5 reviews
16:04 13 Mar 23
Highly recommended! Josh and Sarah have been fantastic at Astute. They've found and placed me in 2 jobs now between them, both really responsive and excellent at keeping you up to speed with things. Very knowledgable about the roles and happy to talk to companies with any queries you have.
C R.C R.
10:45 27 Jan 23
Great agency one of the best ones I've worked with! Liz has been a great help and support in helping me towards a new direction in my career life. She is very attentive and keeps me in the loop at all times! She makes the extra effort to work with my preferred requirements for work and even if it isn't completely attainable she meets me in the middle and does as much as she can to help! Also Liz is very funny might I add 😂 and I'm happy that I can now put a face to the name after all these years! Thank you again Liz for all your help and support! 😊
10:32 20 Dec 22
Josh and the Astute team was very swift to help me to find roles that matched my profile. They are really reliable and will help through every step of the recruitment process going out of their way to assist and follow up when needed. Could not find a better recruitment agency!
Helen PinegarHelen Pinegar
16:19 18 Dec 22
Fantastic recruitment agency.. Josh was extremely enthusiastic, encouraging and clearly knowledgeable about what was needed from both the employee and the employers point of view. Extremely supportive especially in regards to interview preparation and endeavoured to procure feedback promptly. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Astute in the future to both candidates and recruiting businesses particularly for the right fit for the role!!!
Lisa LeighLisa Leigh
11:56 30 Nov 22
I have worked as a candidate for Astute and they have been excellent. Super friendly service and professional agents keen to fit the right person to the right job. It has been a pleasure dealing with them and I would happily work for them again in the future. Highly recommend this agency.
Contact us
Suite 1, Ground Floor West,Cardinal Square,10 Nottingham Road,Derby. DE1 3QT
Stanford House,19 Castle Gate, Nottingham, NG1 7AQ

What was in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Autumn 2021 Budget statement for people and business? We take an Astute look at the key takeaways!

In the biggest single-year rates cut in over 30 years, Rishi Sunak has announced a raft of changes.


Included in measures revealed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak today was the announcement that the National Minimum Wage is to rise for the second time this year to £9.50 – an increase of 6.6%.


As reported in a piece by Accountancy Today, Sunak unveiled a 50% discount on business rates for the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors (up to £110,000), equating to a business tax cut worth £1.7bn, the biggest single-year rates cut for firms in over 30 years.


Unveiling his latest Budget in the Commons today (27 October), Sunak said it will help deliver a “stronger economy for the British people”. Nonetheless, he warned of “challenging months ahead”.


Sunak noted that while business rates will be retained, the government will introduce “key reforms”, with more frequent revaluations of rates set to be made every three years from 2023 onwards.


Following suggestions from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the British Property federation, Sunak also revealed that from 2023, every company will also be able to make property improvements without having to pay additional business rates for 12 months.


Amongst other measures unveiled by the chancellor, he confirmed that the national minimum wage is set to rise for the second time this year by 6.6% to £9.50 from £8.90 and will come into effect from 1 April.


For the food and drink sector, the chancellor also announced a five-step plan to overhaul alcohol duty, which he called “outdated, complex and full of historical anomalies”. As such, the government is slashing main duty rates from 15 to six – with the new duty aimed at working on the basis of the higher the alcohol level, the higher the rate of tax.


This was also accompanied by a lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider by 5% and a he also confirmed the planned increase of duty on spirits such as Scotch whiskey will be cancelled.


Meanwhile, the Universal Credit taper rate is set to be slashed by 8% from 63% to 55%, which is set to be introduced “no later” than 1 December.


It comes after Sunak noted that inflation has risen to 3.1% in September as demands for goods “increased more quickly” than the supply chain was able to handle, adding that this is set to continue with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expects inflation to average 4% over the next year.


Underlying debt was also forecast to be 85.2% of GDP this year, with this figure expected to rise to 85.4% in 2023 and peak at 85.7% in 2024. The economy was expected to grow by 6% in 2022, however, while the long-term hit of Covid was revised down from 3% to 2% of GDP.


While the OBR previously expected unemployment to peak at 12%, it now expects it to peak at 5.2%, which by its estimates, would lead to two million fewer people out of work than previously expected.


Sunak concluded:


“This government chooses to invest and build a stronger economy for the future. We’re unleashing the dynamism and creativity of British businesses with a simpler, fairer, more competitive tax system.

“By the end of this parliament I want taxes to go down, not up.”




Kindest Regards,




Mary Maguire

Managing Director
Astute | Accountancy & Finance | HR | Office Support

M: 07717 412911

Derby Office: Suite One, Ground Floor West, Cardinal Square, 10 Nottingham Road, Derby, DE1 3QT
T: 01332 346100

Its OK to talk about mental health at work

The University of Derby has invited Midlands businesses to sign up to
employee mental health support scheme, and we are taking part too!

