Our public policy team works to inform and help shape public debate, government policy and legislation in order to champion better work and working lives. We do this by engaging with and representing the views of members to government and conducting research to understand the changes to public policy that can help support improvements to people management and development. 

Our public policy team

Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy

Ben leads our public policy team, which works to inform and shape public debate, government policy and legislation to champion better work and working lives. His personal areas of interest include industrial strategy, skills policy, labour market regulation and enforcement and employee relations and wellbeing. 

Ben led the design and development of our regional People Skills pilots, which explored the value of HR support for small firms and how it can be delivered effectively within a local skills system. His published research includes reports on the Apprenticeship Levy, line management capability, zero hours contracts and the gig economy. He is also a member of the Government-sponsored Flexible Working Taskforce and has given evidence to a range of select committee inquiries on our behalf. Before joining the CIPD, Ben was news editor and employment law editor at Personnel Today magazine. He has an LLM in employment law from Kingston University.

Marek Zemanik, Senior Public Policy Adviser, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Marek leads our public policy work in Scotland and Northern Ireland, focusing primarily on fair work, skills and productivity. 

He writes our annual job quality report, Working Lives Scotland, and has written several policy and research reports around skills and the labour market in Scotland and Northern Ireland. He provides evidence to Parliamentary and Assembly committees, responds to government and executive consultations and inquiries and engages with ministers and civil servants.

Before joining the CIPD, Marek spent nearly a decade working at the Scottish Parliament as a political adviser responsible for policymaking across devolved areas of public policy. He has written several election manifestos, dozens of policy papers and coordinated a series of independent policy commissions.

James Cockett, Labour Market Economist

James is a quantitative analyst with experience in a variety of aspects of the world of work, including low pay, equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), flexible working, social mobility, wellbeing and education and skills. James uses both publicly available data, and our own surveys to gain insights and he has a keen interest in data visualisation. 

Before joining the CIPD, James was an economist in the policy team of the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) where he completed labour market research and evaluation of employment programmes designed to support people into work. He has also led the design and analysis of numerous workforce surveys and has presented to several government departments and key stakeholders. James has also worked as a consultant, completing evaluations on the subject of social policy for public sector clients.

Jon Boys, Labour Market Economist

Jon is an experienced labour market analyst with expertise in pay and conditions, education and skills and productivity. He focuses on uncovering insights in labour market data, both publicly available and generated through in-house surveying. 

Jon regularly contributes commentary and analysis of economic issues on the world of work to online, print and broadcast media. Recent work includes an international ranking of work quality, analysis of firm-level gender pay gap reporting data and an ongoing programme of work looking at the changing age profile of the UK workforce. 

Before joining the CIPD, Jon worked for Be the Business, a government-backed company aimed at increasing firm-level productivity in the UK, and the Careers and Enterprise Company, another government-backed start-up aimed at transforming careers provision in schools. He has also held prominent research roles at an employers association and trade union researching pay, conditions, and workforce composition.

Lizzie Crowley, Senior Policy Adviser, Skills

Lizzie is our employment and skills policy and research professional. She is experienced in developing high-quality research to inform organisational practice, policy and shape the public debate.

Before joining the CIPD in 2016, she led youth labour market research and policy development for The Work Foundation and developed research for public and private sectors. She has published several influential reports on skill policy and youth unemployment and appears regularly on national and regional TV and radio.

Lizzie is a sociology graduate with a Master's degree in social science research methods, both from the University of Glasgow.

Charles Cotton, Senior Performance and Reward Advisor

Charles is a senior adviser and directs our reward research agenda. He recently led a project focusing on how HR teams can help tackle in-work poverty, how workplaces can be more transparent about reward, and how employers can support their staff during the cost-of-living crisis. 

Charles is also responsible for our public policy work around pay and benefits and has given evidence to several government select committees, including topics such as executive remuneration and ethnicity pay reporting, as well responding to consultations on pensions, the national minimum wage, and corporate governance.

Before joining the CIPD, Charles worked for the Industrial Relations Services Department and the Local Government Management Board. He has a degree in economics from Aberystwyth University and a Master's in HR from the London School of Economics. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.

Lutfur Ali, Senior Public Policy Advisor, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Change

Lutfur has dedicated more than 30 years to championing social justice, equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and change in the public, private and third sector. He strongly believes in the importance of effective EDI leadership in driving sustainable improvements and delivering organisational vision, mission and goals. 

Before joining the CIPD, Lutfur led consultancy practice and held several high-profile roles in the public, private and not-for-profit sector, including the Tribal Group PLC, the Department of Health and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. As assistant chief executive at Tower Hamlets Council he led a transformation programme to reshape the workforce, secure partnerships, generate income and improve overall service delivery. Lutfur has served on a number of judicial public inquiries and government advisory bodies, including the Zahid Mubarak Inquiry, the Prime Minister’s Prevent Task Force and the International Ministerial Working Group on Illegal Working. Lutfur is also a non-executive director for the Business Continuity and Resilience Institute. 

Jill Miller

Dr Jill Miller, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Adviser

Jill’s work focuses on gender, age and neurodiversity. She has recently led projects on race inclusion, managing drug and alcohol misuse at work and supporting employees through fertility treatment, pregnancy loss and still birth. Earlier in her career, Jill specialised in small business growth through good people management and employee wellbeing.

Jill’s role is a combination of rigorous research and active engagement with policy makers, academics and HR professionals to inform projects and shape thinking on inclusion and diversity issues. She frequently presents on people management issues, leads discussions and workshops and is invited to write for trade press as well as offer comment to national journalists.

Before joining the CIPD, Jill worked in an entrepreneurial small business, before lecturing at Reading University on HR topics. She has a BSc in psychology, MSc in international business and a PhD in management, examining the effect of the informal organisation on performance.

Rachel Suff, Senior Employee Relations Adviser

Rachel joined us as a senior policy adviser in 2014 to help shape the public policy debate and champion better work and working lives. Rachel is a policy and research professional with over 25 years’ experience in the employment and HR arena. An important part of her role is to ensure that the views of the profession inform our policy thinking on health and wellbeing and employment relations.

Rachel leads a range of policy and research studies about health and wellbeing at work, and represents the CIPD on key advisory groups, such as NHS England's National Health and Wellbeing Expert Advisory Group and the Council for Work and Health.

Rachel is a qualified HR practitioner and researcher with a Master’s in human resource management from Portsmouth University and a post-graduate diploma in social research methods from Sussex University. Before joining the CIPD, Rachel worked as a senior policy adviser at Acas. 

Claire McCartney, Senior Policy Adviser, Resourcing and Inclusion

Claire is our senior resourcing and inclusion policy adviser. She leads our policy work on flexible and new ways of working and resourcing and talent management. Claire also works in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion and leads policy work on carers, working parents and compassionate bereavement support. She also works with colleagues on menopause and menstrual health workplace policy support.

Previously, Claire ran her own research and consultancy organisation and was acting head of research and principal researcher at Roffey Park. Claire has worked on several international projects, is the author of a range of reports, has responded to numerous Government consultations and has given evidence at a range of parliamentary groups and committees.   

Influencing public policy

How we influence government policy and legislation to bring about better work and working lives

Influencing public policy

How we influence government policy and legislation to bring about better work and working lives

Good work – our number one priority

How we engage with government, policy-makers, business and our community in our call for better work and working lives

Supporting local good work standards

Championing better work and working lives around the UK

Our calls for action

The priorities we’re pursuing to champion better work and working lives through public policy

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