Reappointment of Independent Member of the Agricultural Wages Board

Date published: 31 March 2020

DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, has announced the reappointment of Miss Patricia O’Callaghan for a second term as Independent Member of the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) to 31 March 2023.


Mr Poots said: “The reappointment of Miss O’Callaghan will provide continuity to the AWB and allow it to continue with its important function of regulating the minimum rates of wages for workers in agriculture."

Notes to editors: 

1. 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.

2. The Board consists of 15 members:

  • three Independent Members appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, one of whom is Chair of the Board.  Currently one Independent Member post is vacant;
  • 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.

3. The posts of Chair and Independent Member attract attendance fees of £279 and £144 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. These reappointments and extensions comply with the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland’s ‘Code of Practice’.

7. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook

8. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office at Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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