Find a
Find

Acas East of England works with every kind of employer from the smallest to the largest, we also work with Trade Unions and employees. We operate throughout Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk to improve organisational performance by promoting effective working relationships.

We provide practical expert advice, guidance and training on all aspects of HR and employment relations from recruiting your first employee to large scale redundancies and every other aspect of employment in between. We work with small business owners, managers in growing businesses, CEO's of large multi-nationals and all levels in the Public Sector.

Acas believes that simple steps can make a big difference and our experienced team of advisers are on hand to talk about how effective engagement with everyone in a business can have a positive impact on the people, productivity and the bottom line. Our initial advice is always free and further help and support is tailored to meet the needs of each individual business or organisation.

We also work with many partner organisations including Job Centre Plus, Chambers of Commerce and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and welcome opportunities to form new business relationships which will help business growth in our region.

Acas East of England conference: Mind over machines, 22 January, Rowley Mile Course, Newmarket

Delegates attending this conference will hear from leading experts to discuss the impact of increased AI, automation and technology within the workplace.

We'll be exploring the hopes and fears of organisations and businesses of all sizes and we will be showing you how to make the most of the opportunities provided by technology.

For further information and booking details visit the event page.

Marina Glasgow, East of England Area Director

Q&A with Marina

What was the first job you had?

My first job was working for a greengrocer at the age of 14. I wasn't exactly truthful about my age; I told them I was 15 to get the job, so I've come a long way from illegal worker to working with employers and Trade Unions to promote best practice in HR and employment relations.

Tell us about your background

I've worked for Acas for more than 10 years but less than 100. Before that I worked in The Department of Employment's Job Centre and the Ministry of Defence. Both were departments where I learned to deal with stresses of very different kinds every day, but I think the most challenging role was working with politicians dealing with parliamentary questions and enquiries.

What do you most enjoy about working for Acas?

Working for Acas I've learned to adapt to different situations in order to help parties achieve resolutions to conflicts they are facing. This has required everything from bottle feeding a claimant's baby while giving information to the mum during a home visit about her unpaid wage claim, to working closely with our Chief Conciliator during a large scale national industrial dispute; both, I am pleased to say had very positive outcomes, and the baby fell asleep. I get a great deal of satisfaction in helping people find ways through their difficulties. Finding ways for Trade Unions and employers to find solutions and overcome their differences for everyone's benefit is the most rewarding aspect of my work.

What are your areas of particular interest?

I'm known in Acas as a bit of a TUPE anorak, which I am sure is a compliment of sorts. Many people are fearful of TUPE legislation viewing it as complicated and unhelpful, but by explaining TUPE in more simple terms we have managed to help employers, employees, Trade Union and lay representatives understand this often confusing area of employment law.

Mental Health is another area I'm particularly interested in. Over the last 5 years I've successfully delivered a large scale project on behalf of Public Health England in the public sector, raising awareness and giving managers the tools to support and manage situations where mental ill health is a factor. I've also run two highly successful mental health conferences in our area in conjunction with Dame Carol Black, Suffolk Mind, Rachel Kelly and Acas specialist colleagues with the principle aim of empowering employers and employees to have conversations about mental health at work. I am passionate about raising awareness of the benefits to people, business and productivity of good mental health and well-being, and part of that picture requires managers to be able to spot when colleagues are struggling and feel confident to have the types of conversation which can lead to a more positive outcome for all.

What are your greatest achievements?

Overcoming my fear of heights by doing a parachute jump over Gleneagles Golf Course would be my greatest, and most terrifying, personal achievement.  Professionally, I've recently become a qualified Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) practitioner, which I hope to use to support the positive work Acas undertakes with clients looking at behaviours, unconscious bias and leadership.

What are the big issues facing local business?

Good news brings its own challenges; The Stanstead expansion is going to have a potentially huge impact on business and employment in the East of England with the airport planning to generate £4.6 billion in gross value added (GVA), create an extra 10,000 jobs on site, create £2 million plus in new contracts for local businesses, improve connectivity across the region, provide training and 550 jobs per year and increase apprenticeship opportunities.

In employment relations terms this means recruitment issues, developing people, managing growth, managing change, consultation between management and Trade Unions/employee representative, potential TUPE issues and issues around pay and reward, and Acas will be available to help and support all the parties if they start to experience any difficulties.

The recent introduction of Gender Pay Gap reporting has highlighted the importance of ensuring equity between female and male workers, but also raises questions of equality generally.  Many organisations are now looking at ways that they can reduce their pay gap, for example by recruiting and training women in traditionally 'male roles' which have historically and, in many cases, still attract higher salaries. Our team in the East of England have delivered a number of training sessions around this, and our advisers are always available to discuss this with companies seeking to achieve greater parity.

We also have the imminent changes to data protection legislation when The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force on 25 May 2018. Acas has been providing advice and guidance on this subject as we recognise the potential impact this will have on local businesses, including increased penalties for data breaches, increased administrative burden around managing data appropriately, processing subject access requests, and ensuring that HR processes are and remain GDPR compliant.

How can Acas help?

