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House bill seeks to regulate use of AI in workplace

By: Julie Aurelio - Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 27,2023 - 03:53 PM

Quezon City Rep. Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde for story: House bill seeks to regulate use of AI in workplace

Quezon City Rep. Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde

A neophyte lawmaker from Quezon City has filed a bill to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for administrative or operational tasks in workplaces and also to protect the job security of employees.

“There is a fear that the use of AI will result in displacement by substituting human workers who will then lose their jobs,” said the explanatory note for House Bill No. 9448, or the Protection of Labor Against Artificial Intelligence Automation Act.

It added that “addressing these industry-related concerns demand a multi-faceted approach” while the government’s policy was to “promote labor augmentation rather than labor-replacing technologies.”

According to the bill filed by Quezon City Rep. Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde on Nov. 7, employers may adopt AI that is useful or beneficial in the workplace as an administrative tool or as an integrated and complementary part of process workflows.

But it should be used in a “legally compliant manner” through an AI governance policy covering guidelines about its adoption and usage, collection and storage of data, among others.

The bill discourages employers and recruitment entities from using artificial intelligence and automated systems as their primary basis for the hiring and firing of employees.

“Human evaluation, discretion and judgment shall always be a significant factor or part in the hiring and termination process. Any use of AI or automated systems during the said processes shall be directly supervised and complemented by human oversight,” it said.

If AI is used to conduct employee evaluations and performance assessments, employers should first secure their employees’ consent and also ensure transparency. They should likewise conduct regular reviews and audits of AI systems to assess its impact on employees.

Employees, without fear of discrimination, may refuse to undergo AI-driven evaluations and request an alternative evaluation method instead.

The bill also prohibits the use of AI and automation technology to “replace human workers resulting in displacement, loss of security of tenure, diminution of existing salaries or benefits and unemployment.” This is “unless an equivalent alternative employment opportunity for affected human workers is made available.”

In case of retrenchment due to substantial losses, AI or automation technology may be used for operational purposes with the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment. But the employer must first submit a report on the following: reason for the proposed retrenchment; proposed use of AI for operational purposes; number of and selection method for employees to be retrenched; severance pay and benefits for affected workers, etc.


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TAGS: AI, Arjo Atayde, employees, workplace

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