Latest News

Keep up to date with the latest in employment relations in Northern Ireland

New rates for National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

03 April 2024

From the 1st of April 2024, the changes in respect of the above are as follows:

* If you are 21 and over, you will be entitled to £11.44 per hour (National Living Wage)

* If you are between 18-20, you are entitled to £8.60

* If you are under 18 or an Apprentice, you will be entitled to £6.40

Please note that to avail of the National Minimum Wage you must be at least of school leaving age

In Northern Ireland this means If you turn 16 during the school year (between the 1st of September and the 1st of July) you can leave school after the 30th of June.

If you turn 16 between 2 July and 31 August you can’t leave school until 30 June the following year.

You can access the relevant legislation by clicking on the link below


New rates for statutory payments in force from April 2024.

27 March 2024

From April 2024 a number of statutory payment rates increase for the 2024-25 financial year.

Below are the links which relate to the changes in respect of Social Security Benefits and the increases in limits to the Employment Rights Order.




Flexible working - the essence of a ‘good job’?

15 March 2024

“Redefining the concept of a ‘good’ job, which embraces flexibility in all its forms, is a necessity if we’re to achieve a more inclusive and productive economy.”

From ‘Banter’ to ‘Abuse’?

11 March 2024
  • New Guide aims to Eradicate Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

LRA launches Flexible Future 24 Conference

14 February 2024

Contemporary flexible working practices, and their potential to power productivity and a more inclusive labour market will be the focal point of the Labour Relations Agency’s upcoming annual conference.

Sharp rise in redundancy enquiries to the Labour Relations Agency

13 February 2024

Our Workplace Information Service have observed a notable surge in enquiries from both employees and employers regarding redundancy.

Amendment to the Working Time Regulations - Pay and Carryover of holidays

12 January 2024

The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2023 came into force on 1st January 2024 and set out the legal obligations on carry over of holiday and what constitutes  pay for the purposes of calculating holiday pay.

Landmark Holiday Pay case concluded by UK Supreme Court

06 October 2023

The long awaited decision from the Supreme Court in the case of Chief Constable of Police Service of Northern Ireland v Agnew and others [UKSC33] was passed down on the 04/10/2023.

In essence the case was about how to properly calculate holiday pay and how far back claims can go where the amount was miscalculated.

Estimating the costs of workplace conflict in Northern Ireland

15 September 2023

Workplace conflict has a negative impact on organisational performance and the working experiences of those involved. Research commissioned by the Labour Relations Agency on workplace conflict in Northern Ireland suggests that disputes took up valuable time and eroded organisational culture.

These challenges have arguably become more acute in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic with pressure on recruitment, retention, engagement and productivity.

However, leaders and policymakers may underestimate the strategic importance of managing conflict at work. Conflict management is often unseen – taking place in the shadows and behind closed doors. Until recently, lack of visibility has been exacerbated by a lack of robust data. This analysis of the costs of workplace conflict in Northern Ireland finds that 37% of workers experience conflict each year at a cost of £851m.

The report in full can be found below, while our podcast on the topic can also be found here.

LRA Pride Discussion Encourages Workplace Respect

02 August 2023

This week the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) marked Belfast’s Pride Festival week by hosting a panel discussion to help businesses and organisations manage workplace conversations on diversity issues, which some may regard as ‘difficult’ or ‘sensitive’.

LRA Best Dissertation Prize Winner

Erin McGuigan and Don Leeson

Erin McGuigan, from Dungiven, has won this year’s Labour Relations Agency Award for Best Dissertation in Ulster University Business School’s MSc in Human Resource Management. Erin’s award-winning dissertation delves into the contemporary workplace issue of on-boarding and integrating new and returning staff in a hybrid work setting. Pictured is Don Leeson, Chief Executive of The Labour Relations Agency, extending his congratulations to Erin on her achievement. 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment No. 4) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021

These Regulations are made in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Northern Ireland.  Effective from 24/5/21, Regulation 4 introduces an exemption for gatherings in respect of lawful industrial action.

Economy Minister welcomes new legislation to protect Northern Ireland workers

The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2021 extends protections against detriment in health and safety cases to workers in relation to any action they may take to protect themselves or others where they reasonably believe there is serious and imminent danger in their place of work.

For more info visit

Economy Minister Introduces Bill for Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Economy Minister Diane Dodds today introduced a Bill to the Assembly to legislate for statutory Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay in Northern Ireland.

Read more.

 Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order (Northern Ireland) 2021

The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order (Northern Ireland) 2021 brings changes to Statutory Sick Pay, Maternity Pay, Paternity pay and Parental pay from 6 April 2021.