PeopleTalk – December 2013


DOHR LimitedWelcome to December’s PeopleTalk. The end of the year is in sight and 2014 is looming. The new year is always an opportunity to make changes, either to yourself, your business or both. Take a step back and take time to reflect: What is important to you? What does your business need from you in the next 12 months? What do your staff need from you? What do you need from them? Set goals: Personal ones, Business ones and goals for your employees to achieve. Document the goals and find someone to hold you accountable for progress towards achieving those goals. Think about what you want your business to look like 12 months from now and work out (with help if necessary) how you are going to achieve that vision.


It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Deidré Hattingh. Deidré has been with DOHR for 18 months in a hybrid role of PA, HR Administrator and Recruitment Advisor. Deidré and her husband have decided to move to Australia and we wish them all the best in their new ventures. Deidré will be sorely missed, but we are recruiting and hope to be able to announce a new member of the team shortly.


HR for Schools

DOHR are delighted to announce their new specialised HR support for schools service. School teacherWhile we have supported a number of schools and nurseries in the past, we are now actively targeting independent schools, Free Schools and Academies from Early Years to Further Education. Ideal referrals for us are Head Teachers, Bursars, Business Managers and Finance Managers. If you know of a school which would benefit from our pragmatic approach to HR, please do pass on our details.

Annual Leave

Check your annual leave policies and ensure staff know what they have left and by when Holidaythey have to use it. Many of our clients only offer the statutory minimum (28 days including public and bank holidays) and therefore employees can not carry annual leave forward. If in doubt, check your contracts and handbook or give us a ring.

Health and Safety

In October, the regulations previously known as the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 were amended and are now known as RIDDOR 2013.

Apart from the change in name, the following changes have been made in order to make the requirements for reporting as simple as possible:

  • Major injuries, which must be reported immediately are now classified under eight headings of specified injuries to workers.
  • Industrial diseases, of which there was previously a list of 47, has now been replaced with a list of eight categories of work-related illness.
  • The categories of dangerous occurrence that require reporting have been reduced to just three categories.

Anyone who would be considered to be the “responsible person” within their organisation should familiarise themselves with the revised regulations, which can be found at

If you require any assistance with your Health and Safety, get in touch with us at H&[email protected]


Discrimination comes in many guises and allegations of discrimination may only arise once an employee becomes disgruntled about something else. It is essential that even if you think you are doing the right thing to help one employee out, you consider the implications for everyone else. You must be consistent, follow documented policies and procedures and only deviate from those procedures if you understand the risks of doing so.

We have made the CIPD Diversity Calendar available on our website, so for over 240 key calendar dates, make sure you take a look at this essential guide.


Recent and Forthcoming Legislation

1st September 2013

  • Employee shareholders – employees can receive between £2,000 and £50,000 worth of shares, exempt from capital gains tax. In return, employee shareholders will give up their right to claim:
    • unfair dismissal (apart from automatically unfair dismissal)
    • redundancy pay
    • the right to request flexible working (except within four weeks of their return from parental leave)
    • time off for training.

They will also have to give 16 weeks’ notice of their return from maternity leave instead of the usual eight.

Prospective employee shareholders will be entitled to legal advice, paid for by the employer, before taking up a job offered on the new terms.

1 October 2013

  • 3rd party harassment – employers’ liability for the harassment of their employees by third parties (such as customers) has been removed from legislation as the government believes these provisions are unworkable.

6 April 2014

  • Early conciliation – in the future all employment tribunal claims will have to be filed with Acas first, and only proceed to a tribunal if no settlement has been reached after a month.
  • Discrimination questionnaires – used by employees to establish whether there is the basis for a discrimination claim against their employer will be removed from legislation

Spring 2014

  • Flexible working – the right to request flexible working (currently only available to parents and carers) is to be extended to all employees with at least 26 weeks’ continuity of service. There will be a duty on employers to consider all requests in a reasonable manner. Organisations will be able to refuse requests on business grounds.


  • Shared parental leave – employed mothers with partners, both of whom meet the qualifying criteria, will be able to end the mother’s maternity leave and pay and share the balance as flexible parental leave and pay. Existing rights to maternity and paternity leave and pay are unaffected. Mothers will still have two weeks’ compulsory maternity leave, but they can then share the remaining 50 weeks’ leave and 37 weeks’ pay.
  • Adoption – the same rights to maternity leave and pay, and shared parental leave, will be available to adoptive and surrogate parents. One prospective adoptive parent can have five occasions of paid time off, and the other can have two occasions of unpaid time off, for pre-adoption contact visits.
  • Ante natal care – fathers will be given the right to take unpaid leave to attend two antenatal appointments.
  • Surrogacy – Arrangements similar to those above will be made in circumstances of surrogacy.

Christmas holidaysOffice Closure

The DOHR offices will be closed for the festive season from 5pm on Friday 20th December 2013 until 9am on Monday 6th January 2014. For assistance with urgent HR issues during this time, please text 07710 546381.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your team and your families all the best for the festive season and a happy, healthy and successful 2014. Donna, Brenda, Fiona and Sonal.

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