Should HR be using AI for layoffs?

Canadian survey looks at issue of ethics, trust, skills and bias

Should HR be using AI for layoffs?

While HR may be slowly coming around to the merits of using AI in their work, employees may not be so sure, judging by a recent survey.

For one, two-thirds (69 per cent) of employees would feel uncomfortable to some degree if their company used AI tools when making layoff decisions.


  • 54% of employees think it’s unethical to use AI to make HR decisions
  • 48% think that a human should be involved in decisions surrounding layoffs
  • 35% believe that AI is unable to accurately evaluate skills and performance
  • 19% believe that AI cannot make unbiased decisions

Benefits to HR using AI

On the other hand, 31% of Canadian employees are comfortable to some degree with the use of AI tools when making layoff decisions, finds Capterra’s survey of more than 1,000 Canadian workers at small and medium-sized businesses.

Some of the reasons why employees are in favour of these tools include:

  • Avoiding biased decisions by managers (cited by 34%)
  • Making decisions based on actual performance-based data (31%)
  • Making more accurate decisions (28%)

AI is definitely in the spotlight for lawmakers. Quebec has new rules around “automated processing” that come into effect in September, while the federal government is busy with proposed legislation such as the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) and changes to the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA).

Upskilling for AI

A majority (65%) of Canadian employees also said that stress levels at work would rise if their HR departments started to use this technology in firing decisions, found Capterra.

A further 35% said they would change their behaviour at work if their company began implementing AI for layoff decisions. Of these employees:

  • 39% said that they would start developing new skills at work
  • 36% would focus more on their KPIs
  • 21% would get involved in more projects

Trust in AI tools in the workplace

Trust levels among employees around AI differ depending on the functionality, finds Capterra. Employees most trust the use of AI in workplace training, with 65% of employees saying that they trust it to some extent, followed by:

  • Recruiting (47%)
  • Monitoring employees (51%)
  • Solving employee doubts (36%)
  • Layoff decision (25%)

Recent articles & video

Ottawa launches Union-Led Advisory Table

What are the most distracting Christmas songs played at work?

Govt. of Canada will invest close to $200 billion to improve health care worker wellbeing

Judge rules unpaid leave for vaccination refusal not constructive dismissal

Most Read Articles

Are days off for Christmas 'racist'? And other religious accommodation questions answered

International students, labour group want ban on working hours cap to continue

Judge makes quick 'just cause’ decision because of undocumented discipline