On 4 September 2023, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) partnered with leading employment lawyers, HR, academics, technologists and politicians to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) taskforce.
AI and Employment Bill 2024
The AI taskforce aims to fill the legislative gap in UK employment law on AI regulation at work. It intends to publish a draft AI and Employment Bill in early 2024 and lobby to have it incorporated into UK law. The AI and Employment Bill is due to be drafted by leading employment barristers. We do not yet know what approach the Bill will take but, in the past, the TUC has called for: a duty on employers to consult unions on workplace use of high-risk and intrusive forms of AI; a right for workers to have a human review of decisions made by AI systems; and amendments to UK GDPR and the Equality Act 2010 to protect workers from discriminatory algorithms.
Concerns raised by the TUC
The TUC has raised concerns that UK employment law has failed to keep pace with the increasing use and technological advances of AI. The taskforce highlights that AI is already being used in HR and recruitment processes. As detailed in our previous article, there is increasing concern that the use of AI could result in discrimination. For example, in the recruitment process, AI can be used to evaluate applicants based on facial expressions, tone of voice and accents.
From an international perspective, the TUC has said that if the UK fails to take legislative action in this area, it risks becoming an “international outlier”.
Despite the benefits AI brings, its use in the workplace does present substantial risks, so regulation is likely. We will continue to review developments from the AI taskforce and post updates here.