Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation


The use of robotics, AI, and automation in the workplace is no longer relegated to science fiction. Spending on robotics and AI will reach $250 billion during 2020, exceed a trillion dollars during 2025, and sometime thereafter, robotics and AI will become the largest industry in the world. It is projected that by as early as 2025, half of the jobs in the U.S. could be performed by self-learning machines and software. According to Littler, recent advances in the technologies of AI and robotics have led to a sharp increase in the capabilities and cost-effectiveness of automated systems.

Fifth of MPs still employ family member

BBC News

One in five MPs continue to employ a member of their family using taxpayers' money despite the practice being banned for new members of Parliament. Of the 589 returning MPs, 122 have declared the employment of a relative in the latest Register of Members' Financial Interests. None of the 61 new MPs who secured their seats at the general election on 8 June are allowed to do so. Campaigners say there needs to be a clear end date for all MPs. Announcing the ban in March, the parliamentary watchdog, Ipsa, said employing family members was "out of step" with modern employment practices, and would not be permitted for new MPs in the next Parliament.

Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace - An Employment Law Perspective Lexology


Artificial Intelligence or AI is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perceptions, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages". The term is defined in popular culture, and in the eyes of employees the world over, as an ever-approaching threat. The World Economic Forum has discussed AI as a major element of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and something which will rapidly change our world and workplaces. Regardless of the definition, AI is coming into our workplaces and coming quickly. As with any change to workplaces, employment law will follow.

Japan probing ministries over padded employment rates of disabled

The Japan Times

Japan has begun investigating ministries and agencies suspected of having padded its employment rates of people with disabilities for over 40 years to match a legal requirement, government sources said Thursday. The actual hiring rates are now expected to fall to less than 1 percent -- far lower than the government target of 2.5 percent for itself and below half of the publicly announced rates. It will also be significantly lower than the goal set for the private sector. As of June 1, 2017, about 6,900 people with disabilities were said to be hired by 33 national administrative agencies, or 2.49 percent of their total employment on average, achieving the then target of 2.3 percent. However, nearly 10 key ministries and agencies, including the transport and internal affairs ministries, have misrepresented the rates by including in the headcount personnel with relatively mild disabilities who do not carry "disability certificates."

WEF Global Risk Report 2017


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is fundamentally changing the ways that people work and live in three main ways. First, it is untethering some types of work from a physical location, making it easier to remotely connect workers in one region or country to jobs in another – but also making it less clear which set of employment laws and taxes apply, creating greater global competition for workers, potentially weakening employment protections and draining public social protection coffers. Second, human labour is being displaced by automation, robotics and artificial intelligence. Opinions differ on the extent of what is possible: Frey and Osborne's (2013) study found that 47% of US employment is at high risk of being automated over the next two decades, while a 2016 study of 21 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, using a different methodology, concluded that only 9% of jobs are automatable. In general, lower-skilled workers are more likely to see their jobs disappear to automation, increasing their vulnerability and exacerbating societal inequality. Finally, the nature of the contract between employer and employee is changing, at the same time that the move to a sharing and collaborative economy increases the prevalence of jobs that fall outside the standard employment contract model. The shift has some positive implications for workers, as it potentially offers more control over when and whether to work and opportunities to supplement their incomes – renting out a room through Airbnb, for example, or driving part-time for a service such as Uber.