Agency structure

The vision and objectives of the Labour Relations Agency are determined by a Board consisting of a Chair and nine members who are appointed by the Department for the Economy (DfE). Staff are direct employees of the Agency.  They receive continuous training and development on changes in employment legislation and employment relations practice and procedures.

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Members are appointed on the basis of their knowledge and experience in employment relations.  The Board normally comprises members from employer bodies, trade unions or those with an academic or employment law background.

Currently our Board members are:

  • Marie Mallon – Chair
  • Albert Mills
  • Alison Millar
  • Daire Murphy
  • Deirdre Fitzpatrick
  • Gary McMichael
  • Jill Minne
  • Louise Crilly
  • Michelle McGinley
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    Marie Mallon

    Ms 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.  Marie also sat as an independent member on the Departmental Boards of DCAL and DFI.  She is currently an associate of the Health and Social Care Leadership Centre and also undertakes independent HR consultancy.  Marie is a member of the NI Public Sector Chairs’ Forum.
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    Jill Minne

    Ms Minne is Strategic HR Director for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS). Jill leads NICS HR, an organisation providing HR services and strategic HR advice to each of the Northern Ireland Government Departments. Previously Director of Organisational Development for Belfast City Council Communications, Jill 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. Jill is a board member and ambassador for the Women’s Fund NI.
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    Deirdre Fitzpatrick

    Mrs Fitzpatrick was appointed as an Independent Member to the Board. She runs her own management consultancy practice working across the public, private, and voluntary sectors, and is very active in training and consultancy work with Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Deirdre started her career in the Ulster Business School, then set up Northern Ireland's first Business Incubation Centre. Deirdre is a former Board member of the Gerry Rogan Initiative Trust and of the Northern Ireland Consumer Council, and was a member of their Audit Committee.
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    Daire Murphy

    Mr Murphy is an Employee Representative and a Regional Casework Official with the NASUWT, The Teachers' Union. He has previously worked in the voluntary sector, as an Employment Legal Adviser at the Law Centre (NI), representing workers and employees, and as a barrister in general practice. Daire is an accredited Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) Employment and Workplace Mediator.
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    Louise Crilly

    Ms Crilly, appointed as an Independent Member to the Board, is a practising lawyer with over 20 years’ experience of legal practice in both the private and public sectors in Northern Ireland.  Louise is Director of EU Law and Civil Law Reform for the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
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    Michelle McGinley

    Ms 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.
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    Alison Millar

    Mrs 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. She is the Vice-Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee, Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Vice-President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
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    Gary McMichael

    Mr 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.
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    Albert Mills

    Mr 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 NI Local Government Superannuation Committee from 2000 to 2010.


Staff are direct employees of the Agency.  They receive continuous training and development on changes in employment legislation and employment relations practice and procedures.  Most staff are based in the Agency’s Head Office in Belfast, with a small team in the Agency’s Regional Office in Derry/Londonderry.