Europe's AI Act: Impact to Human Resource and Implementation Essentials

Olivia Rhye
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

Europe's AI Act: Impact to Human Resource and Implementation Essentials

Written by: EPHY AI

The European Union's proposed Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA) is set to revolutionize the way companies use AI technologies, ensuring they are safe, transparent, and respect fundamental rights. For human resources (HR) professionals, this presents an exciting opportunity to enhance HR processes while maintaining compliance with new regulations. This article provides an overview of the AIA, the EU agencies managing it, reporting requirements, and the changes US companies with employees in Europe will need to make. Additionally, we outline a timeline for implementation and suggest the ideal team composition to lead this transition.

Overview of the Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA)

The AIA aims to create a robust framework for the use of AI technologies, focusing on transparency, fairness, and accountability. For HR professionals, this means:

  • Transparency: AI systems used in HR processes must be transparent. Employees should be informed about how their data is being collected, processed, and used.
  • Consent: Companies must obtain explicit consent from employees for the use of their data in AI systems.
  • Data Minimization: Only the data necessary for the specific purpose of the AI system should be collected.
  • Algorithmic Fairness and Bias Mitigation: Regular audits and fairness metrics must be implemented to ensure that AI systems do not discriminate against any group.
  • Accountability and Governance: Establish a governance framework to oversee the use of AI in HR processes and conduct risk assessments to identify and mitigate potential risks.
  • Employee Training and Awareness: Develop training programs and awareness campaigns to educate employees about the use of AI in HR processes and their rights under the AIA.

EU Agencies Managing the AIA

Several EU agencies will play a crucial role in managing and enforcing the AIA:

  • European Data Protection Board (EDPB): Likely to oversee compliance with the AIA, similar to its role with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • National Supervisory Authorities: Each EU member state will have its own supervisory authority responsible for enforcing the AIA.

AIA Important Dates

The European Union's (EU) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act is expected to take effect on August 2, 2024, across all 27 EU member states. However, most of the act's rules will not be applicable until August 2, 2026, with some exceptions for specific provisions. Here are some other key implementation dates:

  • February 2, 2025: Prohibited AI practices must be removed from the market
  • May 2, 2025: Codes of practice will be ready
  • August 2, 2025: Obligations go into effect for providers of general purpose AI models
  • February 2, 2026: The Commission will review the list of prohibited AI and may make legislative amendments

AIA Reporting Requirements

To demonstrate compliance with the AIA, companies will need to provide various reports to the relevant supervisory authority:

  • Compliance Reports: Regular reports detailing the measures taken to ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in AI systems.
  • Risk Assessments: Outlining potential risks and mitigation strategies for AI systems.
  • Bias Audits: Regular audits to demonstrate that AI systems are free from discriminatory biases.
  • Incident Reports: Prompt reporting of any incidents or breaches related to AI systems.

Leveraging GDPR for AIA Compliance

The AIA can build off the work done for GDPR, as both regulations share common principles of transparency, accountability, and data protection. Companies that have already implemented GDPR will find a strong foundation for meeting AIA requirements. Key similarities include:

  • Scope and Impact: GDPR focused on data protection and privacy, affecting all data processing activities. The AIA specifically targets AI systems with a focus on transparency, fairness, and accountability.
  • Compliance Requirements: GDPR required extensive changes to data policies, consent mechanisms, and data security measures. The AIA will require changes to AI governance, bias mitigation, and transparency in AI systems.
  • Implementation Challenges: Companies faced challenges in understanding GDPR, obtaining consent, and ensuring data security. The AIA will present challenges in auditing AI systems, mitigating biases, and ensuring transparency.
  • Timeline: Companies had a two-year transition period to comply with GDPR. A similar transition period can be expected for the AIA, but companies should start preparing as soon as possible.

Changes to HR Processes and Data Policies

US companies with employees in Europe will need to make several changes to their HR processes and data policies to comply with the AIA:

Data Collection and Usage:

  • Transparency: Ensure AI systems are transparent.
  • Consent: Obtain explicit consent from employees.
  • Data Minimization: Collect only necessary data.

Algorithmic Fairness and Bias Mitigation:

  • Bias Audits: Regularly audit AI systems.
  • Fairness Metrics: Implement fairness metrics.

Accountability and Governance:

  • AI Governance Framework: Establish a governance framework.
  • Risk Management: Conduct risk assessments.

Employee Training and Awareness:

  • Training Programs: Develop training programs.
  • Awareness Campaigns: Conduct awareness campaigns.

Proposed Timeline for Implementation

To ensure a smooth transition, companies should follow a structured timeline:

Phase 1: Initial Assessment (0-3 months)

  • Form a Task Force: Assemble a team comprising HR professionals, data scientists, legal experts, and IT specialists.
  • Conduct an Audit: Perform an initial audit of existing AI systems and data policies.
  • Gap Analysis: Identify gaps between current practices and AIA requirements.

Phase 2: Policy Development (4-6 months)

  • Develop Policies: Create new data policies and HR processes that comply with the AIA.
  • Draft Consent Forms: Prepare consent forms and other documentation required for compliance.

Phase 3: Implementation (7-12 months)

  • Deploy New Systems: Implement new AI systems and update existing ones to comply with the AIA.
  • Employee Training: Roll out training programs and awareness campaigns.

Phase 4: Monitoring and Continuous Improvement (Ongoing)

  • Regular Audits: Conduct regular audits to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Establish a feedback mechanism for employees to report issues or concerns.

Team Composition and Leadership

To successfully implement the AIA, companies should assemble a multidisciplinary team:

  • HR Professionals: To understand the impact on HR processes and ensure compliance.
  • Data Scientists: To audit and update AI systems.
  • Legal Experts: To interpret the AIA and ensure legal compliance.
  • IT Specialists: To implement technical changes and ensure data security.
  • Leadership: A senior HR executive should lead the team, with support from a legal advisor and a data scientist.


The AIA represents a positive step forward for the responsible use of AI in HR processes. By understanding the requirements and preparing early, companies can ensure a smooth transition and ongoing compliance. Leveraging the work done for GDPR provides a strong foundation, and with the right team and timeline, companies can embrace the benefits of AI while safeguarding employee rights and data.