News Release - 40 Years of Promoting Good Employment Relations



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40 Years of Promoting Good Employment Relations in Northern Ireland

On 22 June 2017 the Labour Relations Agency holds an event to celebrate 40 years of promoting good employment relations in Northern Ireland and to launch a consultation on its new Corporate Plan.

Speaking ahead of the event, Marie Mallon, the Agency’s Chairperson, said:

“The Labour Relations Agency’s core purpose is about promoting good employment relations. We do this through a range of advisory services that focus on good practice within the workplace and support individuals to better understand their employment rights; and also by helping to resolve collective and individual disputes at the earliest opportunity. I have no doubt that our work has contributed to Northern Ireland having the lowest incidence of industrial disputes in the UK [1].

This positive employment relations environment is testament to the work of business community and trade unions, as well as that of Agency staff, in making Northern Ireland a more attractive place to invest.”

Tom Evans, the Agency’s Chief Executive added:

“Our 40th anniversary is an ideal opportunity to promote the work of the Agency and how we support positive employment relations. It is good to reflect on our collective achievements, but it is also important that we look to the future. Effective employee engagement cannot be taken for granted and needs to be nurtured continuously. I’m pleased that today we are launching a new App that allows our customers to better access the Agency’s website information and services from tablet and mobile devices. This helps demonstrate our commitment to ensuring our services adapt to the needs of a new generation of users; making the best use of technology to provide ready access to support and good practice guidance.”

Note to Editors:

The Labour Relations Agency is a publicly funded body established by the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, and continued by the Industrial Relations Order (Northern Ireland) 1992. It is independent of, but accountable to, the Department for the Economy.

The Agency is overseen by an independent Board, comprising members with business, trade union, employment law and academic backgrounds. Board members are public appointments, appointed by the Minister for the Economy.

It employs almost 70 staff, and has an annual budget of approximately £3.6 million.

The App is available for download – search for ‘Labour Relations Agency’ in appropriate on-line App Store (e.g. Apple App Store and Google Play).

Enquiries should be directed to Don Leeson, Director of Corporate Services: 028 9033 7428 or 0750797444.


[1] Northern Ireland had the lowest strike rate in 2016 (4 working days lost per 1,000 employees) – see https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/workplacedisputesandworkingconditions/articles/labourdisputes/latest

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.

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