Mission: To make a tangible difference (with integrity and enthusiasm), to individuals and organisations

Marilyn Smyth, Managing DirectorMarilyn Smyth, Managing Director of Making a Difference, has many years experience in the business and public sectors as a specialist employee relations consultant and HR service provider.

Marilyn is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and is Vice Chair of the CIPD Committee for Docklands & East London. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management, qualified in employment & workplace mediation and a member of the Civil Mediation Council, and qualified with the British Psychological Society in psychometric testing, (ability and occupational personality testing). Marilyn was an Employment Tribunal member and regularly sat on Employment Tribunal panels for 12 years and was a school governor at Passmores Academy for many years.

Marilyn has gained experience in the public and private sectors and, until launching her own consultancy firm, was Head of Organisational Development for a large London Local Authority, and later for an outsourced public service provider. This most recent endeavour, giving her understanding of the balance between the business and public sectors; a gap which she believes is rapidly closing.

Since the launch of Making a Difference in 2003, Marilyn has worked in 28 Local Authorities, 4 national charities, 3 government departments, 5 large NHS Trusts, 2 outsourcing companies and a variety of large and small businesses.

Marilyn keeps abreast of new legislation and guidelines in order to offer support to clients at the earliest time. She can deliver relevant training and help organisations to write policy encompassing the legislation and guidelines, without huge budgetary implications for them in conforming to the legislation. She can also offer HR advice to small companies who need to ensure they are operating within the legal frameworks around employment.

Another of the services Marilyn offers (and has considerable experience in), is dispute resolution; she undertakes un-biased disciplinary, bullying or harassment, or grievance investigations, and stress risk assessments. Work in these areas includes relevant reports. Marilyn also undertakes mediations both for existing staff and to gain settlement with ex-staff or those involved in exit negotiations.

The most important value Marilyn holds is that of integrity; both in the way she runs her consultancy firm and the advice she gives to her clients. She tackles every activity with enthusiasm, is highly motivated and energetic, and has the skills and experience to make a real difference to your organisation.

HR Services Client Feedback


  • Investigations

    With current workloads it is sometimes a challenge for managers to make the time to undertake a comprehensive disciplinary or grievance investigation.

    Marilyn can undertake this task for you which would have the added advantage of being done by an unbiased independent person, taking claims of bias out of the equation, and adding credence to the findings.

  • Tribunals

    Marilyn sat on Employment Tribunal Hearings for 12 years, and is therefore in a position to offer her clients Tribunal advice, the taking of witness statements is also offered. As a former practising Tribunal Member, Marilyn is able to offer a pre-tribunal conciliation service conducted in a similar way to mediation whereby parties can use Marilyn as a conduit through which to pass parties’ settlement suggestions. This can often result in a settlement in one day, saving huge costs in defending a case at Tribunal.

  • Mediation

    Mediation services and exit negotiations  are available to assist members of staff who are in conflict to resolve their differences in a manner that allows them both to move on and participate in the solution.

    Mediation can usually be completed with one Pre-Agreement Session (which can be via a telephone interview and production of a Pre-Mediation Agreement), followed by a Mediation session that is usually completed within one day. This means mediation is usually a very cost-effect way to settle disputes that could have caused loss of productive working for a long time previously.

    Mediation is also very flexible and parties chose their resolution options using the mediator as a conduit through which to pass their feelings, ideas and possibilities for settlement. The Mediator acts as a facilitator of the solution rather than an adviser, and is totally neutral. Any conflict of interests will be revealed. All information gathered during the mediation will be treated in absolute confidentiality.

    Exit negotiations
    Sometimes it is better for parties to go their own separate ways, but negotiating in-house can lead to complaints of bias and self-interest. Using a qualified mediator as a negotiator can often conclude matters that have been unresolved for a very long time in the least painful way for all concerned. Negotiations can be with Trade unions and or employees or employee representatives.

Marilyn Smyth, Managing Director


t: 07905 228991
e: Marilyn.MaD@outlook.com

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