ACAS chief Anne Sharp reflects on the increase in the number of disputes in 2018

Written by Anne Sharp on 31 December 2018 in Feature

With the end of 2018 fast approaching, we asked the UK's top civil servants to look back at the year, outline their goals for 2019 – and tell us who would turn on their town’s Christmas lights.

Inspiring:  But would Sir David Attenborough agree to turn on the lights?

What was your highlight of 2018?

Acas resolves disputes and provides impartial advice on workplace practice to employers and employees through a range of services. 2018 saw a sharp increase in the number of disputes between individuals and their employers, as well as pressures on our telephone helpline. I was especially proud of the way that colleagues responded with commitment and professionalism, maintaining services for customers at a time of internal change.

What was the hardest part of being a leader in 2018?

Leading continuing transformation in a way that will deliver better services for users and improve the way we use the skills of our people – not a new challenge, but never an easy one.

What are the main challenges facing your organisation in the coming year? We know that for every £1 Acas spends there is £13 benefit to the economy. The challenge in the coming year will remain that of securing maximum reach and impact at a time of uncertainty and change: adaptability and focus will remain crucial to success for us and others.

Which celebrity or historical figure would you choose to turn on the Christmas lights in your town, and why?

I would choose David Attenborough as an inspirational national figure, who makes a global difference for the better (although we have no streetlights where I live, partly for ecological reasons, so he might say no!).

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Anne Sharp
About the author

Anne Sharp is the chief executive of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

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