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Does employment legislation meet the needs of the digital workplace?

27 January 2021

The COVID-19 Committee explores whether current employment legislation, policy and practice is adequate to protect workers’ wellbeing in an increasingly digital workplace

The pandemic has resulted in a rapid acceleration of many of the digital trends reshaping the workplace: from AI and automation, to remote working and the online gig economy. The use of digital communication and smart phones risks creating an ‘always on’ culture, blurring the boundaries between work and home, and concerns have been raised about the increasing use of AI in both recruitment and retention decisions and in monitoring employees’ performance. The growth of platform work has been associated with an erosion of protection for workers, while a long-term trend for increased home-working raises important questions about who in future will provide the equipment and utilities traditionally provided by employers in an office environment.

In this session, the Committee will explore what Government and employers need to do to ensure workers’ rights and wellbeing are protected as the world of work changes.


Tuesday 2 February 2021 Virtual meeting
At 10.00am, the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Kate Bell, Head of Rights, TUC
  • Jon Boys, Labour Market Economist, CIPD
  • Dr Kelle Howson, Researcher, Fairwork Foundation
  • Dr Jamie Woodcock, Senior lecturer, Open University

Themes for discussion

  • What have we learned during the last nine months about whether current legislation, policy and practice is adequate to protect workers’ rights and wellbeing?
  • To what extent has the pandemic accelerated the growth in platform working, and what risks (and benefits) can this type of work pose to workers’ wellbeing?
  • What are the biggest threats that technology will pose to workers’ rights in the next 2-5 years, and how can they be addressed?

Further information