East of England team
Acas East of England are moving
On 17 October we leave our offices on Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds and relocate a short distance away to the Forrest Heath District Council Offices in Mildenhall. Our services are available as normal.
Caroline Plummer - Acas East of England Area Director
Caroline was appointed Area Director for the East of England in August 2014 and has 20 years' experience of working with employers and employees to help them build thriving workplaces and working lives. She works with a team of highly experienced Senior Advisers and Conciliators who resolve workplace disputes, diagnose problems and provide advice, guidance and in some case training based in the East.
She encourages organisations and individuals to make use of the wealth of guidance and material on the Acas website ranging from YouTube clips showing mediation in action, to Helpline Online and Acas' productivity tool. Caroline would welcome contact from those based in the East who would like to talk through their people strategy and employment challenges.
Caroline has the national brief for transport sector. She holds MCIPD, ITOL and a postgraduate certificate in Industrial Dispute Resolution.
Our Senior Advisers
Karen French - Senior Adviser
Karen has over 20 years experience with Acas and is a Senior Adviser and Collective Conciliator resolving disputes between groups of workers and management covering Essex. CIPD qualified, Karen has also gained the Postgraduate Certificate in Individual Employment Dispute Resolution.
She has a wide range of experience in resolving disputes of all kinds, individual and collective, as well as advising and training on employee relations issues, including employee engagement, workplace conflict, consultation and investigations.
She has recently been working in collaboration with Public Health England on the design and delivery of training to support managers dealing with health in the workplace, in particular the management of mental health.
Karen is an experienced mediator and delivers Acas' accredited mediation skills training courses (Certificate In Workplace Mediation) as well as advising organisations on mediation policy and procedures.
Marina Glasgow - Senior Adviser
Marina Glasgow joined Acas in 2001 with considerable management experience gained with the MoD. As an individual conciliator Marina resolved employment tribunal disputes, before moving on to become a full- time trainer, delivering courses throughout East Anglia on all aspects of employment law and management.
Now Senior Adviser for Essex, a trained mediator, and collective conciliator, she enjoys researching and 'translating' employment legislation and has a particular interest in TUPE legislation and Communication Skills.
Marina has also been working with Karen in collaboration with Public Health England.
Helen Hedley - Senior Adviser
Helen joined Acas over 25 years' ago and is an Acas Senior Conciliator/Adviser in Cambridgeshire. A Fellow of the CIPD, Helen has extensive experience of employment relations and spreading good practice in the workplace. She has also studied for, and passed, a post graduate qualification.
Helen's comprehensive experience encompasses advising organisations on a wide range of workplace topics, including employee involvement and workplace conflict. She resolves disputes between employers and their workforce and helps them to improve working relationships. Where unions are seeking recognition, she also conducts recognition ballots and membership checks.
Mediation is one of Helen's specialisms and she is the first port-of-call for mediation services in the eastern counties, as well as conducting individual mediation herself. She is one of two tutors on the Acas NOCN accredited Certificate in Internal Workplace Mediation in Eastern England.
Simon Maybury - Senior Adviser
Simon has over 14 years experience with Acas and works with organisations of all types, sizes and sectors as a Senior Adviser/Conciliator covering Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire to help organisations develop good workplace relationships.
Simon provides conciliation for management and trade union teams covering a range of employment disputes. He also has considerable experience training employers, managers and employee representatives in effective employment relations. He has expertise covering a range of training topics including effective recruitment, handling difficult conversations and equality and diversity. In addition he facilitates workshops for organisations to assist all parties to deal jointly with issues such as change management, information & consultation and employment engagement.
His skills include diagnostic and problem-solving skills, facilitation skills and designing and delivering programmes for bespoke training and workshop events.
Maria Shinn - Senior Adviser
Maria has worked for Acas since 2002, having previously worked in the private sector in education and other positions as well as other government departments. She has a wealth of Acas experience including Helpline, conciliation, training and the management of teams as well as mediation.
