AI in the Workplace Part Two
Welcome to day 5 of our 12 days of Christmas series. Today we take a second look back on our Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace series (“AI Series”).
Readers of our AI Series will be familiar with our articles on the potential positive impacts of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) on gender equality, disability and accessibility in the workplace.
Watch out for the next edition of our “12 Days of Christmas” series tomorrow.
AI and Gender Equality
A central tenet of the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 (the “Acts”) is the prevention and removal of discrimination, including gender discrimination, from the workplace. In our August 2018 AI Series article, we reported on the potential effects of AI on gender equality in the workplace.
As we have previously discussed, mandatory gender pay gap (“GPG”) reporting is fast approaching in Ireland. The implementation of GPG reporting in the UK has provided the Irish legislature with food-for-thought when drafting Irish GPG legislation. However, the accuracy of the UK GPG published figures has been called into question by the UK Office of National Statistics. There is clear potential for AI to assist Irish employers in the gathering and calculation of GPG figures and to make the reporting and presentation of data accurate. In turn, this will help employers to better analyse data to resolve problems that they have identified.
In tackling gender discrimination, AI can also be used to identify, learn from and prevent bias within organisations. It is widely acknowledged that family life has an impact on career engagement and progression, with maternity leave and parental duties often cited as reasons for gender imbalance in high level jobs. The use of collaborative and virtual workspaces gives employees outside the workplace the opportunity to engage with and contribute to work in a flexible, yet meaningful way. This offers encouragement to remain engaged in the workforce, with a view to avoiding gender discrimination in promotion. Read our full original article here.
AI, Disability and Accessibility
In September 2018, we discussed the use of AI in addressing disability and accessibility issues in the workplace. Readers will recall that section 16(3) of the Acts requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability. This means that an employer must consider special treatment, modifications or facilities to enable employee candidates or employees with a disability to access, participate or advance in employment, or to undergo training. An employer is not obliged to provide reasonable accommodation if this puts a disproportionate burden on the employer.
AI, and technology more generally, have already changed the workplace to make it more accessible and inclusive for employees with intellectual, visual, hearing and mobility disabilities. For example, advances in areas such as predictive text, speech-to-text transcription and voice and visual recognition can assist employees or potential employees with disabilities. As technologies develop, AI has the potential to go even further and can assist employers in honouring their legislative responsibilities more easily and cost-effectively, whilst continuing to improve the working lives of employees with disabilities. Read our full original article here.
Contributor: Darran Brennan