5.3.1 Organisational Rules

Organisational rules for clubs, workplaces, businesses, and institutions, apply to everyone in them; they are subordinate to national law.

They are the bottom level of an interconnected hierarchy of legal rules in the structure of this book.  They can be considered as being either outside the scope of, or supplementary to, national law and its subsidiary variations.  Sometimes, for example in the case of company rules, their purpose may be to provide a detailed interpretation of national law so that employees know what is permitted in a specific workplace context.

A person joining any organisation, such as a club or a workplace, implicitly accepts the rules that apply to all its members.  New members cannot assume that they will be able to negotiate changes to these rules – although there may be some flexibility, because organisations may wish to attract new members and people are free to leave if they want to.

Organisational rules are subordinate to national law.  People’s rights are therefore protected – they have the right of appeal to the national legal system to overturn unfair rules.  For example, America’s Equal Pay Act 1963 guarantees that women must be paid the same as men “for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions”.


Next Section

This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/531.htm