The EU Parliament on March 13 approved the Artificial Intelligence Act, which will impact how employers in Europe can use AI.

Europe’s new Artificial Intelligence Act, among other things, requires “high-risk” AI systems to be registered in an EU database and assessed before being put onto the market. These include those used in employment, worker management and in access to self-employment, according to SIA’s Europe Legal Update Q1 2024. Such systems would also be assessed throughout their life cycle.

Contingent workforce managers should note that the agreement categorizes recruitment as a high-risk AI system. It describes high risk systems as having significant potential harm to health, safety, fundamental rights, environment, democracy and the rule of law.

“The legal system cannot keep up with the relentless pace of AI advancement, and it’s been inevitable for some time that government action will be necessary to curb that advancement into undesirable territory; we’ve seen it in New York state and now in the EU,” says Peter Reagan, SIA’s senior director of Contingent Workforce Strategies Council. “CW programs covering the EU region need to be aware of the restrictions imposed by this new legislation and ensure both they and the supply chain are compliant.”

Law firm Pinsent Masons in a blog post notes that the legislation lists example uses in an employment context, including to place targeted job advertisements, to analyze and filter job applications, and to evaluate candidates.

Pinsent Masons also states that, as a high-risk AI system, recruitment technology will need to comply with certain requirements — including around risk management, data quality, transparency, human oversight and accuracy — while the businesses providing or deploying that technology will face obligations around registration, quality management, monitoring, record-keeping and incident reporting.

US Impact

The Society for Human Resource Management in the US commented on the legislation, saying it aims to take part in the conversation over its implementation and, in the US, will work with legislators on possible AI policy.

“SHRM appreciates how our colleagues in the EU are contributing to the global dialogue about the risks of AI and how employers and society can harness the power of AI ethically and safely,” Emily Dickens, SHRM chief of staff, head of public affairs and corporate secretary, said in a press release.

“We look forward to taking part in the ongoing robust conversation regarding the implementation of the EU AI Act and its risk-based approach, and SHRM will work with EU and global stakeholders to provide clarity to employers in the EU who seek to use AI safely and consistent with our shared values, and to understand their obligations under the act,” Dickens said.

In addition, Dickens said SHRM will work with legislators in the US over the use of AI.

“Here in the United States, SHRM will continue its ongoing engagement with Congress, the administration, and state and local legislatures, serving as a trusted partner to policymakers, looking to achieve consensus on AI legislation and regulation that maximizes human potential,” she said.

Further coverage of Europe’s Artificial Intelligence Act is available in the Staffing Industry Daily News.