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Is AI the answer to tackling workplace sexual harassment?

It's been nearly six years now since the MeToo movement brought sexual harassment to the forefront of our minds. With the advent of AI, it was a matter of time before AI solutions came to market to offer a tech based approach to identifying harassment in the workplace.

Some employers are adopting AI to monitor employee communications for harassing language and behaviours, whilst others are using AI solutions to allow employees to report worrying behaviour through apps which then generate a comprehensive report for HR.

In October 2024, the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 will come into effect which introduces a duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of their employees, and Employment Tribunals will have the power to uplift compensation by up to 25% if an employer's found not to complied with that duty. 

With this in mind, it's not surprising that employers will be on the look out for initiatives that increase the chances of preventing and effectively managing harassment in the workplace are to be celebrated. However, employers should still be mindful of wider obligations, not least data protection, as well as ensuring that any AI generated report is verified by a human with the relevant experience before being relied upon in disciplinary proceedings. 

The future is certainly looking interesting!

Top firms are now buying a so-called ‘#MeTooBot’ to detect bullying and sexual harassment in staff emails – because, it seems, employees cannot be trusted. The system utilises AI technology to monitor communications, analysing everything from speech patterns to attachments and the timings of messages being sent.


artificial intelligence, employment, data protection, technology