If your business is to grow, take care of your people

Passionate about small business and the people who work in them, I provide HR services for small businesses.  I believe that building strong and engaged teams is the key to a business’ success.

Choosing prevention over cure; I work with business leaders to ensure you have the company culture, people management processes and policies in place before something goes wrong.  This limits the amount of time and energy spent putting things right and allows us to focus on developing great teams of great people who will help drive your business.  HR shouldn’t be about policing policies and ticking boxes, but growing great teams.  If you value your people, they will value your business as much as you do.

You have an accountant to look after your money; having HR support to look after your biggest asset, investment and risk is just good business.

Core Services

Let us take care those who keep your business running, you can focus on making it grow

Outsourced HR, HR, Outsourcing, HR Services

Outsourced HR Services

People Management, HR, Employer, Employee, Human Resources

People Management

HR, HR policies, statutory HR, employer

HR Policies & HR Processes

HR software, HR, HR system

HR Software

Recruitment Services

Recruitment Services

Onboarding, new starter, employee, recruitment

New Starter Onboarding

Exit interview, leaver, exit

Exit Interviews

Grievance, mediation, employee, employer, tribunal

Mediation and Grievances

Solving common issues and challenges

You’re not alone, most small businesses suffer the same challenges.

To take the pain out of HR admin and free up your time, I’ve partnered with breatheHR to provide easy-to-use HR software especially designed for SMEs.
Click here to find out more!

HR software, HR system

About Me

Maria Riley

Hi, I’m Maria.

I have 15+ years’ experience working in people and operations management in the corporate world across several industries.  Tired of helping big business, I now use my knowledge and experience by helping start-ups and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) on a flexible basis to make a difference to real lives by:

  • working with business leaders to improve the way they manage their people – saving time and money
  • creating strong teams which are dedicated and focused – because they want to be there
  • putting the right structure in place – enabling businesses to develop and grow
  • limiting problems from arising  – prevention is always better than cure

On a personal note, I’m a travel and adventure addict.  I love nature and wildlife, getting away from cities and into the wild are what keep me sane.

I’d love to help you improve work/life balance, your business flourish and keep your people happy.


“Maria is a great person to have if you “need sorting out”. She has the ability to rapidly identify and implement effective solutions, bring value and enable an organisation to grow. She communicates well, wanting to make sure not only her personal interactions are good, but also supports and advises senior managers on effective communications with the organisation.”

Stevan Zivanovic , Breaking Through The Barriers Ltd

“We were particularly busy earlier in the year and needed to add resource to our team, most critically we needed someone we could trust to work remotely. Maria stepped in seamlessly; working with us three days a week, she quickly understood our business and was deliver operational improvements which enables our business to run more effectively, saving us time and money, as well as improving stress levels into the bargain. I’d definitely call on her services again.”

Julie Osborne, Managing Director, Osborne Thomas Limited

“I had an HR issue that I had never had to deal with before and, although ignorant of the procedures, I was aware that the consequences of getting it wrong could be very serious. I therefore asked Maria for help, and her knowledge and advice were invaluable. She understood my concerns and, as well as setting out the legal requirements in detail, she offered practical solutions that meant the issue was dealt with before it became a major problem. I will definitely be turning to Maria for assistance in the future, she offers great support in a number of areas that most small business owners do not deal with on a regular basis – an extremely useful and financially effective service.”

Linden Weller, Managing Partner, Dennehy Weller

“Acorns & Oaks were referred to me when I needed help with a staff disciplinary matter. Maria was quickly able to understand the situation, provide appropriate outcomes and paperwork, as well as attending an onsite meeting at short notice. Having Maria there to advise and mediate on a difficult situation was a huge help. She is professional, yet personable and I’d happily recommend her to others.”

Siddiq Miah, BusinessWise

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We'd all finally gotten our heads around the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) rules and it was (mostly) going OK, so it's obviously time to change it, just to keep us on our toes.  Why [...]

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Get in Touch

Contact: Maria Riley
Email: maria@acornsandoaks.uk
Phone: 07787 582981

Breathe HR Software