Acas helps organisations succeed through sharing good practice to address all of these issues and providing practical advice and guidance to develop productive workplaces. We help employers and workers understand employment law and how to deal with any problems or workplace issues that may arise. Locally we tailor many of our services and are keen to know what workplace challenges our customers in the East of England face so we can help solve problems.

In practical terms we can assist in a number of ways.

  • We provide guidance and advice online, by phone or face-to-face on most workplace related topics.
  • Our advisers work with employers and employee representatives (Trade Union and non union) in difficult circumstances to diagnose issues and develop solutions.
  • We offer training on key issues - this can be tailored to meet specific needs and delivered in the workplace.
  • We enable individuals and groups to work together more effectively through our mediation and conciliation services.

What tips would you give for developing good workplace relations?

Good workplace relations rely on good leadership and genuine engagement with and from the workforce. Effective and timely two way communication will lead to better decisions, encourage confidence in decision making and help to achieve buy-in to the outcome.

Acas training events

Acas offers a range of training courses designed to improve the skills of managers in your workplace. Event topics include discipline and grievance, absence management, skills for supervisors and much more. View the full range of events hosted by Acas East of England.

Upcoming events highlights

Managing Extreme, Persistent and Difficult Workplace Behaviours

This unique workshop develops understanding and strategies to help managers and HR staff at all levels manage this small but very toxic group of any workforce.

Important note - this workshop looks at extreme difficult and manipulative behaviours that go beyond the plan awkward.

View event dates and locations

Employment law updates

Our Employment Law Update brings you up to date on recent changes in legislation and highlights what's planned to come into force in the future; a key consideration for business planning. Our experienced trainers explain the changes in a practical and straightforward way which will help you understand the legal changes and, importantly, the impact for your organisation.

View event dates and locations

HR for beginners

This practical event provides an introduction to the fundamentals of employing people. The course maps the employment relationship from recruitment, to issuing contracts, managing holidays, dealing with absence, discipline and grievance matters through to ending the employment relationship.

View event dates and locations

Essential Skills for Supervisors

Acas offers a suite of events covering the range of people skills that supervisors and line a mangers will need to effectively manage a team.  All training includes interactive group discussions, helpful scenarios and case studies. 

View event dates and locations

For advice on which course is most appropriate for your needs call our Customer Services Team on 0300 123 11 50.

What people say about our training courses

"Realistic, comprehensive training as usual from Acas. Lots of opportunities to discuss the application of legislation and process in our businesses and compare experiences. The Acas tutor facilitated the conversation and led group activity very well indeed. Great value, great venue, excellent quality and very enjoyable."
HR and Communications Director, small family-run property restoration business

"Informative, interesting, valuable"
Leisure Services Manager

"Excellent how delegates are encouraged to discuss in depth"
HR Manager

"Very relevant and clear guidance given."
Company Secretary

The Acas Framework for Effective Leadership

The Acas 'framework for effective leadership' is intended to help managers identify the qualities in themselves, and those around them, to build workplace relationships that are productive, trusting and mutually rewarding.

The leadership model is based upon four levels of understanding and is informed by the thousands of customer interactions Acas advisers have every year. The four levels are.

  1. Know your stuff - This refers to all the nuts and bolts of working life, everything from employment law to disciplinary policies and procedures.
  2. Refine your skills - Here the focus is on communicating, listening, telling, motivating and liaising - in essence, the ability to engage well with people
  3. Be aware of organisational responsibilities - The hardest part of leadership is often balancing individual and group concerns, and encouraging the right behavioural norms.
  4. Strive for those essential characteristics - The best leaders have a personal style that is reflexive, emotionally intelligent and openly accommodates both strength and vulnerability.

Our team of employment relations experts provide business solutions and can address a wide range of your business needs. We offer tailored advice, diagnosis, in-company support and bespoke training programs which can be adapted to your needs.

Solving issues in the workplace

Are you in the middle of a dispute where both sides are reluctant to give any ground? Acas Collective disputes may be able to help you.

Collective conciliation isn't just for large companies like British Airways or the BBC, it can be adapted to help any employers and employee representative bodies settle their differences. If collective conciliation would help your business please call the Customer Service Team on 0300 123 1150 and we will refer you to a senior conciliator in the area.

Find out details of the support Acas offers to organisations large and small on our Case studies page.

Business Solutions

We work with some of the region's biggest private and public sector employers as well as small to medium sized employers - we bring a wealth of experience and fresh ideas that can help you to improve business performance.

Our expert advisers can help you to review your policies, set up works councils and employee forums, handle redundancies, tackle absence, improve staff engagement and much more. Further information is available on our Training Courses, Workshops and Projects page.

Let us know how we can help through our online enquiry form.

Keep in touch

Our monthly newsletter will provide you with regular updates on changes to employment law, local events, and top tips based on new guidance we release. You can view recent issues of our newsletters toward the bottom of this page. Sign up for the Acas East of England newsletter.

Engage with Acas via social media

Acas is active on social media, you can follow us on our Twitter channel or join in the discussion on our LinkedIn group.

Where to find the Acas East of England regional office 

Forest Heath District Council Offices, College Heath Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk IP28 7EY