About the Labour Relations Agency

Who We Are

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).

What We Do

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.

Agency Structure

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.

LRA Board

Marie Mallon

Jill Minne

Deirdre Fitzpatrick

Daire Murphy

Louise Crilly

Michelle McGinley

Alison Millar

Gary McMichael

Pauline Shepherd

Albert Mills

Core Values

To achieve our vision and purpose, our values are to be:

  • Progressive – forward thinking, outward looking, and creative in seeking better ways to support the economy;
  • Ethical – always acting with integrity, impartiality and utmost professionalism, and demonstrating openness and accountability;
  • Exemplary – challenging ourselves to be the best we can be and a role model in how we conduct employment relations; 
  • Responsive – listening to our customers and adapting to ensure our services meet their needs.

Employment Relations Training

The Agency may, in reviewing arrangements for employment relations training, advise and make recommendations to employers, trade unions, the Department for Employment and Learning and other interested bodies on how employment relations training needs may best be met. The Agency may also help devise and propose training programmes and, though it has no power to give grants, it may recommend to the Department that aid be given to assist in the improvement of employment relations training.

Equality Statement

The Agency is fully committed to supporting the elimination of all forms of discrimination in employment and to using its services to help secure the objectives of fair employment, equal opportunity and good relations.

As a provider of services the Agency includes equality of treatment as a fundamental principle of good employment relations and best employment practice. As an employer the Agency seeks to ensure that its employment policies, procedures and practices conform to good practice as outlined in the relevant Codes of Practice

Providing Speakers

Agency officers, on request, give talks to, for example, employers, professional organisations, trade unions and educational establishments. Agency officers will also participate, as speakers, in seminars and training courses on employment relations, employment legislation and related employment issues. Requests for speakers should be made to the Director of Advisory Services.

Service Standards

The service standards set by the Agency are consistent with those set by Government in the Citizen's Charter. All Agency staff are aware of the quality of service that we aim to provide. Any complaint about the delivery of a service can be taken up through a Director of the Agency. All complaints will be investigated fully and responded to within five working days. If the person complaining is still not satisfied he/she may raise the matter with the Chief Executive who will reply within seven working days. If the person is not satisfied with the Chief Executive's response they may refer the matter to the Commissioner of Complaints, also known as the Ombudsman. A copy of the Agency's Customer Complaints Procedure which includes guidance on raising a complaint is available from the Agency.or can be downloaded from this website.

In all its work the Agency's Board and staff will ensure that the Agency's independence is maintained and always exercised. All Agency staff are committed to providing impartial advice and support in seeking to introduce good employment practices and improve workplace employment relations.


The staff are direct employees of the Agency, recruited for their experience and knowledge of employment relations. All members of staff receive continuous training and development in relation to changes in employment legislation and employment relations practice and procedures. Most of the staff are located in a Head Office in Belfast with a small number in a Regional Office in Londonderry.

Users of our Service

Users of the Agency's services are normally workers, employers, employers' associations, trade unions and other organisations or individuals who require assistance with matters relating to employment practices and employment relations.

Telephone Enquiry Point

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.

03300 555 300
Monday - Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm
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