Extension of the term of Independent Member of the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB)

Date published: 10 October 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs today announced a 6 month extension to the term of appointment of Patricia O’Callaghan, Independent Member of the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB), to 31 March 2019


The extension has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice. Patricia was first appointed as Independent Member on 1 April 2015.

Notes to editors: 

The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) was established under the terms of the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977, to regulate the minimum rates of wages, and other related matters, for workers in agriculture. Appointments are made under Article 3 and Schedule 1 of the order.

The Board consists of 15 members:

  • three members appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, one of whom is Chair of the Board;
  • six members nominated by the Ulster Farmers' Union as representatives of agricultural employers; and
  • six members nominated by Unite the Union as representatives of agricultural workers' interests.

The posts of Chair and Independent Member attract attendance fees of £276 and £142 per meeting respectively, plus travelling expenses and subsistence at civil service rates. Reasonable costs for child and dependent care may also be paid. The Board meets three times per year.

Patricia O’Callaghan is from Belfast and is currently a board member of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and a panel member on the Northern Ireland Industrial Court. Patricia brings to the role experience of industrial relations and negotiation as well as managing and resolving conflict. Patricia also has significant expertise in Human Resources and related policies/procedures and knowledge of HR related employment legislation. Patricia’s other Ministerial public appointments are remunerated as follows:

  • Board member, Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) - £5961.96/annum; and
  • Panel member, Northern Ireland Industrial Court - £265/day pro rata.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments NI requires that the political activity of appointees to be published. Patricia has not been involved in any political activities during the past five years.

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