She is currently working as the Senior Adviser for Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire delivering and designing training and business solutions for businesses of all sizes in matters relating to employment relations and law in the East of England and London. Specialisms include; performance management, team interaction, discipline and grievance, change management and employee surveys.
As an experienced mediator in individual employment disputes, Maria has worked with a wide range of employment sectors including local education authorities, local government, the aviation industry and medical practices amongst others. Her additional qualifications in Counselling gained outside of her work role, complement this work, and help her to resolve disputes between groups.
Maria is ITOL qualified and also holds the CEREL qualification from the University of Strathclyde.
Phil Rimmer - Senior Collective Conciliator
Phil has worked for Acas quite a few years. He has been a Senior Adviser covering Norfolk and Suffolk for 12 of those, with a particular interest in industrial relations and problem-solving.
Phil specialises in collective conciliation, where disputes between employers, trade unions and employee representatives have been unable to be resolved. The work covers a wide range of issues - with particular focus on pay, union recognition, terms and conditions and redundancy.
He gets involved in around 20 disputes in Norfolk and Suffolk each year, with a success rate of over 90%. The skills involved avoid conflict becoming confrontational, and Phil has considerable experience of problem-solving, and in getting disputing parties to work better together.
He also organises and oversees union recognition ballots, and takes a lead role in the preparation of information for disputes going to arbitration and collective mediation.
The Training Team
Steve Tullock - Training Manager
Steve has over 20 years experience with Acas as Area Business Support Unit Manager, Helpline Manager, Individual Conciliator, Trainer and now Training Manager for the East England.
As Training Manager and an experienced member of the East of England training team, Steve effectively oversees and directs the comprehensive range of good practice services we provide to support organisations throughout East Anglia. He has responsibility for the design, delivery and evaluation of training events covering a wide range of employment law and employment relations topics, and specialises in the provision of bespoke workplace training courses for employers across all sizes and sectors.
Having run his own business for many years, Steve understands the challenges facing businesses in the Eastern Region. He is keen to contribute to the effectiveness and productivity of organisations by improving employment relations practices and procedures. His experiences in the business community underpin his beliefs that with the right mindset, training, support and advice, we all have the ability to develop and achieve what some times looks like the impossible!
He is an active member of employer and employee forums in the region enabling him to keep abreast of regional and national developments and to provide essential employment relations updates.
Kay Gilligan - Trainer
Kay joined Acas in 2000 as an Individual Conciliator helping parties resolve actual and potential Employment Tribunal claims, coming from a background in HR.
Kay has been a Trainer since 2012 and now regularly designs and delivers bespoke training to a range of businesses in the East of England Area. She also provides clear and accessible advice to employers covering a whole range of issues, including discipline & grievances, absence management, contracts of employment and shared parental leave and pay.
In 2009 Kay qualified with a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution from the University of Greenwich and has been ITOL trained.
Kirsty Fitzjohn - Trainer and Regional Publicity Manager
Kirsty Joined Acas in 2009 as a Helpline Adviser and has since carried out a variety of roles in Acas East of England and Acas National. Working at our Head Office she designed and wrote the Acas web guidance for schools and researched and drafted Acas guidance for Homeworkers.
Since then Kirsty has worked at Acas National's Communications Team working on internal communications, PR and marketing before moving on to resolving employment tribunal claims through conciliation and then joining the training team.
Prior to working for Acas Kirsty has experience working in the education sector, social services and the private sector. As a former school governor, her particular area of interest is the education sector, but she is also interested in communication skills and TUPE.
Tina Whitehead - Trainer
Tina Whitehead joined Acas in 2012 with considerable management experience gained running her own logistics business and in the civil service. As an individual conciliator manager Tina managed a team of Acas Conciliators resolving employment tribunal disputes including equal pay claims, before moving on to become a full-time trainer, delivering courses throughout East Anglia on all aspects of employment law and management.
Tina's particular areas of interest are change/people management and communications skills.