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Labour Relations Agency 1976 – 2016
Forty years of improving employment relations in Northern Ireland

Workshops, Seminars & Briefings

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Advisory Services

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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 the Chair of the Labour Relations Agency from effect from 1stAugust 2014 following her retirement from the post of Deputy Chief...

LRA Board

Jill Minne

Jill Minne, was appointed on the 1st December 2014 as an Employer Representative, is Director of Organisational Development for Belfast City Council, and is a member of the...

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...

LRA Board

Daire Murphy

Daire Murphy was appointed on the 1st December 2014 as an Employee Representative, practised as a barrister across all areas of law for eight years before joining the Law...

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...

LRA Board

Michelle McGinley

Michelle McGinley, appointed as an Employer Representative to the Board, is a qualified solicitor who works for EEF (Engineering Employers Federation), a not for...

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...

LRA Board

Gary McMichael

Since 2001, Gary McMichael has been the Director and Chief Officer of the Northern Ireland charity ASCERT (Action on Substances through Community Education and Related...

LRA Board

Pauline Shepherd

Pauline Shepherd is currently the interim Chief Executive with Extern, a large all-Ireland charity working directly with people affected by social exclusion. From 2005...

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...

LRA Board


LRA Board

Marie Mallon

Marie Mallon was appointed to the Chair of the Labour Relations Agency from effect from 1stAugust 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 independent member on the Board of DCAL and is an associate of HSC Leadership Centre.






LRA Board

Jill Minne

Jill Minne, was appointed on the 1st December 2014 as an Employer Representative, is Director of Organisational Development for Belfast City Council, and is a member of the Council’s senior management team.

Ms Minne is a member of the Local Government Joint Reform forum, the body responsible for negotiating all the HR aspects of local government reform, a member of the Northern Ireland Joint Council and chairs the Council’s Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee. Ms Minne is also 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 was appointed on the 1st December 2014 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,

Mr Murphy’s work addresses employment relations issues intensively on a daily basis. Mr Murphy is an elected trade union representative, dealing with both organisational and individual issues on behalf of colleagues and is also an accredited 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 EEF (Engineering Employers Federation), a not for profit organisation advising a wide range of businesses throughout Northern Ireland on employment matters. Michelle also represents employers in the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals. Prior to joining the EEF, Michelle worked in private practice both in GB and Northern Ireland and also taught at a London Law School before returning to Northern Ireland.






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 for the management of all the staff and finances of the union.  Alison is the main 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, the Review of Public Administration and matters relevant to the Health Service, Education, Libraries, Housing Executive and Local Government and had lead responsibility in these multi-union environments.  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

Since 2001, Gary McMichael has been the Director and Chief Officer of the Northern Ireland charity ASCERT (Action on Substances through Community Education and Related Training).  He is Co-Chair of Belfast Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team.  Since 2010, he has been a voluntary Board Member of the Voice of Young People in Care, providing strategic direction and governance to the charity.  Prior to that, he was an elected Member of Lisburn City Council from 1993 to 2005, a voluntary Board Member of SALTA Services, Chair of the Lisburn Community Network, and a Trustee of the Northern Ireland Fund for Reconciliation.  From 1999 to 2002 he was an OFMdFM appointee to the NI Civic Forum.




LRA Board

Pauline Shepherd

Pauline Shepherd is currently the interim Chief Executive with Extern, a large all-Ireland charity working directly with people affected by social exclusion. From 2005 to 2011, Ms Shepherd was the Human Resource Director for NI Water with responsibility for developing and implementing the company HR strategy. Ms Shepherd’s previous employment includes over 30 years work in the public sector. Ms Shepherd is currently an employer member of the Industrial Court.






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. Mr Mills 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.

Workshops, Seminars & Briefings

Our Events Programme for January 2016 to June 2016 has been released. You can book workshops, seminars and one hour briefings online.
Led by experienced Advisory Officers, our events assist in dealing with the many employment issues that impact on the workplace. They raise awareness of relevant legislation and promote and develop good practice.

There is no charge for attendance at any of these sessions.

Helpline

The Agency’s Helpline is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. The Helpline advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Helpline is also an important point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.

The Helpline 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.