The lunchbreak lockdown with… Teresa Riley

7 Jan 21 by Teresa Riley
Teresa Riley

As a firm which places Employee Relations (ER) at our heart, we are proud of the amazing team here at ESPHR. That is why we’ve revamped our employee Q&A – in a bid to find out a little more about each one of our colleagues.

Up next, is Teresa Riley, our head of HR systems (and would-be actress).

What is the one thing which marks ESPHR out as an employer of choice?

The team! I was going to use the word “people”, but “team” sums it up better. I am lucky to be a part of a fantastic collective of hard working, fun, and committed individuals.

What would you say if you were to explain what ESPHR does to an alien?

If I saw an alien, I would be running in the other direction! However, once over the initial terror, I would say: “We are a very different employment law firm and ER business partner, strategically focused to help HR professionals transform their ER capabilities and drive real commercial change” – can you tell I’ve been busy reviewing our new corporate messaging?

If you could give anyone an internal award, who would it be and what would it be for?

Tricky one, as the legal team has been awesome in the way each and every one of them has reacted to the constant changes in the law during a really tricky time.

If pushed to single someone out though, I would choose our head of finance and operations, Sam Davies. She is involved in most aspects of the business and somehow manages to provide support to us all in a cool, calm, and collected manner!

What is your funniest memory of someone in the team?

It probably relates to Russell and is definitely not repeatable!

What keeps the job interesting for you?

Our lovely customers! I am lucky in that my role requires me to work closely with ER teams across our portfolio to implement our market-leading ER case management system, MyHRCases. We have such a varied customer base, and it is fascinating to learn about different industries.

It might sound like a cliché, but no two days are ever the same.

If you had not chosen the career you are in, what would you be doing now?

I was an aspiring actress when I was younger and had a place to study at drama school after my A Levels. I changed my mind at the last-minute and decided to pursue a career in HR – joining the management training scheme at Marks & Spencer instead!

Where do you see ESPHR in five years’ time?

As a market-leading employment law firm and ER technology business which is way ahead of our competitors in terms of people, processes, and tech.

A little-known fact about you?

I am an exercise enthusiast! Bootcamps, weight training, classes, walks – you name it! I must do something fitness-related every day, and it’s one of the things that has kept me sane this year.

If we went into lockdown for a third time, who would you like to be locked down with and why?

My kids. Whilst the past year has been very challenging for many people, lockdown meant that both my grown-up(ish!) boys moved back home. As I look back, that time together was very precious and would not have happened otherwise. There are always positives to take away.

Assuming you are in Tier 1, which five celebrities (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party?

After all the restrictions this year, I think I would invite four friends and Gordon Ramsey – the latter would do all of the cooking!


We are the HR and employment law experts from ESPHR.

It’s our mission to advise and develop the employment law capability of HR professionals wherever we can, helping HR teams make a real commercial difference to their organisations. That way, you spend less time solving operational issues and more time actioning projects that drive far-reaching change in your company.

Call 0333 006 2929 or email today to discover exactly how we can help you.

Post by Teresa Riley

Head of HR systems, esphr

Teresa has worked within the HR industry since 1987 when she joined the HR Management Training scheme at Marks and Spencer. Her 12 year career with the company gave her the opportunity to work within HR management, implement multiple HR systems and to latterly train and work as a project manager within the IT group. She joined esphr early in 2010 as Head of HR Systems and is now responsible for MyHRCases projects.