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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Title: Workers’ Rights in an Age of Algorithmic Management Event

6 June 2024
Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Pl, London WC1H 9BD

Event details

Technology has revolutionised the world of work over the past 30 years. Now its radically changing the way that people are managed at work, from how they are hired and fired to how their work is allocated, monitored and evaluated.

The increasing use of complex algorithmic management tools to automate or augment functions traditionally carried out by human managers poses a significant threat to workers’ rights, working conditions, and ability to exercise their agency in the workplace.
In a new report published by the Institute of Employment Rights, authors Dr Joe Atkinson and Dr Philippa Collins argue that existing employment law frameworks are inadequate to meet the challenges posed be these applications of ‘artificial intellegence’ in the workplace.
They contend a new regulatory framework is urgently needed for the governance of AI at work. The proposed framework gives workers a genuine say in how algorithmic management systems are used and implemented. It also provides workers with the rights needed to protect against, and ensure appropriate accountability for, the potential harms of these technologies.
Against the background of the EU Platform Work Directive, and the current Government’s plans to weaken existing data protection standards in the UK, the report rejects a laissez faire approach to regulating new technologies in the workplace and instead makes the case for proactive legal reforms that should be adopted by an incoming Labour Government.

5pm: Refreshments and welcome

5.30pm: Panel discussion and Q&A. Speakers:

  • Nicola Countouris: Professor of Labour Law and European Law at UCL, and previously Director of Research at the ETUI.
  • Mike Clancy: General Secretary of Prospect, and TUC spokesperson on AI.
  • Anna Thomas: Director and Co-Founder of Institute for the Future of Work.

6.45pm: Drinks reception

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