Clare Chapman announced as new Acas Chair

Clare Chapman has been announced as the new Chair of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) Council.

Clare is currently a member of the Low Pay Commission and has held a number of director roles within human resources for a variety of large organisations in the UK and abroad including director general of the NHS workforce between 2007 and 2011.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:

"I am delighted that Clare Chapman will join Acas as our new Chair. Her varied private and public sector experience within the world of work will be invaluable in our role as independent, impartial and trusted employment relations experts.

"The country's workforce is facing a very challenging time now due to the impact of coronavirus. Clare's expertise will be needed during this period and afterwards to ensure Acas continues to help meet the needs of Great Britain's modern workplace."

Clare Chapman said:

"I am delighted to be taking on this role given the reputation Acas has as the leading authority in workplace relations and look forward to working with the rest of the Acas Council at such a critical time. 

"Given the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 crisis, Acas is proving its strength, not just in resolving disputes but in helping employees and employers work together to tackle today's workplace challenges. Acas has already helped record numbers of people through its practical advice and will keep addressing the issues as they emerge. 

"The world of work is being permanently changed by this crisis. In the midst of all the turmoil, some companies are already managing to unlock innovative and effective ways of working for employees whilst dealing with the detrimental impacts to their business. This provides potential for making working life better in Britain over the long term and I am confident that Acas will play a strong role in making this happen."

Clare will start on 27 July 2020 and will serve a 3-year term.

Media enquiries

Contact the Acas press office.

Background notes

1. Clare currently serves on the Board of the Weir Group Plc, G4S Plc and Heidrick and Struggles Inc. She has also been a Low Pay Commissioner since 2015 and is co-chair of The Purposeful Company with Will Hutton.

Prior to that Clare was the group people director of BT Group and Tesco Plc and vice president of human resources for PepsiCo's operations in continental Europe. She also was the director general of workforce at the Department of Health where she was responsible to more than 2.2 million health and social care employees in England. Clare has also worked for Quaker Oats in the USA. 

In her time at Tesco, the company partnered with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) to establish a strong framework for progressive employee relations.

At the Department of Health, Clare was responsible for creating the Social Partnership Forum in Health, bringing Ministers, health service organisations and union leaders together to shape large scale operational change, prior to its implementation within the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS Constitution, still in use today, was developed during this time and was significantly shaped by the Forum.

Clare is a trustee of the Reconciling Leaders Network, a registered charity established by the Archbishop of Canterbury to equip a generation to live out their calling as peacemakers and reconcilers for a just and flourishing society. 

2. Clare Chapman will replace Sir Brendan Barber who has been Chair of the Acas Council since 1 January 2014.

3. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council. The Council consists of a Chair and 11 members who represent employer, worker or independent interests.

4. Acas aims to make working life better for everyone in Britain. It advises millions of people every year on how to resolve issues at work, through its website, through its helpline, and through workplace training. When things go wrong at work, Acas offers conciliation, both to individuals and to groups represented by trade unions.