Businesses across the Midlands are being offered the chance to boost productivity by working with the University of Derby to provide better mental health support for employees and here at Astute Recruitment Ltd – we are delighted to announce that we will be using this vital and important service for our team.


The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot will see the implementation of new workplace interventions at pilot organisations and the rollout of existing approaches in small, medium and large businesses across the Midlands Engine region.


The programme aims to:

  • contribute to the reduction of mental health distress
  • break down the barriers to accessing care faced by people experiencing mental illness
  • support their continuation in and return to work
  • make a positive contribution to organisational productivity, in terms of wellbeing and economic outcomes

Dr Paula Holt, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health and Social Care at the University of Derby, said: “The cost to the economy of mental health across the Midlands could be in excess of £45bn this year. Yet research shows that for every £1 invested in supporting the mental health of employees, the return to the employer in productivity is £5. Those returns are greater still when employers take preventative, rather than reactive, steps to help their staff.”

Around 1,900 employers took part in the first phase of project, exploring the issues of how mental health and wellbeing are currently dealt with in the workplace and its impact on performance.

Around a third of those taking part reported sickness absence among staff due to mental health issues, and a similar proportion recorded presenteeism, particularly in the hospitality and business services sectors.

Factors negatively affecting mental health of employees include: –

  • Lone or remote working
  • Client expectations on time, quality and cost
  • Job insecurity
  • Recruitment practices

Dr Holt added: “A healthy and inclusive workplace is essential for all businesses, so providing  appropriate support for employees, creating a culture of openness and tackling discrimination and stigma, will help to remove some of the barriers to growth and development for firms.

“The research we have carried out shows that employers recognise that understanding how to address mental health issues effectively can boost morale, engagement and motivation, but also reveals that they are not always sure where to obtain the help they need.”

The pilot will link employers directly to initiatives such as Every Mind Matters, This is Me and Mental Health First Aid, which all provide expert guidance. Once embedded into an organisation, the guidance aims to help reduce the prevalence of mental health difficulties and increase productivity among the workforce.

The University is now offering businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Stoke and Staffordshire, Shrewsbury and Shropshire, and Herefordshire the opportunity to work with them integrate effective mental health provision into their organisation.

Training courses which not only help to raise awareness but could be used to support continuing professional development (CPD) are also available.

Businesses taking part will be asked to commit to an initial meeting to discuss how the programme would work for their company, creating a roadmap for its success, and promoting their commitment to the pilot in the workplace.

To find out more about the pilot, visit the MHPP website: https://www.derby.ac.uk/business-services/midlands-engine-mental-health-and-productivity-pilot/

Why Mental Health Matters


Why mental health matters now, more than ever


We all have mental health, and just like physical health, this can fluctuate throughout our lives. If we cast our minds back to life before the pandemic, 1 in 6 UK workers are affected by mental health each year (Deloitte Research, 2020). Stress, depression, and anxiety account for almost half of working days lost.

With new stressors, including health anxieties, social anxieties, returning to the workplace, bereavement, pressures of caring responsibilities and other challenges brought about by the pandemic, there has never been a more important time to prioritise mental health and wellbeing.

There is so much information out there around mental health that Astute Recruitment have worked with the University of Derby and the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot, to pull together tips and resource that you may find beneficial.



Talk about your feelings – these are valid and by acknowledging them you can take control and use a variety of techniques. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.

Keep active – Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.

Eat well – Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.

Drink Sensibly- We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.

Keep in touch -There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!

Ask for help – None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear.


Take a break! 

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.


Do something you’re good at.

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.


Accept who you are.

We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

Some websites / apps you might find useful : –

Every Mind Matters Get Your Mind Plan – Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Every Mind Matters offers a range of useful resources including information on signs of common mental health issues, practical self-care tips, and where to seek further support. It has a free NHS-approved online tool which will help you build a self-care action plan to deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, improve your sleep and help you feel more in control. Complete the Mind Quiz to get free resources, tools, information and signposting to help manage your mental health

Zen Buddy App

The Zen Buddy App offers support to individuals struggling with mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress, as well as preventing mental health problems and post-treatment condition management. Whether it’s struggling to concentrate on work tasks due to the intrusive sadness/depression from having had a close bereavement; managing excessive demands/anxiety/stress, juggling work and home life, owing to the individual’s lack of assertiveness skills; or feeling under-valued and not having the respect of colleagues due to lacking emotional intelligence, Zen Buddy brings skills and techniques to your fingertips, and is ready to spring into action and help your workforce achieve positive mental health.

Anyone interested in signing up for the app, please email: [email protected]

Mental Health Charity MIND Home | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems

The MIND website has a wealth of information around managing your own mental health, supporting others, guides and resources, and accessing support services local to you.


