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Acas South West Annual Seminar


Join Acas South West for our first annual seminar. With sessions from leading experts of industry, we take a look at the ever-changing employment relations landscape with a focus on key topics; conflict at work and workplace mental health.

Business need

Delegates attending this seminar will gain greater insight into the employment relations landscape, discover the new Acas framework for positive mental health, learn practical tips to help ensure compliance with employment legislation and hear the latest research from Plymouth University on managing workplace conflict.

This seminar is also a unique opportunity for delegates to network and share ideas with likeminded employment professionals.

We will be joined by guest speakers:

  • Sir Brendan Barber; Acas Chair
  • Daniel Barnett; Leading Employment Law Barrister
  • Sue Coe; Head of Employment at the Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Dr Richard Saundry; Professor of HRM and Employment Relations at Plymouth University
  • Abigail Hirshman; Acas Mental Health Strategic Lead
  • James Dawson; Head of 3PB’s Employment and Discrimination Group

Suitable For

Delegates from all sectors of industry including: managers, supervisors, team leaders, HR professionals, business owners, Trade Union representatives, employee representatives and individuals who wish to enhance their CPD.


This seminar will include the following guest speaker sessions:

Sir Brendan Barber; Acas Chair – The future employment relations landscape

Sir Brendan has been Chair of Acas since 2014. Most of his career was spent in the Trades Union Congress (TUC), serving as the General Secretary from 2003. Sir Brendan will provide an insight into his thinking around the landscape of Employment Relations and what the future holds for the world of work.

Daniel Barnett; Leading Employment Law Barrister – Top problems faced by employers

Daniel is a leading employment and commercial barrister with over 20 years' experience representing business. Daniel has co-presented the weekly legal hour on LBC radio since 2010 and is regarded highly by the national media who often seek his comment on legal issues. Daniel’s session is packed with anecdotes from his practice, containing real information on seven areas where employers often go wrong.

Sue Coe; Head of Employment at Equality and Human Rights Commission - an update from the EHRC

Sue leads the EHRC’s work on employment, ensuring that the Commission strategically uses the full range of its statutory powers to advance equality and human rights in Britain’s workplaces. This includes a current focus on ethnicity, gender and disability pay gaps, sexual harassment, the role of positive action, reasonable adjustments and supporting employers to build flexible working cultures. Sue joined the EHRC in 2007. Prior to this she worked in the Commission for Racial Equality on inquiries and investigations including examinations of the impact of regeneration on BAME communities and accommodation for Gypsies and Irish Travellers.

Dr Richard Saundry; Professor of HRM and Employment Relations at Plymouth University – Managing conflict

Richard Saundry is one of the UKs leading experts in workplace conflict management. Richard started work at the National Union of Mineworkers where he was Head of Industrial Relations and subsequently worked at the Universities of Leeds and Central Lancashire. He is the author of ‘Managing Employment Relations’- the core CIPD text for employee relations and co-editor of ‘Reframing Resolution’. Richard will be sharing his recently conducted research for Acas which looks at managing individual conflict in the workplace, with a focus on the informal stage of proceedings and resolving matters early.

Abigail Hirshman; Acas Mental Health Strategic Lead – the new Acas framework for positive mental health

As part of the Acas Workplace Policy team, Abigail is currently leading the Acas strategic review into workplace mental health. Before joining Acas, Abigail worked in Higher Education, initially as Head of the Counselling and Mental Health Service, and then as a Senior Researcher. Abigail has an MSc in Psychology and an MA in Psychotherapy and is an experienced practitioner who has worked extensively with individuals and groups on a range of issues around mental health and wellbeing.

James Dawson; Head of 3PB’s Employment and Discrimination Group

James Dawson is a senior and specialised practitioner in Employment and Commercial law. He has been consistently recognised as a leader in his field by clients and legal professionals. James quickly achieved high office throughout his career; appointed subject leader in employment law for Manchester Metropolitan University at the age of 28, Regional Employment Judge at the age of 30 and now head of the Employment and Equalities Group for 3PB.

As a Regional Employment Judge, James will be discussing the tribunal system with a specific focus on the impact of the removal of tribunal fees and how the tribunal service is managing the increase in cases being brought forward.

Venue City Hall, Bristol   Map (opens in new window)   Date 13/11/2018    Time 10:00 - 16:00   
Price £170.00 per person    Please note our training events are VAT exempt
To book now

* Max of 4 delegates per organisation. Please call Acas on 0300 123 1150 or email if numbers exceed this or for more details about the training session.