Press release

Government announces 4 new Acas council members

Business Minister Jo Swinson announces the appointment of 4 new members to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service Council.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Business Minister Jo Swinson has announced the appointment of 4 new members to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) Council.

Jane McNeill and Paul Willman join as independent members and Neil Carberry and Mike Gooddie join as employer members. The appointments are for 3 years, with the option of reappointment.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said:

I am delighted to appoint Jane McNeill, Paul Willman, Mike Gooddie and Neil Carberry to the Acas Council and look forward to working with them.

The skills and expertise they bring to the role will be vital to Acas as it looks to continue its key role in providing workplace advice and guidance, and supporting businesses and employees to resolve problems at work.

Sir Brendan Barber, Chair of the Acas Council said:

I am pleased to welcome the new members of the Acas Council. Their wealth of experience in employment relations will be invaluable in our role as independent, impartial and trusted workplace experts.

The Council sets out Acas’ strategic direction, policies and priorities. I look forward to working with our new colleagues to maintain our reputation as Britain’s leading employment relations service for businesses and employees.

The 4 new Acas Council members will take up their roles on 10 July 2014 and replace Susan Anderson, Jennifer Eady QC, Professor Jonathan Michie and Nicola Templeman.

Notes to editors:

1.Biographies of new Council Members

Jane McNeil – independent member:

Jane McNeill is joint Head of Old Square Chambers, a leading employment set of chambers. She has been involved in many important and test cases in the fields of employment and discrimination law, including the part-time workers’ pensions (Preston) litigation, the test cases in the Supreme Court and Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the calculation of holiday pay (Williams v BA), the equal pay litigation and recent cases involving the interpretation and implementation of disciplinary processes and procedures in the public sector, including the NHS. She has been a Queen’s Counsel since 2002, a fee-paid Employment Judge since 2000 and has sat as a County Court Recorder (part-time Judge) since 2006. She is an accredited and practising mediator.

Paul Willman – independent member:

Paul Willman has been the Professor of Management at the London School of Economics since 2006. Previously, and for 6 years, he was the Ernest Butten Professor of Management at the Said Business School, Balliol College, Oxford. Before that he was the Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Industrial Relations at the London Business School for 9 years. He is very well published and has other commitments such as being on the editorial board of ‘Human Relations’. He has taught on MBA and Executive MBA programmes and has worked with international companies in the areas of organisational development and change.

Mike Gooddie – employer member:

Mike Gooddie is Vice President, Labour Relations and Human Resources Business Partner for Asda Logistic Services, Asda Walmart. Mike has worked for a number of companies including Shell, British Airways, GNER and the BBC. He has held non executive positions for Manchester Airport Group (MAG), York Archaeological Trust (YAT) and is currently a trustee for Community Integrated Care (CIC). He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), a graduate of Leicester University and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA).

Neil Carberry – employer member:

Neil Carberry is Director for Employment & Skills at the CBI, a role he has held since February 2011. Neil has worked at the CBI for the past decade on a wide range of business issues, including pay, pensions, agency work, work permits and skills. He is a member of the CBI’s management board. Before joining the CBI, Neil worked in consultancy on HR issues. He is a member of the Low Pay Commission, which makes recommendations about the level of the UK’s National Minimum Wage. He has an MSc in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics and is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. He is the chair of Business Europe’s Employment Working Group.

2.Acas is an independent non-departmental public body (NDPB) and the Acas Council is the overarching governance body for Acas. The council consists of 12 members, including the chair, and membership is drawn from employer, trade union and independent backgrounds. Acas aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides 3 main services:

  • advice on workplace matters through a helpline which received around 930,000 calls in 2012/13 and a website with over 4 million hits annually
  • conciliation services which help resolve disputes between employers and individual employees or groups of employees – last year Acas advisers were involved in around 70,000 individual conciliations and 900 collective conciliations
  • tailored training and advice for individual organisations. In 2012 to 2013, Acas trained around 27,000 delegates across over 1,900 events

3.Acas is independent of ministers, but is one of BIS’ key partners. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’ and Acas’ services contribute to delivering a competitive, efficient and effective labour market which supports economic growth and employment.

4.These appointments were made following an open selection process conducted in accordance with the code of practice and other guidance issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Published 10 July 2014