Kate Brooks

Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services

DATE PUBLISHED: 18 Apr 2024 LAST UPDATED: 18 Apr 2024

Are employees allowed to use AI at work?

Good question and do your employees know the answer?

With the rise of the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), for example the use of face ID on mobile phones or online banking, behind the scenes on all social media, tools such as ChatGPT, Grammarly, digital voice assistants, or smart home devices, it is important that we consider whether we are comfortable with our employees using AI and to what extent.

There are extreme opinions across different sectors and employers about whether the use of AI is appropriate in the workplace and to what extent.

Next steps for employers who are against the use of AI at work

If you are an employer that does not believe the use of for example ChatGPT is appropriate in your workplace, it is important for you to communicate this clearly to your employees.

If you consider that using AI certain areas of your business would be a very serious dereliction of duties, it is important that you update your policies to reflect this and for example deal with AI in your electronic communications policy, or misconduct rules.

If this is not clearly communicated to employees, it will be unlikely that an employer could fairly manage or dismiss an employee for using AI to do their role. Of course, there may be some exceptions, for example if it is so obvious that an employee is not permitted to use ChatGPT to create documents. If it is not so obvious, it is important that you clearly communicate what would be considered misconduct or poor performance.

Generally, our opinion at this stage is that it is not “so obvious” whether or not the use of AI at work is appropriate and therefore it is important to put policies in place so that you can fairly manage employees.

Managing the use of AI in the workplace

If you are open to employees using AI at work, it is also crucial that you understand the risks and communicate the parameters to your employees. There are lots of considerations for an employer to weigh up for example data protection, privacy laws, and also whether AI can create bias/risks of discrimination.

How can Ellis Jones help?

If you need help updating or preparing employee HR policies, we can help. Please get in touch with one of our employment law/HR experts on 01202 525333 or by email at employment@ellisjones.co.uk, one of our team would be very happy to assist you.

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

Make an enquiry

Related news

4 minute read

What is a voluntary severance scheme? Your questions answered.

Read more
4 minute read

Menopause in the workplace – what needs to be in an employer’s policy

Read more
3 minute read

Time to care – employee right to Carer’s Leave

Read more
5 minute read

Changes to Flexible Working Rights : in force 6th April 2024

Read more