Workers must be involved in how automation is introduced to avoid potentially severe consequences for them, according to a new report.

The Scottish Government and Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) study found that there are positives and negatives to automation.

It argues that while there is “nothing remarkable” about the replacement of workers by new technologies, the consequences for affected workers have been “at times severe”.

Grahame Smith STUC general secretary, said: “Automation represents a major challenge to how work is organised, but it is still unclear how it will affect the quality and type of work in the long term.

“ Predictions swing between utopian visions of emancipation through technology, to dystopian views of severe inequality.”

The report he said: “Found examples where new technologies lead to job losses, such as the closure of bank branches due to increased internet banking.”

It also found examples where it can improve safety and security, like the digitised records in the health service.