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Acas West Midlands senior adviser profiles

Our Senior Advisers have experience and expertise in improving workplace relations and helping support organisations to implement change. They can visit you, or discuss your issues over the phone, and give advice, guidance or training to suit your particular needs.

Each team member covers specific areas of the West Midlands Find out more about our staff and who covers your area.

To get in touch with one of us call 0300 123 1150 or complete an enquiry form 

Pat Hicks Patricia Hicks

Pat has worked for Acas since 1997, having previously had a number of roles within the Civil Service, providing support to job-seekers and to small businesses. She joined Acas as a conciliator in Employment Tribunal claims and acquired a wide knowledge of employment law and of the difficulties that both employers and employees can encounter

Since 2004 she has been a senior adviser and conciliator, and works primarily in Coventry and Warwickshire CV1-37 and Tamworth B75-79. Her knowledge and experience of the day to day issues confronting employers enables her to provide advice, guidance and training which is not only soundly based but also practical and pragmatic.

When disputes arise in the workplace, whether between individuals or the company and the workforce, Pat is able to help the parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution.

She has particular interests in employee engagement and in mediation. She believes that employers who are serious about forging good relationships with employees, and who are able to identify and resolve conflict before it festers, will reap reward in terms of productivity and profitability.

Abigal Hirshman Abigal Hirshman

Abigail is an experienced psychotherapist and has worked for more than 15 years, as both a Manager and Practitioner in the field of counselling and mental health. During this period Abigail has provided therapeutic support and training to both individuals and groups in the workplace who are experiencing emotional and psychological difficulties.

For the last decade, Abigail has worked at Coventry University, initially as head of the counselling and mental health service and then as a research manager developing and managing large scale projects and training programmes in the field of health and wellbeing. These have included collaboration with Acas on the development and delivery of the Age Audit Tool, managing large scale workplace health and fitness projects on behalf of Coventry City Council and working with local community groups, councils and businesses in the Black Country to identify barriers and enablers to physical activity.

Abigail is particularly interested in working with organisations on managing staff well-being using a pragmatic approach to identify issues and developing a tailored programme that can be measured to ensure best outcomes for individuals and businesses. Abigail is a trained facilitator and has developed a number of bespoke training packages around stress awareness, building resilience and conflict resolution; these have been delivered to both closed and open groups within the public and private sector. As part of her recent MSc Psychology Abigail investigated the impact or line management support on staff satisfaction and continues to undertake research in this area.

Abigail covers the geographical patch of Bromsgrove, Dudley, Halesowen and Rowley Regis, Stourbridge, Telford and Wrekin, Warley and West Bromwich.

Jug Sahota Jug Sahota

Jug worked in the private sector prior to joining the civil service in 1990 as a Customs and Excise officer. She moved to Acas in 1992 and has undertaken various roles including Helpline adviser and Conciliator dealing with Employment Tribunal claims, both of these roles have enabled her to acquire a wide knowledge of employment law and of the difficulties that both employers and employees can encounter

Since 2005 she has been an Equality and Diversity Adviser. She assists organisations in main streaming equalities and making equality and diversity even more central to how organisations operate by providing Equality Diagnostics, guidance with policies and by delivering training in this area. She is an Associate Member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL)

She is also a mediator and her knowledge and experience of the day to day issues confronting employers and employees enables her to provide assistance when issues arise within the workplace, whether between individuals or the company and the workforce and help parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution. She believes that employers who are serious about forging good relationships with employees, and who are able to identify and resolve conflict before it festers, will reap reward in terms of productivity and profitability.

As your local senior advisor, Jug will be available to work with you on request through the whole range of HR issues from introducing new policies to setting up joint working forums. You can make an appointment for her to come out to you and she will undertake a free diagnostic of your HR to advise/assure you. Get in touch and see how she can help you.

Dave Wait Dave Wait

Conciliation and Mediation Services Manager for Acas West Midlands.

Experienced manager leading on conciliation services in the West Midlands and co-ordinator of individual mediation provision. Manages a team of twenty Acas conciliators delivering a full range of employment conciliation services. A practising mediator with a masters level post grad certificate in individual dispute resolution.

Also mental health lead providing mental health awareness courses for employers and other interested parties either in company or on an open access basis.

Works in conjunction with partner organisations to deliver mock tribunal training, an essential learning opportunity for those that may be involved in the real thing.

Jane Wilson Jane Wilson

Jane has worked in the Civil Service for most of her working life. She initially started employment in the Employment Service, mainly within Jobcentres in both the Midlands and the South East and then joined Acas as Personnel and Finance Manager. During her time with Acas she has also undertaken the role of Office Manager and Individual Conciliator, promoting the opportunity to parties to resolve individual disputes that have progressed to Employment Tribunal claims. More recently Jane has joined the Senior Adviser team, providing support for businesses within Birmingham, Dudley and Halesowen.

The range of experiences and knowledge that Jane has gained during the years within both her management positions and as an individual conciliator enables her to offer appropriate and practical support, advice and training to employers. When disputes arise in the workplace, whether between individuals, teams or the company and the workforce, Jane is able to help the parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution. 

As a trained mediator Jane provides a confidential and voluntary workplace process to parties in dispute, whether two or more individuals or groups, so that they are able to identify the underlying problems, understand their differences and find workable solutions in order to restore and maintain the employment relationship wherever possible. As part of this role Jane, together with a colleague, also delivers the Certificate in Workplace Mediation Course within the West Midlands.

Sandeep Soomal Sandeep Soomal

Sandeep joined Acas in 2014, following a period of employment as a solicitor specialising in immigration law and conveyancing. Sandeep has undertaken a variety of roles within the organisation. These include being an adviser and helpline tutor; a conciliator dealing with Employment Tribunal claims, a trainer and is now currently a senior adviser. Through working in these diverse roles, Sandeep has a wealth of knowledge and experience in employment law and is able to give practical advice to deal with workplace issues and disputes.

Emma Slaven Emma Slaven

Emma joined Acas in 2013, following periods of employment in the private and public sectors: retail, higher education and HMRC.

Emma has worked in a diverse range of roles and at different levels within Acas. This has allowed her to build up a comprehensive knowledge of employment law, best practice and tribunals. She also has experience of resolving issues and problems in the workplace, working with employers and employees and their representatives. These roles include Helpline Adviser, Individual Conciliator, Conciliation Manager and Senior Adviser.

She is experienced in working collaboratively on large scale internal and external projects. For example, she worked with a diverse range of stakeholders, including employers, trade unions and HR professionals, to develop and launch the Acas Age Audit Tool, a diagnostic survey tool to help organisations assess attitudes towards age in the workplace.

Through her involvement with this, Emma has developed an expertise in dealing with age management issues as they affect both younger and older workers. To support businesses encountering difficulties, Emma works in partnership with other government departments and organisations that are also focused on age related issues.

Emma works alongside businesses and trade unions to help resolve any issues or disputes that they may be facing. She also runs regular forums specifically for SMEs and those working in the Care Sector, providing practical advice and guidance on employment related issues.

Emma holds a BA Honours degree in Sociology and is CIPD qualified.

To speak to your local advisor, contact Acas customer services on 0300 123 1150.