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New LRA Events Programme
September – December 2017
online booking available from 1 August 2017

Workshops, Seminars & Briefings

Employment Legislation

Publications

Advisory Services

Resolving Disputes

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About Us

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

LRA Board

Marie Mallon

Marie Mallon was appointed to...

LRA Board

Jill Minne

Jill Minne is Strategic HR Director for the Northern Ireland Civil Service...

LRA Board

Deirdre Fitzpatrick

Deirdre Fitzpatrick was appointed on the 1st December 2014 as an...

LRA Board

Daire Murphy

Daire Murphy, who was appointed as an Employee Representative, practised...

LRA Board

Louise Crilly

Louise Crilly, appointed as an Independent Member to the Board, is a...

LRA Board

Michelle McGinley

Michelle McGinley, appointed as an Employer Representative to the...

LRA Board

Alison Millar

Alison Millar is the General Secretary of the Northern Ireland Public...

LRA Board

Gary McMichael

Gary McMichael has been the Chief Officer of the Northern Ireland...

LRA Board

Pauline Shepherd

Pauline Shepherd is currently the CEO for the Independent Health and...

LRA Board

Albert Mills

Albert Mills is a trade unionist. From 2006, he was Chairman of...

LRA Board


LRA Board

Marie Mallon

Marie Mallon was appointed to the Chair of the Labour Relations Agency with effect from 1 August 2014 following her retirement from the post of Deputy Chief Executive/Director of HR in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.  Prior to this Marie held many senior posts within Health and Social Care and was a member of the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals for 15 years. She is currently an associate of the Health and Social Care Leadership Centre and also undertakes independent HR consultancy.






LRA Board

Jill Minne

Jill Minne is Strategic HR Director for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS). She leads NICS HR, an organisation providing retained HR services and strategic HR advice to all Departments. Jill took up her role in April 2017 and her vision is to develop a highly professional HR function to enable delivery of real outcomes such as those set out in the Programme for Government through a well led, high performing outcome focussed NICS.

Previously Director of Organisational Development for Belfast City Council, the largest council in Northern Ireland, she worked for the Council for over 20 years leading change management, HR, diversity and inclusion and employability and skills programmes.

Before she joined Belfast City Council Jill worked in HR in the private sector. She is a board member and ambassador for the Women’s Fund NI. 




LRA Board

Deirdre Fitzpatrick

Deirdre Fitzpatrick was appointed on the 1st December 2014 as an Independent Member to the Board. Deirdre is a management consultant, and runs her own consultancy practice.  She works across the public, private and voluntary sectors, and is very active in training and consultancy work with SMEs.  Deirdre set up Northern Ireland's first Business Incubation Centre, and she also established a property management company. Deirdre is a Board Member of NI Consumer Council, and also sits on the audit committee.  She is also a Board member of The Gerry Rogan Initiative Trust which works with disengaged young people, helping them back into education, training and employment.  Deirdre holds an honours degree in Business with Accounting and MBA from Queens University.






LRA Board

Daire Murphy

Daire Murphy, who was appointed as an Employee Representative, practised as a barrister across all areas of law for eight years before joining the Law Centre (NI) as a specialist employment legal adviser in 2003.  As a specialist employment legal adviser, Daire’s work addresses employment relations issues intensively on a daily basis.  Daire is an elected trade union representative, dealing with both organisational and individual issues on behalf of colleagues and is also an accredited Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) Mediator, trained in developing relationships and constructively challenging assumed positions in order to work through disagreements and disputes.




LRA Board

Louise Crilly

Louise Crilly, appointed as an Independent Member to the Board, is a practising lawyer with over 18 years’ experience of legal practice in both the private and public sectors in Northern Ireland. For the last 14 years she has specialised in employment law and is currently the senior legal advisor working in the Police Service of Northern Ireland.






LRA Board

Michelle McGinley

Michelle McGinley, appointed as an Employer Representative to the Board, is a qualified solicitor who works for Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), a not for profit organisation advising and supporting a wide range of businesses throughout Northern Ireland on employment matters.  Prior to joining EEF in 2003, Michelle worked in private practice in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland specialising in defence employment litigation.  Michelle also taught at a London Law School. Michelle advises and represents a wide range of organisations before the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals and is an accredited Solicitor Advocate and Mediator with the Law Society.






LRA Board

Alison Millar

Alison Millar is the General Secretary of the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA). She has overall responsibility for the general work of the union as well as the management of all the staff and finances of the union.  Alison is the key representative on many of the civil and public service negotiating bodies.  Alison was previously the Deputy General Secretary for NIPSA and had responsibility for major policy issues including Welfare Reform, Review of Public Administration and matters relevant to the Health Service, Education, Libraries, Housing Executive and Local Government.  Alison is also the lead negotiator on the Public Service Shared Service Programme which is a cross cutting initiative arising out of the Fresh Start Agreement. She is a member of the Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and a member of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.






LRA Board

Gary McMichael

Gary McMichael has been the Chief Officer of the Northern Ireland charity Action on Substances through Community Education and Related Training (ASCERT) since 2001. He formerly served on Lisburn City Council for 12 years and was a member of the NI Civic Forum.




LRA Board

Pauline Shepherd

Pauline Shepherd is currently the CEO for the Independent Health and Care Providers (IHCP) which is a membership organisation for private, charity and church-affiliated organisations providing health and care services to vulnerable adults and older people in Northern Ireland.  Pauline’s experience includes working at board, chief executive and non-executive director levels in the public and voluntary sectors.  Past positions include Interim Chief Executive of the charity Extern, HR Director in NI Water and Director of Finance and Personnel in NI Prison Service. She is also currently a Board member for the Probation Board NI.






LRA Board

Albert Mills

Albert Mills is a trade unionist. From 2006, he was Chairman of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union (ATGWU) Officers Negotiating Committee for Great Britain and Ireland, and played a major role during merger talks between ATGWU and Amicus to create Unite the Union.  Albert was a board member with the Civil Service Appeal Board from 1996 to 2010, and with the Northern Ireland Local Government Superannuation Committee from 2000 to 2010.

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.

028 9032 1442

Monday - Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Contact Us

Please note that we cannot deal with employment-related enquiries by e-mail. To receive information or advice about an employment-related issue, please telephone our Helpline on Belfast 90 321442 where an officer will speak with you directly about your query. Please note that the Agency can arrange the services of an interpreter if required.

If you have an employment relations issue in Great Britain please contact the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 .

For all non-employment related queries or questions please fill in the box below.