The Law in 4: Employment and Immigration news 3/5/23

The Rise of AI – What Will it Mean for Employees?

A recent report has revealed the extent of the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) will have in employment, suggesting that it may replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs. Inevitably, this will spark fears amongst employees.

It is no secret that machines and artificial intelligence have already been largely incorporated into our daily lives. All you need to do is take a look the next time you check out at a supermarket or make an order at your local McDonald’s – in most of these areas, workers have been replaced by machines. Essentially, a large displacement of jobs following the rapid development of AI is inescapable.

Not only will there be a loss of employment, but concerns have also risen with regard to HR. The use of AI carries risks of ‘algorithmic discrimination’, as it reflects the biases of their human designers. Examples of discrimination against women have been found, occurring after the AI used was exposed to a significantly higher proportion of CVs submitted by men. So, it is likely that we will see a rise in employment tribunal claims regarding decisions made by AI.

However, it is not all bad news.

It has been predicted that AI will create millions more jobs and consequently a boost in productivity for the economy. Therefore, if we focus on adapting our society and the way we work to these technological changes, we may be able to utilize AI to its full potential.

We must ask ourselves: Are these advancements worth the risks that come alongside?

The Effects of Long Covid – Physical, Social and Economical

A study has shown that two-thirds of workers that struggle with long Covid have received unfair treatment. So, should greater consideration by employers be given to those who suffer from the effects of long Covid?

Numerous arguments have developed, encouraging the government to categorise long Covid as a disability under the 2010 Equality Act, to ensure that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are made in the workplace. Various symptoms such as chronic fatigue, brain fog and breathing difficulties are just some of the effects that Covid has had, and it is said that they may last for years. Surely, therefore, it is reasonable for employers to accommodate the needs of such employees, enabling them to continue working efficiently?

One woman in particular, Sarah Barley-McMullen, has spoken out, claiming that she felt ‘pushed out’ of her job following her struggle with long Covid. After accepting a redundancy package, Barley-McMullen set up a consultancy and began to work from her home, proving that, had her employers been more open-minded, she could have continued to work.

Is it possible that we are asking too much of employers, risking the efficiency and progress of businesses? Or should employers be more aware given the reality of our post-pandemic society?

Six tips for getting a job if you’re over 50:

Following the plans from the government in bringing those who have planned to retire early back into the workforce, here are six tips to help in the search for employment:

  1. Focus on ability, not age

Considering ageism is still a prominent issue for those who are job, it is recommended to highlight ability on a CV, as opposed to drawing attention to age.

  1. Be open about any relevant health concerns

Of course, there is no need to disclose information that will not impact job performance. Although, alerting new employers of any concerns that may be relevant will serve to be beneficial, as any possible adjustments can be made to ensure a comfortable working environment.

  1. Update your skills

Not only will familiarity with it make you a great choice for the job, but it will demonstrate your willingness to learn new things and to challenge yourself. While the digital world can be daunting, familiarity with it will help you stand out.

  1. Don’t be nervous about asking to work flexibly

Recently, more businesses have started to notice the benefits of allowing employees to work flexibly, enabling to perform to the best of their ability. So, make sure to be confident, and tell employers what you want.

  1. Reinvent yourself

If you’re looking for a new career altogether, don’t shy away – this can actually demonstrate your open-mindedness, as well as your ability to adapt and acquire new skills.

  1. Don’t undersell yourself

A key advantage for older job seekers is the extent of their experience, which makes them just as valuable, if not more so, than other employees. It is important, therefore, to convey all aspects of this, rather than focusing on what they can’t do.











Finally, don’t forget …..

April saw the usual increase to various statutory rates, including:

  • The increase in the national minimum wage, so that the age 23+ rate is now £10.18 per hour;
  • Statutory maternity, adoption and paternity pay is now £172.48 per week;
  • Statutory sick pay has gone up to £109.40 per week;
  • The cap on weekly pay (used for statutory redundancy pay calculations) is now £643;
  • Unfair dismissal maximum compensation is now £105,707;