Recent examples of innovative digital technology being adopted in the Welsh public sector include:
According to a report by the Workforce Partnership Council, there are potential benefits of innovative technology to improve working life when staff are fully consulted on its introduction and implementation.
However, the report finds that there are staff concerns about the introduction of innovative technology - especially in relation to job quality and surveillance.
At a national level, trade unions have negotiated an agreement which ensures that when employers plan to introduce a new technology the following steps take place:
You can read the full details of the unions a national deal on the use of new digital technology on page 6 of Workforce Partnership Council agreement: partnership and managing change.
The Workforce Partnership Council’s national agreement on the introduction of new technology contains useful advice and guidance to employers, including:
1. Regular structured meetings are held with workers through their trade unions e.g. through Joint Consultative Committees or similar structures to involve them in the introduction of new digital technologies in the workplace
2. Clear guidance is produced supported by regular engagement, outlining workforce planning arrangements and the process being adopted for any job restructure or redeployment of staff including key criteria and timelines.
3. The importance of developing digital skills is recognised in corporate training and development plans and actively promoted within an organisation to ensure full transparency of the opportunities available
4. Comprehensive risk and equality impact assessments are developed and regularly reviewed in consultation with trade unions to ensure staff are fully supported regarding the introduction of new digital technology
5. Employers, in consultation with trade unions, conduct a review of the impact of new technology on employment rights and standards and ensure workers are kept informed.
This TUC guide sets outs how AI systems work, what the implications are for workers and unions, and some of the solutions unions can provide.
This TUC guidance is for union officials and representatives who would like to:develop their understanding of digital management systems and the implications for workers get ready to negotiate with an employer about the use of digital management systems establish a collective agreement with provisions on digital management systems
This piece of learning is for union reps and members who want to know about the impact that artificial intelligence is having in the workplace and who would like to support unions in negotiating agreements on this issue.
This report highlights the key issues impacting the workforce created by new technologies, including case studies. It is published by the Workforce Partnership Council.
The Workforce Partnership Council’s Agreement on Managing the Transition to a Digital Workplace applies to all those public bodies which are part of the WPC, namely: