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Webinar: GBSN for BHR Gender and Agriculture Cluster Workshop

Business school research on access to remedy for marginalised workers

22nd November 2023 at 3pm CET / 2pm GMT / 9am EST via Zoom. Joint event co-hosted by the research clusters on agriculture and on gender of the GBSN for BHR impact community

Access to remedy is one of the greatest failings of and most critical areas for growth within the business and human rights movement. The aim of the workshop is to bring together business school researchers interested in access to remedy for marginalized workers. 

We will discuss concrete examples from the agriculture industry to understand the situation of marginalized workers, where and why current remedy practices fall short, and what needs to change to provide remedy that is effective and accessible. A specific focus will be given to: 

  • the availability and typology of grievance mechanisms,
  • the blurred line between formal and informal grievances,
  • the lack of a gendered approach to grievance mechanisms, and
  • the gap between access to grievance mechanisms and access to remedy.

Initial findings will be shared from a research project led by the Nottingham University Business School on grievance mechanisms available to agricultural seasonal migrant workers in the UK. A case study on access to remedy for women migrant workers employed in the Fair Food Programme will also be presented. 

Watch the Recording


  • Welcome and introductions
  • The case of the agri-food sector in the UK
  • The case of the Fair Food Programme in the US
  • Discussion and development of a research agenda 

What factors make seasonal migrant workers particularly vulnerable to exploitation? Why are existing grievance mechanisms insufficient for providing remedy? 

The case of the agri-food sector in the UK, Oana Burcu, Nottingham University Business School

Post-Brexit, the UK agricultural sector has been facing challenges with recruitment from new countries. Workers burdened by debt due to illegal recruitment fees and employer-tied visas may endure exploitative conditions, lacking knowledge of rights and access to grievance mechanisms. Marginalized workers on temporary contracts may accept exploitative conditions rather than claiming their rights. Our project aims to develop a tailored non-state-based grievance mechanism that can guarantee effective access to remedy for human rights abuses to seasonal migrant workers in the agricultural sector in the UK.

How can effective remedy be implemented? How can remedy programs meet migrant workers’ needs, in particular women migrant workers’ needs? 

A rights-holder approach to access to remedy, Alysha Shivji, EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

The case of the Fair Food Program represents the first operating worker-driven social responsibility model, that acts as an operable context for dialogic approaches to remediation, including with a specific gender approach. The remedial mechanisms of the Fair Food Program, which are designed and implemented around workers-rights-holders, include worker-driven audits and a 24-hr multilingual complaint hotline.

For more information, please contact the organizers:

Dr Lara Bianchi, Nottingham University Business School, lara.bianchi@nottingham.ac.uk

Dr Samentha Goethals, SKEMA Business School, samentha.goethals@skema.edu

Dr Berit Knaak, University of Geneva, berit.knaak@unige.ch