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Developing a guide for union representatives

Technological transformation and ‘automated’, data-driven decisions are changing work at every level and increasingly having far-reaching consequences on working people. The Institute for the Future of Work (the Institute) has developed a guide with Community to help Union representatives to shape the way technology is used at work.

Community Union said:

“Anna, Abby and the team at the Institute have applied sharpness of insight and novel thinking to drive forward our work as a union on technology change and worker voice. The work we have developed together sets out a framework for negotiations around technology, including algorithmic systems, to give our members and workers the tools to shape those systems throughout the lifecycle. With technology change happening faster than ever and the rise of AI management tools, this work helps us to put people at the heart of programmes of change.”

The guide is intended to support union representatives in understanding the common issues linked to technological transformation and provide tools to enable the right questions to be asked at the right time.

It recommends use of the Institute's Good Work Charter as a checklist of impacts to help reduce risks and maximise the benefits of introducing technology at work.

The Institute's previous research has demonstrated the impacts of increasing automation and the need to shape technology to promote equality and protect the dignity of work. The tools in this publication will provide guidance to help implement good practice.

Overall, this resource aims to support workers and employers to design technological change at work in a way which looks at impact on people as a central consideration.

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