analysis and Synthesis30 marks

• Clear critical analysis and synthesis of issues, well integrated and 



Use of Literature showing appropriate knowledge and understanding20 marks

• Appropriate use of academic literature research


Quality of referencing10 marks

• All key sources must be cited, and consistent and accurate use of 

Harvard referencing must be maintained


Assessment briefing: by the tutor during the teaching sessions


Marking scheme:  see above


Timing and methods of feedback: 15 working days after the submission date by means of general group feedback posted on blackboard, class review, and individualised written feedback on the assignment as posted.





Assessment 2 guidance 


This is a scenario/problem question. It seeks to reflect the kind of issues an HR professional could face. There are several steps you will need to undertake to answer this question.  You may wish to use the ‘suggested points of answer’ on Blackboard to help you develop a framework for your answer.




Step 1: Identify the areas of law at issue.

Step 2: Identify the key issues within those area of law e.g. employment status (‘worker’, ‘employee’ or ‘independent contractor’) or eligibility (e.g. are there continuity of service requirements? Are there age related criteria?) etc. Note – there may be more than one approach; thus dismissal cases can use Equality Law as well as Unfair Dismissal approaches. You should consider the potential routes – good answers will identify which one is most appropriate and why.


Step 3: Identify the key statues or cases. Use Practical Law and textbooks to help you.  Stronger answers will have considered relevant academic literature and cite appropriate case law.  Wider reading and a strong grasp of key concepts are key to a high mark.


Step 4: Consider and evaluate the Remedies.


It is suggested that the assignment takes account of the following:


• Organised around a clear and logical structure of transparently stated, relevant themes (perhaps usingsub-headings)

• Contains a critical evaluation of relevant literature(contact Davina or Jonathan if you need help with academic search engines like Westlaw and ProQuest) 

• Contains an analysis of practice that integrates with theory and critically evaluates one in relation to the other

• Achieves a balance of roughly 50-50 between coverage of literature and practice

• Keeps a sharp focus on the brief given throughout

• Offers conclusions which highlight evaluation of practice and integrate reflectively with cited sources in the literature

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