The Labour Relations Agency (the Agency) was established in 1976 as a Non-Departmental Public Body with responsibility for promoting the improvement of employment relations in Northern Ireland. The Agency is independent of Government and is funded mainly in the form of a grant from the Department for the Economy (DfE).
The Agency provides an impartial and confidential employment relations service to those engaged in industry, commerce and the public services. The Agency's services include the provision of advice on good employment practices and assistance with the development and implementation of employment policies and procedures. The Agency is also active in resolving disputes through its conciliation, mediation and arbitration services.
The policy of the Agency is determined by a Board consisting of a part-time Chairman and nine other members appointed by the DfE. Members of the Agency's Board are appointed on the basis of their knowledge of, and experience in, employment relations. The Board normally comprises members from employer bodies, trade unions or those who have a relevant academic or employment law background. The Agency publishes an Annual Report and Accounts.
The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.
The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.
While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.