AI in the workplaceArtificial Intelligence (AI) has been an area of study for a number of decades and the tools and technologies that harness it have been commonplace for a number of years. Generative AI (GenAI) tools are now dominating global headlines with a particular focus on the widely used GenAI tool, Chat GPT  from OpenAI. Chat GPT is very advanced and produces high-quality text, images and other content based on data it has been trained on.

These GenAI tools are being used by employees and job applicants to help them secure work and then maximise their productivity and output while at work. Employers are using these tools to search for and recruit high quality candidates and to cut costs by using more data-based decision-making. It appears to be a win win situation, but what about the legal risks for employers?

Risks of using GenAI tools

Employers should consider the potential consequences of their employees misusing these tools and how can these risks be mitigated against. As the majority of publicly available GenAI tools have been trained on open source information it can often contain poor quality data and has the potential to generate false or misleading information. If not challenged appropriately by a human being, this sub-standard data could be shared with customers causing damage to business relationships, adverse publicity and employee relations issues.

Beyond poor quality content, there is also a risk that these tools could produce discriminatory or biased results. It is unlikely that an employer would be able to lawfully hold its employees accountable for any inaccurate, biased or discriminatory results generated by a GenAI tool that the employer has permitted the employees to use. Notwithstanding this, the onus could be placed on employees using the tool to ensure a degree of accountability for work produced, but how can this be done?

Mitigation strategies

The issues of employee’s misuse and the protection of business interests present serious challenges for employers, both where the use of GenAI tools are permitted and misuse occurs inadventently, and where employees use GenAI tools in breach of an employment policy covering the use of third party data and confidential information. These issues can be mitigated by implementing robust and specific policies and training that outline clear guidelines for employees on the use of GenAI tools in the workplace and provide employers with the opportunity to take disciplinary action in the event of misuse. This will involve not only new employment policies but the review of existing employment policies that relate to AI such as the use of IT systems, disciplinary rules and procedures, grievance procedures and any data protection and privacy policies.

Employers should ensure that all staff are aware of the risks and responsibilities linked to the use of GenAI tools. The following steps should be taken:

  • Creating safeguards to prevent confidential and sensitive information from being inputted into AI systems.
  • Outlining permitted and prohibited use of GenAI tools including the potential consequences of misuse.
  • Highlighting which tools are considered safe and lawful for use.
  • Reinforcing data protection procedures and supervisory measures.
  • Ensuring comprehensive training is provided to staff at all levels of the business on the use of GenAI tools and how employees can report, identify and mitigate against inaccurate, biased or discriminatory results.

For advice or further information on how to navigate the potential pitfalls of GenAI tools or to obtain a FREE GenAI Usage Policy, call Henry Doswell of Doswell Law Solicitors on 01233 722942. Alternatively, email Henry at

Disclaimer: Whilst every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary contained in this blog accurate and up to date, Henry Doswell takes no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it. The information and commentary in this blog does not constitute legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a lawyer about your case or matter.