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The Quantified Organisation

Policy considerations for businesses

Unlock the transformative power of AI in the workplace with the collection and use of workplace data,  while safeguarding the rights and well-being of businesses and workers. Discover practical frameworks and collaborative approaches that not only navigate the intricacies of global data regulation but also foster a new era of workplaces, harmonising innovation with respect for fundamental rights and ethical standards.

“Dialogue should continue in earnest to bring laws and regulation in line with the quickly emerging business practices around workplace data collection. Collaboration across government, business and civil society, holds the promise of fostering a new generation of workplaces that are not only innovative, but also respectful of worker rights and ethical standards”

- Nicole Scoble-Williams, Deloitte Global Future of Work Leader

Executive Summary 

This paper focusses on the impacts that AI and technology have on passive data collection in the workplace and explores the corresponding policy implications and considerations for the private and public sectors. It discusses various potential approaches for businesses to effectively manage and influence the changing policy landscape, to maximise the positive impacts of this technological revolution, while protecting workers and society, preserving existing rights and fostering positive workplace environments. 

Key Considerations

  • If the relevant data is collected and used appropriately, there can be enormous benefits to business, workers and society. 
  • Businesses can use this data to shape innovation and establish new or updated workplace practices, with corresponding productivity and value enhancement. Workers can look for improved workplace practices and processes, better protections and safety, improved workplace satisfaction and positivity and fair industrial outcomes.
  • Across the global policy landscape: 
    • There are patchworks of laws being used to plug gaps: examples of this include a mixture of laws covering data privacy and security, industrial relations, workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination and bias and equal opportunity, among others.
    • Policymakers are weighing the need for regulatory and policy improvements, with the need for entirely new laws and refreshed government oversight. 
  • Commonalities across markets are also emerging, presenting opportunities and challenges for policymakers and shapers. These trends include:  
    • A broad range of policy areas being developed to accommodate new workplace data collection activities, including the ethical use of AI, data collection and privacy, use and transfer of data, equity and equality, industrial relations, occupational health and safety and communications and transparency, amongst others. 
    • An urgency across markets to establish the right policies to reflect the speed at which this technology has been adopted and implemented, to better support ethical workplace data collection and use.
    • Fundamental focus on fairness, ethics, trust and the preservation of fundamental rights and freedoms. 
    • A need for cooperative relationships between business and workers and business and government, to benefit all interests and positively impact society.
    • A focus on international cooperation and pragmatic and practical outcomes, as seen with the growing global-level discussions surrounding the topic of regulating AI.
  • Tripartite dialogue should continue in earnest to bring laws and regulation in line with the quickly emerging business practices. Government may not be able to do this alone and businesses should lean in and play their role. 
  • Collaboration holds the promise of fostering a new generation of workplaces that are not only innovative, but also respectful of worker rights and ethical standards.

Considerations for Business

  • The International Organisation of Employers wants to see employers get ahead of the curve, understand government motivations and desired outcomes and develop practical steps towards mutually beneficial policy outcomes.
  • There are various approaches and frameworks that can support businesses in shaping workplace and workforce data policies, which this paper discusses. These include: 
    1. Better frameworks to improve trust such as the Deloitte Global Trust Platform; Deloitte US: Trustworthy AI Framework; Deloitte Global Future of Regulation framework.
    2. Strengthening collaboration between business and workers and business and government; highlighted examples include India, Japan and Singapore. 
    3. International cooperation between governments and the private sector, focusing on issues that mirror the global debate on data privacy including for example common guidelines, privacy protection and consistency in enforcement. 

For more information on passive workplace data collection see the recent Deloitte report, Beyond Productivity: The journey to the quantified organisation.