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Peter Etherington
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Employment Update for Small Businesses
September 2023

Dear <<First Name>>

This is a bumper edition as we head into autumn, with the big topic being AI (artificial intelligence) and the increased use by employees of ChatGPT in the course of their work. We ask if that is an issue for you and if you need a policy to cover it.

Also, we are taking on a third member of the team to support Lindsey and me, to ensure we maintain our service to you at the high level our clients have quite reasonably come to expect! More details below.

Lindsey is doing her bit for charity shortly, so we have an update on that.

Please contact me if you would like to find out a bit more about any of the subjects raised in this update or if you need any help or advice.

Please forward this email to any of your contacts who might find it of benefit.

Peter Etherington
Tel: 01664 668164


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Peter Etherington
Artificial Intelligence – ChatGPT etc.
Do you need an HR policy?
If you are not yet familiar with ChatGPT and how it works, I thought I would use this as an opportunity to provide you with a demo as well as giving you some information that will help you decide if you would like us to draft a policy to cover its use in a work context. So I used ChatGPT to provide a briefing note on the topic aimed at our client base!

This is what I entered into ChatGPT:

I run an HR consultancy firm to support employers in the UK. I need a briefing note to explain what ChatGPT is and how employees might use it, with or without permission, so that my clients can decide whether or not they need a policy to cover the use of ChatGBT and other AI applications.

This is what I got out (unedited):

Date: [Insert Date] To: [Client’s Name] From: [Your Name] Subject: ChatGPT and Employee Usage: Considerations and Policy Implications

Dear [Client’s Name],

I hope this note finds you well. As part of our commitment to keeping you informed about emerging technologies and their potential impact on human resources and workplace dynamics, I would like to provide you with an overview of ChatGPT and how it might be utilized by employees within your organization. This information will help you make an informed decision regarding the need for a policy to govern AI application usage in the workplace.

What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an advanced artificial intelligence language model developed by OpenAI. It is designed to generate human-like text responses based on the input it receives. ChatGPT has been trained on a diverse range of internet text, which allows it to understand and generate content across various topics and contexts. It can be accessed via web interfaces, APIs, or integrated into applications to provide human-like conversational interactions.

Employee Usage of ChatGPT: With or Without Permission
Employees might potentially use ChatGPT in various ways, both with and without explicit permission from your organization. It’s important to understand the potential scenarios in which ChatGPT could be employed:

1.          With Permission:

  • Research and Information: Employees might use ChatGPT to quickly gather information, answer queries, and assist with research tasks.
  • Drafting Documents: ChatGPT can help employees in creating drafts of reports, emails, and other written materials, enhancing their efficiency.

2.          Without Permission:

  • Personal Productivity: Employees could use ChatGPT to streamline personal tasks, such as composing personal emails or organizing their schedules.
  • Casual Use: Employees may experiment with ChatGPT for entertainment or curiosity, engaging in casual conversations or generating creative content.

Policy Considerations for AI Application Usage
The implications of employee usage of ChatGPT, and similar AI applications, raise several considerations for your organization:

  1. Productivity: While AI tools like ChatGPT can enhance productivity, they may also lead to dependency, reducing critical thinking and creativity among employees.
  2. Data Security: Using AI applications without proper security measures might expose sensitive company information, potentially leading to data breaches.
  3. Accuracy and Accountability: Responses generated by AI tools might not always be accurate or aligned with company values, raising concerns about accountability.
  4. Resource Consumption: Unregulated usage of AI tools can lead to increased IT resource consumption and costs.

The Need for a Policy
Considering the potential benefits and risks associated with ChatGPT usage, it is advisable to develop a policy that outlines guidelines for the appropriate use of AI applications within your organization. A comprehensive policy could address:

  • Permitted use cases and contexts for ChatGPT.
  • Data security measures, including guidelines for handling sensitive information.
  • Monitoring and accountability mechanisms for AI-generated content.
  • Employee training and awareness about responsible AI usage.

In conclusion, the growing prevalence of AI applications like ChatGPT presents both opportunities and challenges for the workplace. Crafting a policy that balances innovation and safeguards aligns with the best interests of your organization and its employees.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or require further assistance in formulating an AI usage policy tailored to your organization’s needs.

Best regards,
[Your Name] [Your Title] [Your Contact Information]

It’s quite impressive, isn’t it? Clearly it would need some editing if it was to be used as a standalone briefing note, to remove some of the Americanisation and clunkiness, but it is a pretty good start. So you could see how it may be a useful tool in a number of different situations. However, you would probably not want employees to use it without due care and attention.

We have developed a policy for our current retained clients, but it will need quite a bit of customisation from client to client (which we will do for them), and I am sure there will be some who will decide you don’t need such a policy. If you want to talk to us about this policy or our HR support more generally, please contact us.

We are recruiting!
Please pass this on to anyone who you think may be interested.
A message from Lindsey…
I am walking a marathon/26 miles (with some equally crazy friends!) around London through the night on Saturday 23rd September as part of the Shine Walk – raising much needed money for Cancer Research.
I would love to raise £260 (£10 per mile) & would appreciate any donations / sponsorship no matter how small, as it all goes a long way in helping to find cures and treatments for this awful disease that touches everyone’s lives in some way. Please click here to donate. Thanks so much in advance & I’d better start training!😳😂
National Minimum and Living Wage
The current National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • £10.42 per hour for workers aged 23 and over
  • £10.18 per hour for workers aged 21 to 22
  • £7.49 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20
  • £5.28 per hour for workers aged 16 and 17
  • £5.28 per hour for apprentices under 19 and those over 19 in their first year*

*N.B. Apprentices over 19 and who have completed at least one year are entitled to the appropriate rate for their age.


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