Subject: Law / Business Law
HD Business Law and HRM Continuous Assessment
Calculus Limited has been developing computer software for the last eight years. The company has a
number of software packages, but its most successful product is a computer package “DIY Maths”,
used by business students. The company began with four employees, but now has developed to a
medium sized company, employing sixty people.
The company has lost market share in the domestic market in the last two years, and what is
particularly worrying to the directors is that its main product “DIY Maths” has had a dramatic fall in
It would appear that the computer language that “DIY Maths” is formulated in, has now become
redundant. Increased competition from other innovative companies has culminated in the production
of similar packages to “DIY Maths”, which are cheaper, more efficient and quicker in response to end
Calculus Limited has been too slow to change to market conditions. The company has been
complacent, and is now mandated to develop a new product, in a changing and more competitive
market with falling sales. The directors are planning a leaner and more efficient company, however,
the company directors are unsure how to begin the process and have sought the advice of a HR
consultant. The directors are aware that other competitive organisations are using HR strategies such
as the flexible firm, employee engagement, the learning organisation and employee development. The
directors have not communicated the plan of becoming a leaner organisation to employees, but
rumours are rife that the company will be seeking redundancies. Overall, Calculus operates a
personnel management style that is inflexible and reactive and is undermining the overall company
goals. It also appears that turnover is getting high and staff are not connected to the vision of the
organisation. Line managers are not transparent and staff ideas are not listened too.
The computer section that develops “DIY Maths” is overstaffed and has high payroll costs. There are
twelve computer developers, but much of their work is duplicated. Furthermore, some members of
staff appear overstretched and overworked, while other employees appear not to be contributing any
added value to the company and haven’t conducted any training for some years. It has now become
apparent that three of the overstretched and overworked staff are now complaining of stress
symptoms. These three staff have complained about being under stress in the workplace for the last
eighteen months. However, management appears to have ignored their complaints, and now the three
staff have gone on sick leave brought on from stress in the workplace.
It appears the company has no policy on Health and Safety in the Workplace, and the sick leave
workers had no method of appeal of the decision of their managers to ignore their complaints about
stress in the workplace. It now appears that the three workers are taking personal injury cases against
Calculus Limited. These actions have added to the distrust between management and the employees.
The union has indicated that any changes in work systems or processes must be accompanied by an
increase in pay. QUESTION 1 [10 marks] Describe the potential implications for Calculus if they were continue to operate without change. QUESTION 2 [10 marks] As HR consultant, please explain to the directors how in the longer term HRM and a people centred
approach could be more productive if successfully implemented by Calculus Limited. QUESTION 3 [30 marks] As the HR consultant, what recommendations would you make to the directors to deal with the
current issues? Explain the reasons for your answer(s). QUESTION 4 [20 marks] Please advise the directors in relation to the potential legal claims and whether they would be criminal
in nature or civil in nature. In your answer, outline the difference between the criminal and civil
systems in the Irish courts. QUESTION 5 [20 marks] Outline the defences that are available to Calculus Limited to mitigate the claims of the employees
against the company.
Please answer all five questions. The questions are allocated a total of 90 marks and the remaining 10
marks are allocated for presentation, structure and style, and references. Overall, this continuous
assessment assignment is allocated 30% towards a total module grade.
(NB) Please SPELL CHECK the document before submission.
The maximum length of this assignment is 2,500 words.