Workers must be informed of the use of fully automated decision-making or monitoring systems. In particular they must be informed of the aspects of the relationship involved, the purposes and purposes of the systems, and how they operate.
The emergence of technologies using artificial intelligence systems and their increasing use has ushered in a new round of debate on the key ethical, social and legal issues surrounding the use of such technologies and their consequences.
At EU level, the need has emerged to ensure that new technologies develop while respecting the fundamental rights and dignity of individuals, to achieve goals that do not conflict with the interests of the community. To this end, the European Commission put forward a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence launched in Brussels on 21 April 2021 and approved on 14 June 2023 (Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act).
The work environment is not immune to such changes, if we think, for example, of the systems used for logistics management in warehouses as well as the platforms employed by riders.
The Artificial Intelligence Act and the Transparency Directive.
The AI Act classifies as ‘high-risk systems’ those used ‘in employment, workers management and access to self-employment, [intended to be used] for recruitment and selection of natural persons […] for making decisions on promotion and termination […] for task allocation, and for monitoring and evaluating performance […] of persons in such relationships’. This classification stems from the fact that ‘those systems may appreciably impact future career prospects and livelihoods of these persons’.
In relation to the rapid development in the work environment of automated systems and the associated risks, the European Union has also stressed the importance of workers being fully and promptly informed of the fundamental terms and conditions of their employment. To this end, the national legislature implemented Directive (EU) 2019/1152 on transparent and predictable working conditions. This has resulted in employers being required to provide workers and employment organisations with information regarding the use of automated decision-making or monitoring systems (Article 1-bis of Italian Legislative Decree No. 152/1997, introduced by the Transparency Decree, Italian Legislative Decree No. 104/2022). The purpose, as outlined in the introduction and Article 1 of the EU Directive, is to improve working conditions by promoting more transparent and predictable employment, while ensuring labour market adaptability to new technologies. Specific disclosure is required when the manner in which workers’ services are performed is organised through the use of automated decision-making and/or monitoring systems, which provide relevant information regarding the recruitment, assignment, management or termination of employment, assignment of tasks or duties, and supervision, evaluation, performance, and fulfilment of workers’ contractual obligations.
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