Election 2024: AI and tech at work

The world of work is changing and new technologies are fast making their way into our workplaces, including artificial intelligence.

While this technology offers a great opportunity for us to improve our work and productivity, it’s vital that workers are involved and prioritised in any decisions around its use.

The problem

  • Usage of new tech affecting the work we do and how we work becoming commonplace without sufficient regulation.
  • Tech being used with sinister motives, including to surveil staff.
  • Workers not knowing what data their employer collects about them, or what they use it for.
  • Employers not communicating with workers or involving them in decisions about the use of tech at work.
  • Workers experiencing an always-on culture, where the ease of remote working leads to people being unable to switch off from work.
Workers in favour of a right to disconnect 66%
Workers who want regulation of generative AI at work 58%
Employers who track workers online or are planning to do so 20%

What we want to see happen

The next government needs to positively get up to speed with AI and new technology at work to ensure it is properly governed and regulated. Workers must be involved and at the heart of any decisions taken – whether by government, regulators or employers.

We want the next government to commit to:

1. Implement the TUC’s AI and Employment Bill in full

Prospect was part of the TUC’s taskforce, which produced a ready-to-go legal blueprint for regulating AI at work. Legislation is needed urgently to keep pace with the technological change in progress. Polling overwhelmingly shows the public want AI at work to be regulated and that they are against AI being used for performance management or hiring and firing staff.

2. Introduce a right to disconnect

The pandemic accelerated a shift towards an ‘always-on’ culture in many workplaces and industries. Easy access to email and instant chat can lead to unrealistic expectations of workers and strains on mental health. A right to disconnect, as we have seen in countries such as France, Portugal and Australia, would help to restore the balance between work, leisure, family life and caring responsibilities.

3. Give workers ownership of their data

This is a grey area when it comes to the law, but it should not be. Any data collected by employers on their workers should be agreed to by those workers and owned by them.

*Note: This page reflects current Prospect thinking. Prospect National Conference takes place in early June. Relevant new policy agreed at Conference will be reflected here shortly afterwards.

Vote 24: Prospect’s manifesto to make work better

Working with our members, we have developed an agenda to make work better in Prospect sectors and right across the economy.
Find out more

Further reading

Prospect has been campaigning on AI and tech at work for some time. Here’s some of our recent comment and analysis on the topic: