Lesley Mercer spent her working life as a trade union official. She was Director of Employment Relations at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy from 2005 until her retirement in 2014, and was made an honorary fellow of that organisation in 2012. She had previously worked as a negotiations officer for the National Union of Civil & Public Servants (now part of PCS – the Public & Commercial Services Union). Within the health service, Lesley was a member of the steering group of the NHS Social Partnership Forum in England for several years, and also acted as an independent lay chair in the NHS complaints process. Lesley was elected onto the General Council of the TUC (Trade Union Congress) in 2000 and served on the TUC Executive, TUC Women’s Committee and as a TUC pensions trustee before being elected TUC President in 2012 to 2013. Since her retirement Lesley has worked as an employment relations consultant and mediator. Formerly an Employment Tribunal panel member, she now sits on the Central Arbitration Committee and the ACAS panel of independent arbitrators. She is also a trustee director of Nautilus International, a maritime professional union operating in the UK, Holland and Switzerland, and a patron of the employee relations think tank, Unions21. Lesley was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Keele in 2015 for her services to physiotherapy, the NHS and the trade union movement.
The Member of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body is responsible for providing independent advice to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence on the remuneration and charges for members of the Naval, Military and Air Forces of the Crown.