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New ACAS chair appointed

New ACAS chair appointed

DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM News Release (2007/045) issued by The Government News Network on 10 September 2007

Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs, Pat McFadden, today announced the appointment of Mr Edward Sweeney as the new Chair of the Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Abritration Service) Council.

Ed Sweeney will start on 1 October 2007 and the appointment is for three years. He will succeed Rita Donaghy.

Pat McFadden said:

"I am delighted to welcome Ed Sweeney as Chair of the Acas Council. His considerable high level experience in both private and public sectors makes him well qualified to provide a strong contribution to the leadership and work of Acas.

"Good employment relations are the key to competitiveness and business success and ACAS has a reputation for delivering high quality employment services to businesses and individuals.

"Looking to the challenges ahead, Acas will have a central role in helping to shape and deliver the future dispute resolution system that will emerge from the Gibbons Review, and preparing the British economy to meet the employment relations challenges of the 21st Century.

"I would like to pay tribute to the outgoing Chair, Rita Donaghy for her outstanding contribution in transforming and modernising Acas. "

John Taylor, Acas Chief Executive, said:

"I am absolutely delighted Ed will be joining us. He has an extensive union ackground and business sense gained in industries where advances in both technology and development have been at the forefront of economic growth. He will be an asset to Acas during a period of workplace change, not seen in this country since arguably the Industrial Revolution."

Notes to Editors

1. Acas aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides up-to-date information, independent advice, high-quality training and work with employers and employees to solve workplace problems and improve performance. More information can be found at It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council of twelve consisting of the Acas Chair, employer, trade union and independent members.

2. The new appointment was made following an open selection process conducted in accordance with the guidance issued by the Office of Commissioner for Public Appointments, and in conformity with section 248 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. This places a requirement on the Secretary of State to consult organisations representing employers and organisations representing workers on certain appointments.

3. Ed Sweeney's appointment will commence from 1 October 2007. The appointment is for three years with possibility of one reappointment. He will receive an annual payment of approximately £63,470 subject to annual review.

4. Ed Sweeney graduated from Warwick University with a BA Hon in Politics and Law in 1976. In 1977, he graduated from LSE with an MSc (Econ) in Industrial Relations and Labour Law.

He has served as a Member of Accounting for People Task Force 2005, Employment Tribunal Services and as a DWP's Independent Reviewer to Government De-Regulation Review on Occupational Pensions.

His career in brief:
1990 to 1996: Deputy General Secretary, BIFU
1996 to 2000: General Secretary, BIFU
2000 to 2004: General Secretary, UNIFI
2004 to June 2007: Deputy General Secretary, AMICUS

5. Political Activities: Currently none, however, Ed Sweeney was from 2004 to June 2007 a Deputy General Secretary of AMICUS.

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