How do employees understand, interpret and articulate human rights? Do they relate the language of human rights to their situation or are human rights remote concepts? Can and would they use human rights to talk about their concerns in the workplace? This article seeks to address these questions by drawing on empirical data collected as a part of a broader exploratory, qualitative inquiry on the ways employees, operational managers and directors in British hospitality businesses frame – understand, interpret and articulate – human rights values. Using framing analysis, the article explores how a sample of employees talks about human rights. It examines the language and concepts they use, the situations they associate with human rights, and the influences on their framing of issues in human rights terms. The analysis identify an equality frame as underlying the concerns of these employees with regards to based rights issues dignity, equality, care, and participation in the workplace and in society. Drawing on socio-legal studies of human rights the paper sheds lights on the intersection between social norms and values and organizational dynamics on the way these employees make sense and feel able to use human rights or not. Finally, it discusses the implications of these findings for human rights due diligence and access to remedy in business.

Coffee and tea provided, please bring your own lunch