Interested in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of your workforce?

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (www.mhpp.me) is funded by the Midlands Engine, offering businesses of any size and sector free support and guidance around enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce.

The programme aims to:

  • contribute to the reduction of mental health distress
  • break down the barriers to accessing care faced by people experiencing mental illness
  • support their continuation in, and return to, work
  • make a positive contribution to organisational productivity, in terms of wellbeing and economic outcomes

The University of Derby are supporting businesses across the D2N2, Stoke and Staffs, and the Marches by rolling out by working closely with key individuals within the business to ensure they have the confidence to open-up conversations around mental health, the training and resources to enable them to effectively signpost staff and strategies to enhance the culture within their organisation, ensuring it is a supportive environment for staff to open up about mental health.

If you are interested in hearing more, please complete the enquiry form on our landing page: –


And always remember, its OK to talk about mental health at work.

Someone is there to listen to you.




Why no 2 days in recruitment are ever the sameRecruitment is a funny old game.

No two days are ever the same!

From arranging interviews, and sourcing jobs,

To building confidence, coaxing pre-interview nerves to stop!


Earlier today, a young chap called back

Relaying his interview feedback

He’s really keen and thanked me for the interview prep

He really wants our job and hopes he gets to the next step!


Then a qualified temp role to recruit, we needed CVs!

Onto the phones to drum up great interviewees 😊

A few calls later, we have a stellar candidate

Our client loved the profile, ‘Can they start on Monday around 8?


Then its onto reference checks,

Its important to ensure our candidate’s skills meet our client’s specs

Now to cover for a dear colleague whose very ill,

Ensuring continuity for their clients with their jobs we’re trying to fill.


Everyone is lovely and wishes our colleague all the best

So they can return soon, after having lots of rest (heart emoji)


Now its near home time for us in the office, the rest are WFH

Some are on annual leave, having a well deserved break from the phone!


Whether you’re a trainee recruiter, or a managing consultant

Recruitment is a helter-skelter, helping those needing a new move to those made redundant.

The ability to help guide those starting their finance careers

As well as to help FD’s and CFOs recruit amongst their peers


So if you’re looking for a brilliant new accountancy recruiter

Call our amazing, happy team – we really are ‘astuter’ 😊

With flexible working, and happy team vibe,

Your career in our family will really develop and thrive!



We are a multi-award winning and rapidly growing accountancy recruitment consultancy. We are recruiting for several opportunities, from Trainee Consultants to experienced Senior Consultants and Managers.



If you are looking for a genuinely original, caring, and fun team, who value integrity and honesty above all else, pop an email to Mary Maguire or Sarah Stevenson.

They will be delighted to arrange a confidential time to talk to you about what we can offer.


Remember: – 


If you need to recruit

Call our team at Astute!

Now is our final warning, To avoid 6 degrees of warming. Not COP 27 or 28, Or it will simply be too late...

Sustainability, and the environment are really important to all of us at Astute Recruitment Ltd. We already have a sustainable environmental policy.

We already encourage a number of environmentally positive initiatives, but will be announcing a new one that our clients, candidates and team can all take part in soon!

With Glasgow’s current global climate conference, ‘COP 26’, underway, here’s a simple wish from all of us in the meantime: –




Now is our final warning
To avoid 6 degrees of warming
For those in power
Now is our critical hour

Not COP 27 OR 28,
Or it will simply be too late.

Right now we have to act –
Nations must agree, form a proper pact.
Not just empty words, but actions.
Clear plans, timelines ‐ no more distractions!

20 years ago, glaciers in the Himalayas,
Stood proud, 100’s of feet higher.
Coral in the Great Barrier Reef,
Weren’t bleached beyond belief.

From Attenborough to the Pope,
Their call to action really is humanity’s final hope

For our children and all of us living now,
How can we possibly allow,
The destruction of our beautiful blue pearl?
Allow uncontrolled distress to unfurl!

From heatwave to fire,
1000 year flooding and tides getting higher,

Let’s agree to make this November
A real turning point our ancestors will remember
For scientists and folk all-over the globe
This really is our final hope.

But, let’s not succumb to morbid doom,
Instead lets strive for ingenuity to bloom!
From Tim Berners-Lee to Archimedes –

We can be a brilliant species!

Lets innovate and work together,

To make our planet healthy again, and make all our lives better!



You can watch the inspirational David Attenborough giving his electrifying speech at Cop 26 by clicking on the video link below. His powerful words and message of hope are possibly the most important words uttered. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzF1LLbSepk


David Attenborough

We can all make a difference to help our environment.

We will be announcing some great ways our clients, candidates and friends of

Astute Recruitment Ltd can all  help the planet.

Whether at work, in the home or socially, we can all

do our bit to help.